Top 10 Mistakes in Performance Management

"mistakes do get made, not through lack of effort, but rather lack of experience and understanding in..."

Top 10 Mistakes in Performance Management

We have worked with many organisations to fine tune their Performance Management systems. In doing so, we have seen many mistakes made, not through lack of effort, but rather lack of experience in this area. This White Paper outlines some of the re-occurring mistakes we have seen over many years of practice in Performance Management.

“Our Appraisal system does the job”

With an Appraisal system, reviews are typically conducted based on the definition of what the employee was originally employed to do, their position description, letter of offer or some other static document. Appraisal systems fail to address the critical issue that jobs change as business and organisational environments change. Appraisal systems do not focus staff on critical performance outcomes but only review if the employee has performed their basic job function.

Our view is that the basic job function should be dealt with through day-to-day management of the employee while Performance Management systems should deal with the critical focus areas. Managers should set specific objectives for business outcomes as well as developing the employee. Appraisal without these objectives is often a waste of time as the manager should be dealing with the core job function during day-to-day management.

Performance Management is the process that focuses employees, guides them to success and assists in achieving the organisation’s goals. Appraisal without these objectives is a mistake that provides little value to the employees, managers and the organisation.

Implementing Performance Management on Paper

In large organisations, manual Performance Management systems typically fail 18 months after deployment. Completion rates typically reduce to less than 30% after 18 months. This is because manual systems do not facilitate effective and timely reporting. Therefore, line managers learn that they can avoid the process by simply not doing it. HR are then blamed for lost forms, line managers don’t complete the process and the process becomes fragmented.

The recovery from this position is to install an online automated system that provides line managers with a simple way to implement Performance Management. An online automated system provides both HR and line managers with a way to keep on top of the process through meaningful reporting. 

Typical reporting needs line managers ask for include the following:
  • What has been done?
  • What is left to do?
  • What is the quality of my team’s objectives?
  • How well aligned are the people in my team?
  • How are they progressing on achieving their goals/objectives?
  • Where do I need to focus to drive better outcomes?

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