Saturday, 2 January 2010

HR Professionals in a dither over Performance Management

With the joys of Christmas and New Year behind us, the next event in the calendars of many employees will be the annual objective setting element of the performance management process.

As this important activity is generally agreed to be owned by the HR function, it's seriously disappointing to read the results of the most recent CIPD survey into current trends and practice in performance management.

The Performance Management in Action report not only reveals that the UK's HR professionals are card-carrying members of the Don't Know Party, but also paints a picture of a function that has ownership of a process that it simply doesn't believe in.

After removing the ditherers of the HR profession, we're left with the following depressing results:

Most HR professionals disagree that Performance Management:

  • has a positive impact on individual performance
  • has a positive impact on organisational performance
  • helps line managers to manage people better
  • helps line managers' capabilities to manage people better
  • can impact on employee well-being
  • can help people understand the organisation's strategic priorities
  • can help individuals understand how their behaviour and actions affect the achievement of the organisation’s strategic priorities

As the Performance Management in Action report correctly notes, it is the application rather than the process itself that makes the difference in terms of performance management. But it’s still a concern that at a time of year when employees are entering the first stage of a cycle which will almost certainly affect their career development and pay, the custodians of that process are at best ambivalent, and at worst entirely negative about its validity and effectiveness.

CIPD Report: Performance management in action: current trends and practice
  • Do you think that it’s just the HR profession that’s skeptical about the performance development process?
  • Can any of the positive effects of the performance management process outweigh the negative view that’s reported above?
  • Does the lack of belief in the performance management process reflect unfavourably on the HR profession?

1 comment:

  1. Why would you own and manage a process that you didn't believe in? The 'systems thinkers' believe that current performance management practice is completely counterproductive. In terms of individual performance there are some great online tools to provide specific feedback on request such as "Rypple". I think more use should be made of these tools alongside fostering a culture where it is easy and normal to ask for feedback.