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What's Happening
The newsletter for switched on people
Issue 99 | Winter 2012

Performance Management from the Top Down

The effectiveness of Performance Management Systems are the focus of successful organisations.  There are many popular frameworks but research shows it is less about the design of the PMS and all about the buy in from the organisations leaders.

....Performance Management Systems are most effective and relevant when they are championed by business leaders within the organisation and supported from the top down."

A “State of Performance Study” conducted by WorldatWork surveyed more than 550 HR professional s and found that “The organisations getting the most impact from performance management are those that have strong leadership support and that execute well in differentiating performance and giving performance messages.”  It found that performance management techniques do not vary greatly between high and low performing organisations.  The most significant differential is the level of ‘active leadership support and championing of the process.’
Research by the Hays Group reports that the ‘Most Admired Companies’ are governed by business leaders who take a well-rounded approach to measuring performance including less quantifiable measures such as teamwork, long term thinking, building human capital and developing and managing talent as opposed to Average Companies whose measurements are more ‘old school’ they are quantifiable like profit, growth and operational excellence.

It seems the data supports the case that Performance Management Systems are most effective and relevant when they are championed by business leaders within the organisation and supported from the ‘top down’.

The Do’s and Do’s of Performance Management and Performance Appraisals

Performance management is not just a yearly appraisal, it starts when a job is designed and ends when an employee leaves a company. In its broadest sense it is used to achieve and improve organisational function, team and individual employee performance.  It has a focus on strategic planning and development and may incorporate job design, recruitment, training and career development and training and benefits and compensation.
In contrast performance appraisal involves measuring individual performance against set criteria, providing feedback and creating development plans to lift performance.  The appraisal is one key part of an organisations overall performance management system.  Below is a quick guide of the do’s to each.

Performance Management Do’s

  • Develop clear job descriptions.
  • Identify the organisational goals
  • Select appropriate employees who can fulfil as many of the requirements as possible.
  • Explain what it is employees are supposed to do, establish performance standards, outcomes and measures.
  • Provide effective and relevant orientation and training.
  • Provide ongoing coaching and feedback.
  • Conduct quarterly performance development sessions.
  • Design and deliver meaningful compensation and recognition systems that reward employees for their contributions.
  • Provide career development and promotional opportunities for employees.
  • Complete exit interviews to understand why valued employees are leaving.


Performance Appraisal Do’s

  • Define the purpose of the appraisal program
  • Ensure the program you implement is linked to the organisational objectives and in line with is culture and is perceived to be fair.
  • Involve managers and employees in the development of the appraisal system to gain valuable buy-in and acceptance
  • Set well formed outcomes (KPIs) with are clear and agreed
  • Use training sessions to communicate the objectives, performance standards and method of evaluation.
  • Provide a formal avenue to employees if they wish to challenge performance appraisal evaluations
  • Provide checks and balances to calibrate and provide consistency and objectiveness across the program
  • Monitor the program by inviting discussion from managers and employees on the program once it has been completed  

Meet some of our team
Below are some of our corporate training team who specialise is the areas of Leadership, Management, Sales development and more.
Click on their name to link through to our website and find out more.

C:\Happening People\photos\2012 Sam Day\12_1.jpg Happeing People - Tina Monk http://www.happeningpeople.com/images/Virginia%20Morris_profile_pic_1.JPG

Sam Day
Leadership, Management and Sales Specialist

Tina Monk
Specialising in Executive Coaching

Virginia Morris
Philanthropic Leadership Specialist (HK)

happrning People Morgan Stephens C:\Users\Samuel Day\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook\A7V9AXRD\Henry Botha Photo 2011.jpg Happening People Dave Contarini

Layne Beachley
Keynote Leadership Specialist

Henry Botha
Finance for Non Finance Manager Specialist

David Contarini
Leader well-being specialist



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