This article is an excerpt of Marc Effron and Miriam Ortís excellent book titled, One Page Talent Management, which offersHR practitioners a three-step solution to simplifying performance management in an organisation. This article focuses on Step 1, showing us that designing a performance management process is easier than we think. Look out for future articles in this series!
by Marc Effron and Miriam Ort
Marc Effron is President of The Talent Strategy Group, the author of two previous books on human resources and leadership and a sought-after business speaker. Miriam Ort is Senior Manager, Human Resources for PepsiCo, and has authored articles in leading business publications.
Reprinted by permission of Harvard Business School Press. Excerpt from One Page Talent Management: Eliminating Complexity, Adding Value. Copyright 2010 Marc Effron and Miriam Ort.
Perhaps no talent management process is more important or more reviled than performance management. The presumably simple steps of setting goals, monitoring performance and evaluating an employee's accomplishments inspire legendary amounts of managerial eye rolling and foot dragging. Yet, across the spectrum of HR practices, nothing else is so directly linked to individual and corporate results, making performance management a perfect candidate for OPTM.
The business reasons for performance management are quite simple: align the employee's efforts with business needs and fairly evaluate the employee's performance. Unfortunately, these two simple objectives have become needlessly complex under pressure from managers wanting formulaic systems, lawyers demanding defensible processes and HR's own attempts to add value. A recent survey showed that only one in ten employees felt that their firm's performance management system actually improved their performance.
The challenge may stem from the fact that performance management's purpose has fundamentally changed over time. Today's systems grew from appraisal systems created in the late 1800s to help eliminate favoritism in the United States Civil Service. Until the late 1950s and 1960s, these systems were used solely to assess performance in a technical, task-focused way. There was no intent to inspire employees to higher performance or to align their actions with the business strategy.
That changed as a groundswell of behavioral research started to emerge in the mid-twentieth century that included Edwin Locke and Gary Latham's groundbreaking work on goal-setting theory and Victor Vroom's foundational concept of expectancy theory. These theories provided the impetus and scientific justification for taking a more comprehensive approach to managing performance. Our brief descriptions do not adequately honor the landmark nature of this research, but they highlight the core science you should rely on to create your one page performance management process.
Next in this performance management series:
Don’t miss the next article in our series which will focus on Step 2 and 3 in the performance management process.
The stand-alone articles in this series include:
Step 2: Eliminate complexity, add value.
Step 3: Create Transparency and accountability.
Missed an article? You can find it under, “Talent Management” in our archives.