Executives often think of performance management as simply something they have to do – an HR requirement. A performance management process can do as much damage in an organization as it can good if implemented without a clear enterprise vision. Unintended outcomes from poorly implemented performance management process include:
- Cross-organizational competing goals
- Decreased employee engagement
- Decreased productivity
- Lack of focus and clarity
- Toxic work cultures
- Poor business decisions
In Brandon Hall Group’s research, high-performing organizations consider performance management as the means by which they can ensure the execution of the business strategy and objectives. These organizations consider the performance management
process to be the responsibility of senior management and all line managers. Employees are also seen as responsible for their own performance, and for achieving goals.
Typically, organizations begin performance planning at the start of a new year, or after the organization as a whole has completed its annual business planning process. The output of the business plan is a set of organization-wide goals and competencies. These organization-wide goals are assigned to key executives and communicated throughout the organization to help all
employees focus their planning activities on the priorities of the organization. Problems can arise at this point as an organization can attain a goal in many different fashions, some better than others.
A performance program strategy helps define the way in which an organization will meet its goals, which could be through enterprise-wide focus, developing capabilities, or driving forward in the face of adversity. An excellent example is Genentech, a Silver Award winner in the Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards, which created a performance support tool for both employees and managers. Three examples of strategy statements for performance management programs include:
- Helping the organization stay on track with a consistent direction and focus
- Driving enterprise goal completion using every resource possible
- Enterprise talent growth and development
These strategies will help leadership and HR select the appropriate performance management tools and practices. It will also help define for managers and employees the focus of the performance management process and value of their invested time.