Improve performance management

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					improve performance management

Recent Research on Employee Engagement and Motivation indicates that on average
only 50% of employees receive regular, timely feedback to help them improve their
performance - and less than half believe that their manager deals promptly with poor
performance within their team. Further analysis reveals that various factors undermine
productivity improvements, but key 'problem areas' include:

* Insufficient focus on the importance of building trust based relationships - and the type
of conversations required to build genuine commitment
* An over reliance on 'systems and processes' to manage performance
* Failure to equip managers with the practical leadership skills required to create a work
climate where performance can flourish
* Poor understanding of individual motivation - or how best to build commitment,
encourage accountability and get real 'leverage' of performance

The study suggests that organizations need reliable diagnostic tools to identify the
specific issues they need to address. Sound analysis, based on a clear model, is a vital
start point in identifying the steps required to improve productivity. This information
provides insight into how performance management can be strengthened - and the actions
that will have the greatest impact on motivation and commitment. The research suggests
that the factors that help create and sustain high performance are linked to the 'dialogue
and trust' established between managers and their direct reports. Four key areas are
identified, which can be summarised as follows: (1) Creating Direction & Meaning (2)
Building Capability & Support for Learning (3) Encouraging Autonomy, & (4)
Stimulating Engagement / Trust.

To monitor and strengthen positive relationships, the findings suggest that organizations
need to obtain employee feedback at two levels. At a broad level, there is value in
running a web-based survey. This provides analysis of key factors that create the
"enabling environment" required for productivity improvement. A well-designed survey
will show how well the existing appraisal / performance management process is truly
adding value. Results can be analysed by different demographic groups to identify areas
of 'good practice' and clarify the best follow-up intervention.

At a more specific level, it is evident that managers can benefit from open and honest
feedback from team members. An online 180° feedback tool, completed by managers and
their direct reports, is particularly effective in assessing communication issues. This study
suggests that 180° feedback will provide managers with insights relating to the work
relationship they have with their direct reports - and factors that may require attention.
Perhaps most significant are the 'purposeful conversations' that build trust and strengthen
However, organizations need to gauge their readiness to adopt more open feedback
processes. Careful preparation, including additional training for managers, is often
required in order to gain commitment. That said, effective 180/360 degree feedback
systems do allow team members to either remain anonymous or choose to be identified
(to facilitate more meaningful discussions). Wider, in-depth group reports, i.e. reports
based on groups of managers, are also an option. These can help the organization identify
more generic development requirements, which might feature in subsequent leadership

Understanding and applying leadership research is no longer an academic exercise. It is
central to Productivity Improvement and raises numerous questions about conventional
performance management processes. This study suggest that feedback, based on key
factors affecting employee motivation, provides an important reference point in helping
managers develop the skills that turn them into effective leaders. : Over 200 ebooks, templates, forms for
performance appraisal.

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