Performance management is broken and employee engagement is suffering as a result
I’ve been in some sort of performance management system since I started in corporate life straight out of university. I have seen the world around me changing rapidly, and yet the performance review has atrophied.
My goals have moved, strategies have evolved and I have regularly found myself working across teams and on multiple projects. I have needed to build my skills continuously and I have wanted much more frequent, real-time feedback on how I’m progressing and what more I need to be doing. The traditional PM system that has creaked into action twice a year (at best) just hasn’t done the job.
Even when I left the corporate world to become a consultant, my husband joked that he should take over the job of setting my objectives. After all, how could I possibly do my best work without them? I won’t repeat what I said in reply!
As it turned out, despite not working towards pre-agreed objectives or metrics, I carried on developing well enough, I think – and my performance reflected that. As well as developing new technical skills, I learned how to be a consultant, how to help my customers succeed and how to manage myself in delivering on multiple projects. And I got great and regular feedback from the people I worked with, too.
How we work is changing and yet most of the current performance systems in use today date from a time of command-and-control management when business priorities were set according to a predictable annual cycle. As a result, they don’t deliver in the modern world.