Continuous Conversations Drive Effective Performance Management

Document created by 1053991 on Sep 10, 2015
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Rick_Washburn-6.jpgThere has been a fair amount written lately over the death of the traditional annual “performance review” made famous by GE under the leadership of Jack Welch.  This process includes employee ranking, differentiation of ratings, and of course the layoff of the bottom ranked 5-10%. While it's official name was the "vitality curve" it was frequently referred to as "rank and yank."  Some would argue that this performance management methodology also drove HR professionals and managers to focus more on the process and less on the individual employee and respective outcome.


Whether you are a proponent of the traditional review process mentioned above or not, the key element to keep in mind is that performance management is a continuous process that must be maintained and managed throughout the year.  Effective supervisors and managers provide ongoing, regular feedback to their employees on a routine and daily basis.  It is a “continuous conversation” of sorts; it becomes part of the daily dialogue.  HR leaders must “set the stage” and provide the necessary coaching, training, and climate for their organization’s supervisors, managers, and leaders. This candid “continuous conversation” is one of the most effective tools available to any leader in any organization.  HR however must provide the required leadership to integrate this process into the fabric of the organization; it needs to become routine.


In addition to the “continuous conversation” an effective PM process also provides a platform to:

  • Align individual goals with broader business objectives
  • Document individual performance to support compensation and career planning sessions
  • Plan for employee skill development and learning
  • Create a performance-based culture with accountability for producing strong employee outcomes and business results


To learn more about creating an effective Performance Management process for your business please see our Performance Management learning module on myCAI’s Learn & GO section.    You can also tune in and watch CAI’s Tom Sheehan’s Performance Management webinar on September 24 at 10:00am.   You can also call Tom (919- 325-4113) or myself ( 919-713-5247) to discuss you organization's situation.

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