employees having a meeting

3 Ways to Tell if Your Performance Management Process is Broken

Grumble, Grumble Grumble. It’s annual review time again and you can almost hear the moans and groans from your office. You’re not sure what your employees are thinking, but you’re pretty sure not too many of them are excited and looking forward to the evaluation and feedback process. Performance management plays a critical role in helping you keep objectives straight, set new goals and reward employees who perform well. It’s the most efficient way to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t and you’re not willing to ditch the entire system just yet. But you might be open to suggestion when it comes to getting your team more motivated about the review. Here are a few ways to tell if your performance management process is broken and in need of an overhaul.

Employee Engagement

When its performance review time, whether it’s conducted semi-annually, annually or whatever, people tend to get a little nervous. But if your team is distrustful or resentful of the process, it may be a sign that something needs to change. Lack of employee engagement in performance management is the most obvious sign that something may be wrong. Ideally, you want your employees to be encouraged by the process, as it is an opportunity for them to showcase their achievements and shed light on the work they’ve accomplished over the time period. But if you hear folks starting to grumble and complain that it’s a waste of time, your process may have a few glitches.

Forward Movement

A well designed performance management process promotes forward movement. Whether it’s a promise to pursue career development or opportunities to learn more about a particular field, assigning greater responsibilities or training for a specific task, a performance management model should actively promote movement. If your process isn’t fostering this development, it may be in need of redesign. Ask employees for feedback on whether or not they think the process has worked as expected in terms of providing these opportunities and identify exactly where the process may be lacking.

Feedback Mechanism

Any process of organizational development, whether its performance, training, or otherwise, needs to have some kind of evaluation; a mechanism in place at the end where employees and managers can provide feedback. A well designed feedback mechanism is an important part of understanding what worked, what maybe could use a few tweaks, and how to more effectively reach intended outcomes.

The performance management process is a critical part of ensuring organizational goals stay on track. By evaluating employee performance, but also acknowledging a job well done, the process can promote job fulfillment, enhance output and promote career development. When employees are not engaged or encouraged by the process, forward movement has stalled and feedback mechanisms are non-existent, it may be a sign that your performance management process is broken and in need of a few changes.

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