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What Era Is Your People-Management Process From?

Published: Sep 29, 2016
What Era Is Your People-Management Process From?

“We are entering an era of evidence-based people management,” Robert Bolton, Lead partner of KPMG’s global HR transformation centre of excellence.

Things are certainly changing in the talent space – traditional performance reviews are becoming extinct or at least questioned. Traditional engagement surveys are becoming criticised. Data analytics are the new normal!

We here at Optimum embrace all these factors – it is time to change and organisations need to wake up to this fact.

Employees want real time information – they want to be listened to – they want to see organisations act on information – quickly.

Likewise leaders want real time information on what is happening across the business – often a high level view, a quick snap shot or health check as to how the business is performing against targets.

Is this too much to ask?

For many organisations unfortunately the answer is yes.

For those of you who want to change and want to try something new, there is no time like the present – for too long HR has been in the shadows – a support function for a business – the future is with the talent within your organisation.

Feedback on performance or change is provided too late (or not at all); highlights or lowlights are forgotten…

Job review

At Optimum we are promoting a continuous connection message – making performance management easy – based on fact based evidence – if an employee is not performing in line with their contractual agreement then do something and do something now rather than it manifesting into bad behaviours. Let’s not wait until the official performance review where ratings and observations gained over the course of several months or a year and the employee either agreeing or supplying a rebuttal, a balanced, two-way discussion leads to a more beneficial exercise.

This two-way dialog is gaining favour, and this is great news for both the employee and the employer leading to:

• More open and honest communication.
• Back-and-forth exchanges that result in improvements to employee and manager performance.

All relationships have give and take, although the balance of this exchange is not always equal. The Social Exchange Theory was introduced in 1958 by the sociologist George Homans and explains how we feel about a relationship with another person as depending on our perceptions of:

• The balance between what we put into the relationship and what we get out of it.
• The kind of relationship we deserve.
• The chances of having a better relationship with someone else.

If you translate this into the work place there are some clear and interesting parallels. KPI’s are mutually agreed upon between 2 people – a manager and an employee – not annually or 6 monthly but continuously… weekly, monthly, quarterly.

These outputs are measured – not annually or 6 monthly but continuously… weekly, monthly, quarterly. .
The balance is what we put into our work is what we get out.

If everyone is aligned there are no hard conversations about performance – it is a relationship that both the employee and the employer deserves.

I am on board with Robert – this evidence based people management fits firmly in to our methodology – keeping people on track to make sure things that really matter get done. It’s that simple.

To make this happen, if we as managers and leaders keep the language simple and specific – set clear goals, measure those goals continuously then managing people is easier. It is fact (evidence) based, it takes the emotions out of the conversation.

Technology is key to this also – it is a performance enabler, a process enabler but shouldn’t take the place of valuable exchanges during conversations.

Indeed, the larger the organisation, the larger the teams and the more direct reports, the more important and valuable technology becomes.

A good platform becomes a point of record. It leads to a wealth of information and insight that leads to continued employee, team, and organisational improvement.

With this insight gained through data, improved continuous performance management, and continuous conversations as a foundation, organisations will realise numerous benefits:

• Improved communication and alignment between employee and supervisor
• Goal alignment between employees and organisation and between teams and organisation
• Improved trust among employees and leadership
• Improved employee retention
• Better succession planning
• Identification of training needs and opportunities

Now if this sounds like something your organisation could do with in the ember months of  2016 and beyond then I urge you to act now and make those changes.