Feedback is gold!
March 17, is St. Patrick’s Day, the day the world goes green and dreams of leprechauns and their elusive Pot o’ Gold. Gold, for centuries, has always been considered a powerful storehouse of value. For the lucky Human Resources professional, effective feedback is a valuable pot of gold to be used in trying to improve employee performance.
Current research is becoming clearer and is starting to show that annual performance ranking systems do not improve employee performance.
Here are some research highlights from Deloitte University Press:
- Today’s widespread ranking and ratings-based performance management process is damaging to employee engagement, alienating high performers, and costing managers valuable time.
- Only 8 percent of companies report that their performance management process drives high levels of value, while 58 percent said it is not an effective use of valuable time.
What might be an effective alternative if these ineffective methods were no longer used?
We know organizational systems hate a vacuum; if we remove the annual performance rating system what do we replace it with? Feedback and coaching is the answer.
If we are going to implement a new performance management system we should learn how to provide feedback well. Georgia Murch, author of the new book, Fixing Feedback, outlines three mistakes that professionals make when giving employee feedback:
- People do not use enough facts
- The message is delivered poorly
- There is little opportunity for a two way dialogue
HR Professionals need to take a lead role and challenge existing performance management systems and replace them with systems that work. Remember that any new HR initiative will only be as good as the individuals who are tasked with that initiative. In the case of providing effective feedback, HR must ensure that we are modelling effective feedback methodology first and then second, we must ensure that supervisors are capable, trained and coached on how to give meaningful feedback to employees, second.
When we share the gold, we share the power and we share the learning, all with the goal to improve and provide effective HR practices.
- What research or evidence would you need to produce to convince your VP of HR to scrap the annual performance management system?
- What type of supervisory training would you suggest for supervisors who have to now coach employees?