The Changing Roles in Performance Management

Mother knows best. Or at least, that’s what we’ve been told. Mom (or dad) taught you how to do the laundry, make dinner and be a good person. Well, performance management is similar. Performance management has evolved into a coaching apparatus more than a means to reprimand poor work performance. While reviews and improvement plans remain, performance management has helped many employees become better in their areas of strength instead of managing them out of the company. In short, we’re getting better at this! But with that change comes a different set of responsibilities for the managers, employees and even organizational leaders.


Managers become Mentors

Antiquated performance management styles had managers represented as the big bad wolves of the office with constant oversight, conflict avoidance and annual appraisals which felt like giant exams. The good news is, performance management isn’t the same as it used to be. It’s growing away from what 58% of companies agree is a waste of time. [1] Managers are encouraged to coach their employees rather than reprimand to improve and prevent performance problems.

Although the redesign of performance management is well underway, there is still plenty of room for growth. Only 17% of 616 employees surveyed said their managers have a true interest in their team’s career development. [2] It’s important for managers to outline what their role as a coach is, so their employees understand that a performance appraisal isn’t merely a meeting for criticism but an opportunity for growth.

Employees Become Involved

More and more employers have opted to hire candidates based on personality and drive over the hard skills necessary to be successful in their new job. The soft skills, in recent years, are preferred at least a starting point for many hiring managers. As a result, many new hires have to go through loads of onboarding and just as much informal training through these coaching sessions. John Hester, said:

“People are looking for regular ongoing coaching aimed at helping them to be successful in their job. This includes timely, constructive feedback, regular one-on-ones, and specific, meaningful praise.” [3]

This change necessitates a development in the employee’s role in the performance management system as well. Employees are more than a cog in the machine, they play an active part in and have control over their career. They’re working to live, not living to work.

Leaders Become Innovators

Organizational leaders drive performance management in the company. They may not have a direct hand in managing the entire company, but they set the tone for culture and performance. Rose A. Mueller-Hanson and Elaine D. Pulakos, Vice President of Performance Impact Solutions at PDRI and CEB Executive Director respectively, noted the change in mentality surrounding performance management from a leadership standpoint.

Currently, performance management is used to make decisions about personnel actions and identify poor performers and hold them accountable for their work. Perhaps the troubling aspect of this is that many organizations use their performance management system as a way to collect and provide documentation to defend against legal challenges.

Now, however, there’s a distinct difference in how organizational leaders want to see their performance management systems function. They want to improve communication between employees and managers so employees can develop and grow. By aligning individual work and organizational goals, teams and individuals can perform at their highest levels.

Reviewsnap isn’t new to performance management. In fact, we’ve been in the business of helping you develop a performance management system for your company for 20 years. Give us a call or take a demo to see how we can help your team succeed.

[1] Deloitte University Press – Performance Management is Broken
[2] CLO – The 5 E’s of Manager-to-Employee Coaching[3] LeaderChat – When It Comes to Performance Management, Employees Want More, Not Less!
[4] SHRM – Putting the “Performance” back in Performance Management

Download: The Truth About Performance Reviews

Explore Our Related Topics: