Actually,
there is no future of Performance ‘Management’ per say. Managing performance is
going to be an old-school thought. New age leaders will need to do things that ‘engage,
influence and inspire’ people to Perform. Future leaders can no more afford to
just set targets and assess the performance at regular intervals based on the
results. It will need a continuous engagement of the Leader and the team to set
goals, understand their contribution in the path of achieving goal, clarifying
individual and team contributions, understanding the resource requirement to
successfully contribute and last but the most important is holding people
accountable (both appreciation or improvement) for their ‘contributions’ not
‘results only’.

Continuous not
Discrete It
is going to be more fluid and continuous than having two or three discrete events
in a year. New age employees demand clarity, resources and knowledge, and
continuous feedback. These are like their basic rights before they are expected
to perform in their jobs. Performance conversation is going to take a
significant and continuous role in this whole process. Leaders will have to
learn how they set appropriate contributions at beginning of the year and
provide adequate knowledge and resources to the team to contribute and deliver.
Also, leaders will have to be very transparent and upfront in holding people
accountable for their contributions. Holding people accountable does not
necessarily means taking disciplinary actions or scolding publicly, it means to
recognize when people do what they are expected to do, it also means to reward
outstanding contributions and punish intentional lethargy, or for that case,
warn the consequences well before it becomes a total loss. Continuous
conversations and feedback will create an environment of transparency and trust
which is at the core of any successful team .

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Shift your Focus The shift has to happen from ‘result’
based approach to ‘effort’ based approach. ‘Results’ have to be achieved but
that can not be the whole thing in a Performance process. The conversation
needs to be shifted to ‘what is supposed to be done (Contribution) by the
individual to achieve those results’. Talking only about results and
continuously keeping an eye on the scoreboard will not improve the performance.
The performance will get improved by talking on what is needed to be done to
achieve those results and what support/ resource/ knowledge is required by the
individual to contribute effectively. If a leader ensures all this, then there
is no excuse left for ‘not performing’ other than intentional malevolence.

Contribution to
Culture Building Rewarding mechanism is the machine to create culture
in any group of living beings and so as human. We repeatedly do and become for
what we are rewarded/ recognized/ appreciated. Sooner or later, repetitiveness
makes that the culture of the group and that becomes a norm. So, if we really
want to make our Performance system a machine to create great culture where
performance flourishes, we need to reward appropriately and rightly. Rewarding ‘results’
is seldom the way. Results can be achieved by several means which may or may
not be in line with organizational culture, ethics, value system. Results can
even be achieved due to some external factor which was just a good luck. We
need to decide whether we want to create a culture of appreciating ‘by chance
results’ or ‘honest efforts totally in line with organizational values which
may or may not be achieving perfect results due to external noise’. This is
easy to say but difficult to practice. It is difficult to censure a poor
contributor with great results, and even more difficult to recognize an
excellent contributor with mediocre results. Here the term ‘contributor’ means,
one did what one was supposed to do no matter result got achieved or not. This way,
leaders’ job become even more challenging as they have to define appropriate
contributions (defining expectation) for their team members, and the team
members are accountable only to contribute in line with the set expectations
not worrying much about results. Although setting right contributions which
guarantee results, is a difficult and complex job and a leader will need to
practice it for few cycles along with the team before they become great at it..

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