• United States

Performance management needs improvement

Apr 29, 20042 mins
Data Center

* Watson Wyatt survey indicates corporate America's performance management system needs fixing

Performance management poses a problem for many companies, according to the results of a survey from human capital consulting firm Watson Wyatt. Only 30% of workers polled say their firm’s performance management program does what it’s supposed to – improve performance. What’s more, only 19% say their employer’s program helps poor workers improve.

Watson Wyatt’s survey of 1,190 U.S. workers reveals that performance management systems themselves need improvement. “The survey results clearly indicate that corporate America’s performance management systems need fixing,” says Scott Cohen, national director for talent management at Watson Wyatt.

“Unfortunately, too many organizations view their performance management programs as ‘organizational wallpaper.’ They exist in the background and aren’t expected to add value.” 

Here are some of the other results, shown as the percentage of respondents who “strongly agree” with the following statements:    

* Program establishes clear performance goals for current year:  35%

* Program does a good job of giving honest feedback: 36%   

* Program uses technology to streamline performance management process: 38%

* Program rewards better-reviewed employees with better raises/bonuses: 54%

* I was evaluated accurately in my recent performance appraisal:  61%  

* My company sets high performance standards: 54%  

* Employees are held accountable for their performance: 44%     

* My company deals effectively with poorly performing employees: 19%

Watson Wyatt’s Cohen advices leaders to take the following steps to improve their corporate performance management systems:

* Get rid of HR-speak and make sure the perfomance management process uses the language of business.

* Make the tough decisions. Recognize star performers and confront poor performers as soon as possible.

* Burn paper forms. User-friendly automation is better, faster and cheaper.

“A company’s success is contingent on the success of its employees,” Cohen says. “In the end, the companies that make the needed changes to their performance management process will generate significant competitive advantages and create more value for shareholders.”

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