Grillo Leadership

The State of Performance Management

report_cardPerformance reviews are getting a poor review from the very people who run them.  According to a survey by Sibson Consulting and WorldatWork, “58% of human resources executives graded their own performance-management systems a C or below.”   Three of the reasons given caught my attention and I’d like to respond to them.

HR professionals say they’re frustrated that managers don’t have the courage to give constructive feedback.

It’s not that managers lack the courage; it’s that they don’t know how to give feedback.

Managers should be trained on how to give feedback.

I agree that they should be trained but not “speed” training. When I was in HR at Citibank in the late 80’s, all new managers had to go through an intensive five-day training program on the fundamentals of managing people, which included giving feedback.

Today, it’s unfortunate that many companies have reduced five days to three days to one day. Even worse, they are packing 100+ employees into virtual classrooms with one instructor or giving them the option of online e-learning.

Unless they see training as an investment in developing future leaders, we are doomed.

This topic requires further attention, which I will address in future posts.

HR does not have total control over the review process.

According to Samuel Culbert professor of management at University of California HR is like the KGB – keeping files on people causing fear and intimidation regarding the process and should be eliminated altogether.

HR is not the KGB and they shouldn’t control the process. The responsibility rests with senior management who should own it, support it and ultimately hold managers accountable for developing their employees.

I do agree with professor Culbert in one respect and that is that perhaps performance reviews should be eliminated altogether. Why? If managers gave constructive on-going feedback throughout the year, there wouldn’t be need for an annual review.

If an employee finds out during their review that they are not performing then their manager should get a C.

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