“Easing the Pain” — Annual Performance Management Conversations

What would you rather do? — visit the dentist or have complete annual; performance reviews. With all apologies to the very noble dental community, a manager we were working with recently eluded to the fact the chair would be a better option for her.
Why are discussions difficult for people? Two reasons usually surface to the top. 1) The Forms. A form-driven process with deadlines for completion and sign-offs gets in the way of the true reason for performance reviews. Change the lens you look through — a form should not get in the way of having a robust discussion about performance and development. It is not about the form! Anyone who uses the form as a driver for a discussion about performance is out-of-touch with their employee. Ongoing discussion around objectives and development should not be a surprise during the annual review. It should be summations of the conversations that have taken place between the manger and the emplyee during the course of the year. 2) A conversation focused solely on performance and not development. We encourage our clients to purposely change the name from Performance Management or Appraisal to Performance Development. We are looking for people in organizations who come to work trying to lose money for the company they work for — and we have yet to find them. We believe everyone has strengths and opportunities for development. It is only by focusing on both that people can contribute and do their best.

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