A Client’s Employee “Performance Problems,” NOT! What About You?

I recently completed a six-month “Champion Organization” development program with a growing non-profit agency that serves an international community.

Among the things we instituted was a comprehensive team and individual performance management and feedback system. I had received tremendous positive feedback from the agency’s executive director and from those with whom I had worked on the senior leadership team.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the agency’s office early one night last week to prepare for a presentation to its Board of Directors, and saw this book sitting on the executive director’s desk:

I was almost afraid to ask my client, but I had to know so I said, “hey, what’s this about?”

He laughed and said, “oh, it’s something I found on my bookshelf from year’s ago and was thinking this afternoon about how far we’ve come.”

I said, “Phew, I was worried that we were having a relapse.”

We spent a lot of time instituting a performance feedback process that he and his direct reports would be applying to engage employees and each other.

The system I’ve installed in at least a half-dozen organizations in recent years encourages and recommends consistent performance discussions that should alleviate 98% of “performance problems,” and few if any should ever get to the point of needing a book like this.

As a matter of fact, if an organization (business or non-profit) has its performance management system focused on “performance problems” and “progressive discipline” guess what type of employee relationships they’ll be fostering?

Yes, that organization will probably see way more than its fair share of employee discipline problems.

It’s much better to create and implement a consistent process performance feedback model that includes an open two-way dialogue. Few organizations know how to do it properly and default to the one-time a year performance evaluation process at salary adjustment or hiring anniversary time. This often causes resentments, fear, uncertainty and doubt throughout the organization.

It rarely improves employee performance which is supposed to be the purpose of the evaluation isn’t it?

What do you think?

What’s your performance management, review, evaluation system like?

Is it improving the actual performance of your team members?

Note: sometimes its not necessarily the forms and process that gets in the way but the individuals delivering the performance management process, like managers, supervisors, organizational leaders who have built through their communication style, personality, ego, etc. that create a low trust environment negatively impacting the process.

To learn more about “The 7 Deadliest Sins of Organizational Leadership Communication” that may be getting in the way, download my latest Free White Paper report here!