What should Performance Management look like? | culp

What should Performance Management look like?

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Contemporary Performance Management has seen a shift away from the annual feedback review to focus on improving performance through continuous feedback, coaching and support from Line Managers (LM). Peter Cheese describes this shift as “enabling higher performance from the majority” of employees, rather than managing the risk of the poor-performing minority of employees.

Relevant examples of organisation’s that have shifted and are seeing positive results include:

  1. Adobe’s “Check-In” (Adobe, 2018)
  2. Zappos’ “Performance without Management” (Bhatt, 2015)
  3. Deloittes’ “seeing, rewarding and fuelling performance” (Impraise, 2018)

HR has identified 7 core requirements to redesigning Performance Management following an analysis:

  1. Empower your people
  2. Develop your people
  3. Reward performance
  4. Implement relevant technology
  5. Remove subjectivity with data
  6. Drive time efficiency
  7. Develop a high-performance culture

A recommended Performance Management philosophy, is derived from common takeaways that have driven the success and adoption of the Performance Management systems and  resulted in the effective implementation of the PM cycle:

  1. Transparency in goal setting and the method involved
  2. Developing LM competence in coaching and feedback
  3. The frequency of continuous performance discussions as part of the culture
  4. An unwavering focus on improvement through development

A recommended process for SMART Performance Management redesign:

  1. Engage LM and employees on PM expectations and methods, communicating organisational goals and individual accountability as integral to the cycle. Setting expectations early and establishing a culture of empowerment and trust, and clarity on consequences and rewards (Subitup, 2017).
  2. Develop LM competence in personal coaching, development planning and feedback conversations that welcomes inclusivity in goal-setting and feedback and reinforces the focus on development for competitive advantage
  3. Cleary establishing the role and frequency of performance conversations in the culture on a weekly basis focused on development opportunities; removing the rating scale through continuous feedback
  4. Optimizing total rewards by linking contributions and desired behaviours to organisational goals and values encouraging and motivating employees, higher retention, engagement and job satisfaction (MBASkool, 2012).
  5. Procuring, implementing and integrating performance technology into the existing HRIS to save time through automation, reduce paperwork through accurate data and access to information, and facilitating succession and talent management, training and competence management and workforce planning (Payspace, 2016)

Expected outcomes of a new Performance Management system will be:

  1. Improve employee engagement,
  2. Develop a workforce for the current and future organisation,
  3. Improve healthy relationships and trust between LM and employees,
  4. Improve productivity validated by client satisfaction feedback,
  5. Develop a high-performance culture,
  6. Automating administrative processes through technology, and
  7. Provide ready and accurate data to inform quick development needs, succession planning and identify performance patterns for an agile organisation.


UCT AHR M5 U1 – Notes, 2016. Contemporary performance management. [Online]
Available at: https://uct.onlinecampus.getsmarter.com/pluginfile.php/319532/mod_video/content/13/UCT%20AHR%20M5%20U1%20-%20Notes.pdf
[Accessed May 2018].

Adobe, 2018. About Us – Check-In. [Online]
Available at: https://www.adobe.com/check-in.html
[Accessed May 2018].

Bhatt, D., 2015. Zappos: Performance Without Management. [Online]
Available at: https://medium.com/@dmoney/zappos-performance-without-management-8966712a86e5
[Accessed May 2018].

Impraise, 2018. Impraise Blog – 360 Feedback. Deloitte Joins Adobe And Accenture In Dumping Performance Reviews. [Online]
Available at: https://blog.impraise.com/360-feedback/deloitte-joins-adobe-and-accenture-in-dumping-performance-reviews-360-feedback
[Accessed May 2018].

Subitup, 2017. Subitup Blog. 7 ways to improve employee accountability in the workplace. [Online]
Available at: http://www.subitup.com/blog/improve-employee-accountability-workplace/
[Accessed May 2018].

MBASkool, 2012. Performance Management – Linking Reward to Performance. [Online]
Available at: https://www.mbaskool.com/business-articles/human-resource/5260-performance-management-linking-reward-to-performance.html
[Accessed May 2018].

Payspace, 2016. Three Tips to optimise your performance appraisal process. [Online]
Available at: https://www.payspace.com/three-tips-optimise-performance-appraisal-process/
[Accessed May 2018].

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