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The One Change That Might Save The Dying Performance Review

Source | FastCompany : By S. Chris Edmonds

Organizations and managers expend enormous amounts of time and effort tracking employees’ processes and results. Plenty are no longer seeing the payoff, with many high-profile companies scrapping the dreaded annual performance review.

But there’s one area where organizations invest very little, and it may hold a key to saving performance management from an untimely death: measuring how employees treat one another in the workplace.

Why You Should Measure Values-Based Behavior Just Like Performance

That the exclusive pursuit of results can lead to shoddy or broken-down work cultures is so well-known that it hardly needs rehashing. Many companies draw up mission statements in order to state their values, but following through on them is often another story. When values either aren’t properly outlined or simply aren’t abided by, all manner of malfeasance can creep in.

You wouldn’t just assume that everyone knows their performance standards and delivers them without any discussion, would you? Clarity and accountability around performance has become such a formalized process—replete with goals, targets, dashboards, metrics, and consequences for falling short of them—that we’re now seeing something of a backlash. Companies are moving away from this rigorous type of performance management and toward offering more routine, less formal feedback.

Still, the blind spot around values-based behaviors remains. Companies can’t just assume that employees know how they’re supposed to treat other people at work, either. Promoting and sustaining the behaviors that shore up your work culture takes the same degree of deliberate, careful, and unbiased monitoring. But first, you need to define what those values are—and on more than an abstract level.

Back To Behavioral Basics

Most organizations have their strategies and goals pretty well defined. They’ve also mapped out the broad-based values and principles they claim to live by. But few are all that good at tying those two things together by defining those values in observable, tangible, measurable terms, the same way they do for performance goals.

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