Frequently now, classroom participants report that their organizations are considering discontinuing their current performance management system in favor of something more streamlined and less burdensome. Certainly we recognize this national trend. Instead of treating performance management as an "event," organizations are beginning to view it as a "way of corporate life." One newly adopted system discussed in class recently consists of a monthly one-to-one meeting between manager and employee in which feedback on performance is discussed along with other operational topics. No special "annual review" date is held and any monetary discussions are held separately.
CAI's courses on performance management stress the elements required for solid feedback on performance rather than rigid systems that dictate exactly when and how it is to be performed. We put an emphasis on setting clear expectations, providing frequent and timely coaching, giving feedback of both the reinforcing and corrective variety and involving the employee in decisions that affect his work as much as possible. We encourage managers to take the opportunity to discover employee development desires and work to construct an Individual Development Plan (IDP) that will meet both the employee's goals and the company's business needs.
One particular area of concern frequently discussed by participants is taking responsibility for an existing staff and learning that past evaluations of performance were inflated or inaccurate. The new managers face challenges with the employee accepting new feedback and realigning their efforts toward making necessary behavior and performance changes.
No matter the system used, the basics of preparing for and conducting performance feedback remain: treat the employee respectfully, hold him accountable for his behavior and performance and always come to the table with the intent of helping the employee grow.