Performance management has been seen for so long as a tiresome HR task and from all the research and studies done in the last few years, including 2019, this remains the case. Only today did I read an article that mentioned performance management as a HR task! Why is this the case? Why is performance management still seen to be owned by HR? We believe it needs to be seen as far more wide-reaching than that.
We already know and have continued to hear over the last few years that traditional performance management is out of date because it has not been relevant, timely, present and future focussed, or hasn’t provided a ROI to the overall performance for the organisation. In recent years there has been an increase in new technologies that have changed performance management for the better. Regular check-ins and continuous feedback are some of the better practices being included in this new way forward.
When Can Performance Management Be Considered A Task?
The word task is defined as a piece of work to be done or undertaken. This means that in its simplest form, the term performance management as a task, stands true. However, it is not solely about just managing performance. It should be about engaging in a holistic process and for it to be considered a fundamental part of a managers day-to-day work activities and achievements. Particularly with this new way of performance management, the mindset has shifted to a continuous process that requires a significant level of engagement for it to be more meaningful.
The Talent, Technology and HR Predictions 2019 Bersin report reveals that the performance management process is ‘universally despised’. This is evidence in itself why performance management may be referred to as a HR task. Unfortunately that is the reality until organisations move to a forward thinking employee led performance management approach, not simply a task owned by the HR department.
When is Performance Management More Than A Task?
To move the thinking forward for performance management to being more than a HR task, we believe that understanding the whole person is most important. If we can understand the whole person, we will then know how the employee is actually feeling. Knowing their level of performance achievement through regular check-ins and their level of engagement with their work, we can get to know a team and the organisation as a whole. To do this we must equip managers and leaders with the right tools so they can have meaningful data at their fingertips to help them have a holistic view of their people. These tools need to be simple and easy to use, yet sophisticated in design in order to deliver better performance for all concerned.
A Better Way Forward For Performance Management
We know from the Mercer Study 2019 and the Bersin Predictions report 2019, only a very low percentage of organisations have moved to a new age performance management system. Bersin quoted that ‘96% of organisations still do annual reviews despite all the talk about continuous feedback.’ This clearly demonstrates that organisations need to be helped to understand ‘how’ to change and to find a new system that can support their leaders and managers when they manage performance. Many organisations may be locked into current large HR suites and are not ready to find a better solution, or they may be waiting to see how the newer performance management systems on the market perform.
Whichever it is, we know there is a better way. Performance management at its best is not a HR task, rather it’s a user friendly tool for managers and employees that supports the whole person on a regular basis, providing intelligent data for intelligent conversations to take place. Performance management needs to connect with employee engagement and employee wellbeing for optimal business performance.