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Excellent post, Ann. This certainly resonates with both my experience and my research.

On Leadership: part of setting expectations is usually evaluating the managers on how they handle performance management and tying rewards to those evaluations.

On the System I would add that the effective systems I've seen highlight 3 or so important measures and make those the core of evaluation.

On managerial execution, I agree with what you have. What's not so obvious is that great supervisors do "regular performance feedback" several times in a day as a regular part of what they do.

There are two reasons why managerial execution often comes up short. We promote far too many people to management who don't have the aptitude or desire to talk to others about their behavior and performance. Then, we compound that by skimping on the training in the skills needed for those conversations.


Thanks for the comments, and I agree - particularly with your point on holding managers accountable (via - yes! - the performance management program) for doing a good job managing the performance of their subordinates. Can't just train them and give them good tools (unfortunately). Have to also let them know (and ensure)that there are consequences for doing well or poorly with this critical responsibility.

These three factors create the much needed balance in any organization. With regards to program design, I think that bit can only take a company so far. What's really important is the performance of the people who form the team as well the managers who take charge of everything.

This is right on Ann. My experience has been that this gets little attention in the organizations I work with, mostly small companies. They look for an easy tool, that has no tie to company performance and then managers are not held accountable for doing it. Most are looking for a check box approach that handles attendance and attitude. God forbid we have to actually sit down and have a work conversation with an employee. But we struggle on and try to educate them with the importance of effective performance management and I have referred readers of my blog to yours. Keep up the great posts.

Thanks for the comment and thoughts. I agree that program design only takes a company so far - and yet that is what we tend to focus on, often ignoring the other two areas.

Thanks for visiting and adding your thoughts, and for the link from your site. It sounds as though we both are encountering the same scenario - organizations looking to address performance management with a simple form. And they will expend tremendous energy on that form, seemingly convinced that if they get it right, it will absolve them of the need to speak directly to employees about their performance. How we can be so willing to short-shrift such a critical thing as performance management is a bit of a mystery to me.

It is a struggle, isn't it?

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About The Author

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    Compensation consultant Ann Bares is the Managing Partner of Altura Consulting Group. Ann has more than 20 years of experience consulting with organizations in the areas of compensation and performance management.

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