Senior leaders need to consistently promote performance management as critical to achieving business results. Identify role models at the top who visibly use the system. Actively involve senior leaders in communications about performance management. This gives supervisors "permission" to provide candid feedback.
Try goal-setting from the top of the organization on down. If your supervisors' goals are linked to strategy, it will be easier to link all employees' goals. The clearer the link, the easier it is to discuss results (or lack thereof).
Strategy helps prioritize what work must get done. Organizational values guide how the work should be accomplished. When values are built into the review process, supervisors can more easily address destructive "results at all costs" behavior.
An effective system should create a partnership between employees and supervisors focused on mutual success. Sure, employees need guidance and coaching from their supervisors. But to stay motivated and committed, employees need the chance to tap into their personal motivators and have a say in how their unique capabilities can be leveraged.
Consider tracking and compensating them for conducting regular coaching discussions. Hold them accountable both for results and for developing their teams. Don't train them in conducting performance appraisals. Provide the skills and tools they need for the discussions you want them to have throughout the year.
The critical ingredients of an effective performance management system are the business and cultural drivers, and the conversations that take place between the people who need to execute the organization's strategy. In the end, performance management needs to be less about forms or online systems, and more about continuous dialogue and partnership around issues that matter most to employees and the organization.
LEARN MORE: Please read "Copping Out on Performance Management," about "bail out" ratings that allow managers to avoid confrontation.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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