How to establish Modern Performance Management

We at COD have very often received questions about how to modernize performance management. It derives from an experience of outdated versions of micromanagement, where commands and control have reached their limits.

Most of the leaders we have worked with, have seen the fading effect of increasing pressure with the hope that their people will perform better. Adding more KPIs to measure performance in tightly scheduled follow-up meetings will also not likely provide for giant leaps. The one too narrow and short sighted other – old school management by objectives – is often practiced with focus on looking at the past and the status. Thereby, ownership of one’s future performance gets neglected.

Instead, modern performance management offers opportunities to individuals to co-create preconditions to develop their skills and knowledge.

One possible approach lies in empowerment where the performance of people is supported by frequent face-to-face sessions between leaders and their co-workers. This conversation is always about mutually creating understanding and ownership of the co-workers for their job performance today and in the future.

The topics of performance management are then more about the co-worker and their leader using both their perspectives to analyse, structure and sticking to the plan, growing trust in all directions, execution of plans and decisions, capability to be self-critical and courageous. The modern performance management is neither about predefining nor about laissez-faire. It is about creating agreements between the leader and all her co-workers. Finally, the infrastructure of yearly meeting clocks, meeting standards and log lists secure that modern performance management is about the future and what the co-worker will do.

We decided a couple of weeks ago to ask for volunteers to give their views on how they experience performance management at their work. In the survey we asked for anonymous answers, of course, we do not want to claim any statistical relevance for the data but would like to share the results with you all.

First, thanks a lot to all participants who contributed to our open survey concerning modern performance management. The survey consisted of 5 statements and the participants were asked to score their experience on a scale of 1-4. The value 1 representing „I do not agree“ and 4 „I fully agree“.

Here is the outcome;

  1. Statement:

My company’s performance management is focused on empowerment

Here 7% valued their situation with 4, being the top level. The average was 2,6 out of 4.

  • Statement:

We practise a systematic approach to replace internal competition with collaboration

There were 14% who answered with 4 and the average was 2,5 out of 4.

  • Statement

I get support to keep track of my performance and development

Here 30% of the people answered with 4 and the average was 2,7 out of 4.

  • Statement:

I get encouraged to decide my own focus and actions for better performance

Here 50% answered with 4 and the average was 3,3 out of 4.

  • Statement:

My manager leads the entire team towards proactively supporting each other’s performance and development

In total 20% answered 4 and the average was 2,9 out of 4.

So, what conclusion should we draw from this? Please let us have your views.

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