The primary criterion that should be used for assessing whether a company’s Performance Management System ‘works’, is whether individuals in the organisation have grown. Are exemplary contributions being enabled? Are more and more people changing from ‘takers’ to ‘givers’? If so, the results will take care of themselves, writes Wendy Lambourne.
by Wendy Lambourne
ABOUT THE AUTHOR For more information please contact Wendy Lambourne at email@example.com. The complete version of the article can be found on the Schuitema website: http://www.schuitema.co.za/. Schuitema is an organisational transformation consultancy.
To deliver such a system is not a trivial exercise. It requires four fundamental changes to be made to how most organisations approach the issue of managing individual performance.
From rewarding results, to rewarding one’s contribution
To pay people for results not only sabotages the cultivation of accountability in an organisation – it is essentially wrong. Paying for results is like playing a game in a casino. The results are always, at least in part, due to factors outside of a person’s control. People are only in control of their contribution – what they give – not the result – what they get.
Also, because there is a time lag between contribution and the result it produces, an individual may ride on the back of a predecessor’s past excellent contribution or, conversely, pay the price for their poor performance. Those who should get rewarded get penalised, and vice versa. Finally, paying for results leads to short-term thinking and expedient action, sometimes with disastrous medium-to-long-term consequences.
The basic building block of the Performance Management System must be individual contribution. Reward should follow on from, and be a direct consequence of, the contribution made.