Employees are Uninspired by Traditional Performance Management Approaches

If companies haven’t revisited how they manage employee performance, it’s high-time they do.

better performance standards

According to Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace” report, released this month, only 21 percent of employees think the way their performance is managed motivates them to do good work. Further, only 18 percent of employees agree that their colleagues who do perform well are growing their organization faster.

Though more companies are re-envisioning or doing away with demotivating performance management systems, the traditional, annual performance review still reigns — hurting employee engagement and ultimately business growth.

The report said the infrequent feedback and coaching inherent in traditional performance management systems are exactly what’s undermining its value for employees. As it is, some managers use the annual review as an official opportunity to talk performance with their employees, others use it as the only time they discuss performance, Gallup reported.

Such numbers, on top of these also reported by Gallup — that 33 percent of employees are engaged, or that more than half of employees are actively looking for new jobs or watching for openings — point to a serious problem that has long-term implications for companies but is not insurmountable.

As leaders assess the effectiveness of their current performance management system, they can’t wait until it is overhauled to drive change among managers. The report recommended learning leaders help managers shift from a performance management mindset to one that enables performance development; managers think of themselves as coaches, not bosses, and they establish expectations, continually coach and create accountability.

“Managers carry the utmost responsibility for channeling and inspiring employee performance,” the report said. “Organizations and leader[s] have an immediate opportunity to enhance managers’ ability to fulfill these roles now.”

Bravetta Hassell is a Chief Learning Officer associate editor. Comment below, or email editor@CLOmedia.com.