As performance management evolves to an intrinsic part of
everyday business rhythms, organizations should consider five
essentials for success.
1. DEVELOP DYNAMO MANAGERS
In the next-generation of the performance management model,
the role of the manager continues to change from “command and
control” to “coach and mentor.” Although managers require an
entirely new skill set to excel, most organizations do not focus on
building leadership skills for their frontline managers.
For managers to go from good to great, they must develop and
practice these skills. Even individual contributors have an impor-tant
responsibility to develop their leadership abilities, particularly
in organizations that require collaboration to achieve objectives.
2. SET OUTCOME-DRIVEN GOALS
The connection between an employee’s work, their value to the
organization and their impact on an organizational outcome
is a key driver of employee satisfaction and engagement. When
employees know what is expected of them and clearly see the
impact they have on the organization’s success, they are motivated
to deliver results.
To make this work, organizations need to move toward more
collaborative and simplified goal setting, including designing goals
that motivate and play to an employee’s strengths. Employees
should be able to link individual and shared goals directly to orga-nizational
goals to identify alignment and be reviewed and revised
frequently to ensure continued alignment.
3. CREATE A CULTURE OF FEEDBACK AND RECOGNITION
Organizations that nurture a feedback rich culture and encourage
all employees to share feedback have more highly engaged work-forces.
Building an engaged workforce through ongoing feedback
and recognition is the entire organization’s responsibility and
should no longer be viewed as an HR priority, but rather an over-all
The stronger the recognition practices, the stronger employ-ees
feel their relationship is with their direct manager. True
success is creating an environment where all employees are com-fortable
giving and receiving feedback about performance. By
receiving continuous feedback, employees will better understand
what behaviours they should continue to demonstrate, and which
do not support their development.
4. FOCUS ON CONTINUOUS DEVELOPMENT
Today’s employees expect their organizations to invest in their
development and provide them with the skills they need to
succeed. Without a commitment to developing employees, com-panies
risk losing key talent and not having the skills they need
When it comes to staff development, direct managers have the
largest role to play in providing employees with an opportunity
to apply and grow their skills and abilities. Managers must proac-tively
facilitate employee development by enabling employees to
learn though stretch assignments, team collaboration and regular
coaching and feedback.
Managers can also build engagement through strengths-based
development. While focusing on strengths does not mean ignoring
weaknesses, being aware of limitations provides a great opportu-nity
for collaboration to further develop and learn.
5. HOLD OPEN AND ONGOING PERFORMANCE DIALOGUES
Employees want their managers to be open and approachable.
Consistent two-way communication helps employees feel safe and
supported, and it builds a productive workplace in which peo-ple
feel comfortable enough to experiment, to challenge, to share
information and to support one another.
Frequent, regular one-on-one meetings between managers and
employees are an ideal opportunity to discuss organizational pri-orities,
employee challenges and manager expectations. Meetings
should be scheduled and committed to, occurring as frequently as
once a week to cover feedback, goal review and revision and devel-opment
CONNECTING THE DOTS
A strategic shift in performance management takes planning,
thoughtfulness and skillful change management. The best per-formance
management programs incorporate these five essential
elements, while also forming a foundation for an organization’s
overall talent programs. This means that as companies adopt new
performance management practices, they must consider whether
changes will support other talent management functions.
Regardless of where an organization is in its talent management
journey, implementing practices that transform your performance
management and talent programs will engage and inspire your
people – and contribute to overall business success. n
Hawley Kane is head of organizational talent and leadership
development at Saba Software.
IN THE NEXT-GENERATION
OF THE PERFORMANCE
MANAGEMENT MODEL, THE
ROLE OF THE MANAGER
CONTINUES TO CHANGE FROM
“COMMAND AND CONTROL”
TO “COACH AND MENTOR.”
22 ❚ SEPTEMBER 2018 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL