Companies continue to struggle to design their Performance Management Systems so they drive and reward the right behaviors. Design elements like rating scales, when to rate, what to rate and how the ratings are calibrated are continuously revamped in hopes of yielding change. However, there is one element that often gets overlooked. The role of the leader.
Leaders exist for one reason only. To drive performance. Leadership Development is a multi-billion dollar industry that is filled with lots of hype about what makes a good leader. A good leader is one that aligns the team's skills and abilities to achieve valuable, strategic outcomes. If you are a humble, servant leader but you don't achieve outcomes and cannot get the team to execute, then you're not leading.
There are three main roles of the leader when it comes to performance:
Organizational Performance should never be confused with performance ratings. Sadly, sometimes the two end up having nothing to do with each other. Let's talk about a couple of myths before we dive into why Performance Systems Fail.
Myth #1: Performance ratings are a reflection of organizational performance - Performance ratings are reported in distributions but are really reflections of many leader's assessments of the goals for a particular employee. Performance occurs all the time outside the traditional performance management system. Sometimes the rating is not all-encompassing. There are many reasons this happens. The quality of the goal, the measurement of the goal, application of the rating, and the calibration of ratings to name a few.
Myth #2: Employee performance means organizational performance - See Myth #1. Because of all the issues with Performance Ratings, it is impossible to have a broad employee population reflect organizational...