With Santa Watching, How Will Employees Behave?

It is that time of year, when kids begin to put together their Christmas list and parents start to remind them that Santa is watching.  So this makes me wonder, since performance management starts at such an early age, why aren’t more organizations better at it.  We tie behavior to rewards for our kids, why are we not as effective at creating a clear line of sight for employees?

Creating a performance appraisal system is one of the most important but challenging jobs an organization can undertake. No other organizational system affects as many people as the performance appraisal process does, or affects them in such important ways. The performance appraisal system, combined with the way in which it is administered, affects how much money people will be paid, their relationship with their supervisor, and their opportunities for promotion and growth.  When done right, the performance management process is the driver behind organizational success for many companies, since it aligns each employee with the strategies, goals, and objectives of the organization.

In fact, in the 2010 Study on the State of Performance Management conducted by WorldatWork and Sibson Consulting, 47% of respondents indicated that a performance-management system has helped the organization achieve its strategic goals.

Check This List Twice for Performance Appraisal Best Practices

Whether your system needs fine tuning or revamping all together, I recommend the following best practices when it comes to developing and deploying an effective performance management process:

  1. Secure commitment and active participation from executives
  2. Define and align goals and job performance expectations (i.e. use cascading goals and multi-stage competencies that align the workforce to the organization )
  3. Make it a continuous process rather than a once-a-year event
  4. Hold managers and employees accountable for their roles in the process and in results
  5. Link performance management with rewards
  6. Calibrate performance ratings across the organization
  7. Provide effective training and guidance for managers and employees
  8. Keep the process and tools simple and not overly time-consuming
  9. Track and measure success: establish a dashboard of key performance-related metrics and report findings back to senior management on a periodic basis.
  10. Monitor and audit for discrimination

Just as your child will clean his room in hopes of a new bicycle under the tree, when effectively executed, performance management should be a key driver for improving the performance of employees.

Find out more about improving your performance management process in our webinar January 16.


Employee Benefits blogger Jennifer Barton

Jennifer Barton

Guest blogger Jennifer is Director of Operations for Willis’  Human Capital Practice, overseeing all aspects of North American Human Capital Practice field operations. In her 10 years with Willis, she has worked with clients across a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing, health care, financial services, retail, construction and professional services.

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