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Still Achieving Effective Performance Management?

Feb 28, 2019 12:43:19 PM / by Pam Murray

Effective Performance Management Image

Shifting skillsets and new diverse workplaces create an environment whereby employers need to make some changes in order to remain competitive in attracting and retaining key talent.

One such HR Program that continues to evolve and require attention is that of performance management.  According to our 2017-2018 Global Future for Work study, breakthrough approaches were identified to meet the evolving workplace – they included, leadership development, organizational structure and effective performance management all of which remain critical to engaging talent.

Managers Performance Feedback Toolkit

Performance Management Statistics

As leaders and managers seek to transition their organizations into this future of work landscape, their role in communicating and leading change, implementing effective performance management systems, and driving productivity and outcomes, remains paramount to the success of the organization.  And, they are the first to admit, they have a long way to go.

Employers Performance Management Statistics

Survey respondents reported that strategies and systems for effective performance management including, goal-setting, employee experience and creating a sense of accountability, leave a lot to be desired. Further, many managers are ineffective in key areas that traditionally help to foster employee engagement and enhance performance.


This data points to a continuing need for HR to revisit the performance management process, ensuring both employees and managers have what they need to make the process effective and create a positive experience for all as organizations continue to transform. 

Effective Performance Management - Key Areas to Consider: 

  • Are you getting ratings right?
  • Is there consistency and fairness in the evaluations? 
  • As work continues to transform along with job and team roles and responsibilities, it may be time to revisit your process.
  • Have you given your managers and employees the tools and training they need to make this a positive experience?
  • What is the experience that you are trying to drive consistent with your organization’s culture?
  • Are you getting goal-setting right? 
  • Does that process clarify role accountability?
  • All too often the process breaks down right here at the beginning with a lack of clarity about expectations.

So, what’s missing for employees?


The data suggests that for many the performance discussion itself is not helpful and that there is a disconnect between employee expectations and the performance-based compensation decisions.

There are a few approaches for improvement that will benefit the organization, managers and employees.

First, focus on getting ratings right and having a good process in place to ensure consistency and fairness.  Make sure employees understand a good process is in place to boost morale and ensure a fair experience and outcome.

Effective performance management relies on a continuous discussion-based process that involves providing regular feedback.  It’s not necessarily about the quantity of time spent but rather the quality of these conversations.

To that point, another way to begin to address issues is to separate the performance discussion from the compensation conversation – that way both the manager and employee can truly engage and have a good exchange about performance without the potential de-railer of what the pay increase will be. The performance-only discussion can then become an important part of the overall talent development process and help to guide the employee in the current job as well as identify future development needs. 

Lastly, create an environment that fosters a positive employee experience – considering efficiencies and effectiveness. Organizations that ensure a positive experience within an effective performance management system are more likely to have employees highly engaged and produce better outcomes.


BlogImage2-400pxHow an organization conducts its performance management process can be a key differentiator in both the manager and employee experience.  The ability to attract and retain talent is closely linked with the overall work experience and the organization’s employee value proposition (EVP).  Therefore, to have a successful performance management program and gain a competitive edge, make sure to revisit the effectiveness of your performance management process and its role in the EVP. 


BlogImage1-400pxWe’ve suggested some ways you can make some impactful adjustments to your current performance management process without stepping back and thinking about a complete overhaul.  However, as the workplaces of the future transition, it’s no doubt organizations will need to regularly transform their performance management systems to ensure that they continue to drive impact.  If you’re taking a step back, consider the four important questions in the call out box above to set a solid foundation to begin to rebuild your process.  And make sure to keep the desired manager and employee experience at the forefront of your process redesign.


Managers Performance Feedback Toolkit


*The 2017-2018 Future of Work Global Study, analyzed trends in the workplace considering response from 633 employers, all with less than 5,000 employees.

Topics: performance management

Pam Murray

Written by Pam Murray

Pam is an Associated Director, Talent & Rewards within the Value-Added Services division of Willis Towers Watson. She is versatile, trusted HR leader and advisor with extensive total rewards experience. She has a proven record in developing and delivering HR solutions that positively impact organizational strategic objectives and increase operational efficiencies and effectiveness within the healthcare, corporate and consulting sectors.