3 Myths for Managing Employee Performance – Myth #3

August 13, 2015

This is part three of a three-part blog series on performance development.

MYTH – Holding managers accountable for conducting annual, bi-annual or quarterly review meetings with all their employees will DRIVE high performance into our organization.

Although this may make sense from a traditional performance review perspective, the thinking behind it contributes significantly to the failings of the performance management systems used by most organizations.

Let’s first talk about holding managers accountable.

Being accountable means being answerable, liable, or obligated, which means the question then becomes, “What are managers accountable for?” Are they accountable for conducting performance review meetings? For developing, training, coaching and supporting the work outputs of their employees? You might say they are responsible for both, but how does the organization benefit if reviews are conducted but employee performance is still not changing enough to help the organization more readily achieve its business objectives?

When questioned, most managers say one of the tasks they dread most is conducting performance reviews. As a result, they are often put off until the last minute, are completed with speed rather than accuracy, and will consist of feedback statements rather than providing well-considered and insightful input based on observation and experience.

If you want to focus on manager accountability, focus on holding managers accountable for the behaviors that are certain to help your organization achieve its business goals.

Hold managers accountable for the following:

  1. For hiring individuals that have the knowledge, skills and abilities to do the jobs for which they were hired.
  2. For orienting them to the business and culture aspects of the organization, so they know in their hearts and heads why their work-place is different from its competitors, and why they should care.
  3. For helping to integrate them into their new team so they can add value to their team’s performance (and be valued by their team) as soon as possible.
  4. For ensuring that the financial and non-financial rewards each employee receives are in alignment with the marketplace and with comparable positions.
  5. For having a development plan that focuses on helping employees grow and develop for their own benefit as well as that of the organization.
  6. For having healthy two-way conversations with each employee to establish both productivity and developmental goals.
  7. For observing the results of their employees’ work, and for removing barriers and providing resources to accomplish this work as needed.
  8. For providing ongoing and real-time coaching to help every employee succeed every day.
  9. To document the efforts and outcomes of these accountabilities so as to establish a foundation for process improvement on a continual basis.

Until performance reviews consider all the factors that make up human performance – and hold managers accountable for the right responsibilities – 95 percent of managers will continue to be dissatisfied with their PM systems.

You do not have to be part of that group. Be aware of these myths, consider the options and assess your organization to improve performance management’s effectiveness.

Contributed by Marcey Uday-Riley, MSW, CPT, IRI Consultants.

View the on-demand webinar “Performance Reviews: How to Conduct the Conversation” with Marcey Uday-Riley.