The Value Spectrum of Performance Management

The ‘Value Spectrum’ is part of what an employee does to add significant value to their organisation

The Value Spectrum of Performance Management

When we are working with Senior Management teams and Executives, it becomes clear that very few have the skills or know how required to drive what we call the ‘Value Spectrum’ of Performance Management (PM). i.e. to make the PM program really work for the organisation as a whole.

The ‘Value Spectrum’ is a term we use to describe how Managers and Executives should be positioning performance goals so that their employees can significantly improve organisation performance. The ‘Value Spectrum’ is part of what an employee does that adds significant value to the organisation as opposed to doing things that need to be completed as part of their core duties. Core duties relate more to the position or job description document i.e. tasks the employee already executes to a high standard but which don’t help transform the organisation as a whole.

The ‘Value Spectrum’ can be visualised in the diagram below:

Driving the ‘Value Spectrum’ of Performance Management

In the majority of cases, we find that managers set Objectives or Goals that relate to the Core Role and Responsibilities. i.e. related to the job description. This adds very little incremental value to the organisation but rather sustains the status quo. Setting objectives on the Core Role and Responsibilities is necessary in cases where employees are not achieving the Core Role and Responsibilities. However, it is not necessary where employees are already achieving their Core Role and Responsibilities and are looking for further challenges.

The question for any organisation striving to improve performance is: Why do managers set objectives that merely maintain performance, rather than increasing it?
We usually find the answers to be:

Managers don’t know how to set goals for improving performance as they have never been trained or shown how to set proper objectives. This is a skills issue for managers.

Managers fundamentally don’t know or understand that Performance Management is the only viable way to drive incremental value for the organisation in the real world. They lack understanding of why and how Performance Management contributes to the ‘Value Spectrum’.

The organisation’s existing Performance Management process does not require anyone to think about the level or measures of success for each objective or goal. Therefore, the employee and manager do not have to think about how to define clear levels or measures and consequently never acquire the skills to set objectives that address the ‘Value Spectrum’ process.

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