Common Problems in Performance Management
Effective Performance Management is one of the cornerstones of Talent
Management. Without Performance Management it is difficult to categorise the
different contributions of employees and to identify areas for development
and improvement. Performance Management is however often problematic. Most
HR people will tell you that there is nothing wrong with the system - it is
just the way that it is being implemented. That is why many organisations
are now concentrating on facilitating performance dialogue and development,
rather than emphasising the performance appraisal element.
LeMaSa supports this philosophy of coaching and development where we want
the "right people" with the "right behaviour" in our organisation, instead
of just focusing on "high performers". In this edition of the LeMaSa
Chronicle we discuss some of the common problems in Performance Management
and focus on the importance of organisation design.
As the icy weather continues we trust that you have a cozy
corner and excellent company to keep you warm!
Bersin (2008) found the following concerns with regards to performance
§ 32% of managers do not clearly understand the link between pay and
performance in their organizations
§ 85% of organizations do not have clearly defined competencies which
§ 35% of managers and employees do not feel the process is implemented
§ Only 14% of organizations use any form of peer-assessment
§ Only 21% of organizations have training tied to development goals
§ Only 29% of organizations create goals which are aligned to the
§ Only 13% of organizations have coaching programs tied to their
performance management process
§ Only 36% of organizations feel they adequately tie compensation to the
performance management process
Bersin (2008) further found that managers and employees dislike performance
management for the following reasons:
§ Most organizations focus primarily on the appraisal step
§ Feedback is often negative, not positive
§ Employees feel "failure" rather than "opportunity"
§ Process focuses around "focal review" and compensation
§ Managers are not often given the criteria for success
§ Managers frequently fail to give the "bad news" well
· Managers are often not trained in coaching and development
SHRM (2009) also identified the following problems with regards to
· Lack of Top Management Support;
· Perception of the Process as "Time-Consuming Busywork";
· Failure to Complete on Time. One of the most common problems is the
failure of managers to return the completed forms at the stated deadline,
resulting in a great deal of wasted time by the HR team in follow-up;
· Failure to Communicate Clear and Specific Goals and Expectations.
The clarity of a manager's specific expectations is important for an
employee to be able to implement an agreed-upon goal;
· Failure to Communicate Changed Goals. Managers must hold a meeting
or send a communication to all affected employees notifying them about
changes in goals or expectations.
· Lack of Consistency. In most organizations, some managers are
perceived as "tough" and others are perceived as "easy." Therefore, it is
important for HR to train managers about how to use the rating system so
that inconsistencies do not occur;
· Common Performance Rating Errors.
Sources: SHRM (Society for Human Resources Development). 2009. Managing
Employee Performance Toolkit. www.shrm.org.
BERSIN, P. 2008. The Modern Approach to Performance Management: A Handbook
for HR Managers and Executives. Bersin & Associates Research Report.