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Performance Management

November 7th, 2013


Performance Management is poorly executed in most Companies because the employer and/or management don’t understand what it is and why they are doing it.

Employees are truly the most important asset that any Company has and it is extremely important to know how to give ‘ongoing and regular feedback’ to your employees.

Ongoing and regular feedback is the key to a successful Company. Every employee needs Positive and Constructive Feedback (the old name for criticism).  One of the major ways we learn is by doing and seeing the results of our actions.  When an employee is performing badly on a task or has poor overall performance and you don’t bring his/her performance to their attention, you are in fact encouraging poor performance (think of Pavlov’s Conditioning Theory).

hro-blog-photo-235x200Consider for a moment the game of ten-pin bowling; you roll the ball down the bowling lane and hit or miss a number of pins. You respond with excitement or disappointment; depending on how you did. You also process information on your bowl, and use the results, to help you perform better during your next turn. This is immediate feedback and really important to improve performance where there is a capacity to learn and improve on the part of the player. Consider not allowing the player to see the result of his/her bowl—no feedback on number of pins down or score.  This is what happens in the real world where Managers and Supervisors do not give feedback and employees are left wondering how they are doing. This lack of information can cause employees to become frustrated and discouraged, which  can lead to further poor performance.

Giving feedback is a regular event and should not wait until the end of a year or end of a review cycle.  TIMELY feedback is critical.  Go back to the bowling situation and see if it would help telling the player a month or even a day later that his scores were terrible. The player would say “If only you told me when I was bowling!”  The information is useless now.

Feedback is a tool for Improvement and a path to Growth. When we call it a ‘Performance Review’ and we are ignorant of its purpose, it simply becomes another HR process which we all hate.  So make sure that your Company understands the power of Performance Management and that it is not a HR Process but the fuel that builds and maintains a Great Organization.

There is much more to discuss on the topic but also consider Situation Based Feedback and balancing carefully Positive and Constructive feedback.  The correct ingredients in the wrong proportions are also problematic.  Consult a HR Business Expert at www.theHRO.com for more information and guidance.