What to Do When Your Performance Management Strategy Fails Big Time

Recently there’s been a decline in the quality of work around the office. As you look around, you notice more employees off task, more projects unfinished, and finally you realize… the performance management strategy isn’t working anymore. In fact, it’s failing to the extent of which you don’t know how to rectify the situation. Don’t worry – we are experts when it comes to performance management solutions, so we have the answers to solve the performance management blunder.

Develop a New Strategy

Okay, so it does take some time to create and implement a new performance management strategy, don’t let that deter you from fixing the problem. Only 3% of organizations report that their current performance management provides exceptional value. [1] That means, chances are at least part of the current strategy isn’t working resulting in failure of the overall system.

Closely examine the strategy to find the broken link – poor communication, bad performance appraisal practices, misinterpretation of goals and values, etc. These are things that can be problematic and simultaneously throw off the entire strategy.

Don’t Fix What isn’t Broken

As a company leader, you’ve witnessed the ins and outs of employee performance. As time passes on employees come and go with differing trends and personalities. So while that might seem like enough cause to change the current strategy, examine it closer. There might not be any need for change. Your candidates and new hires are attracted to your company for a reason right? Perhaps it’s the work the organization produces or the amazing culture that has been developed over the years… either way you look at it, performance has something to do with it.

It’s not always the employees that need adjustment, sometimes it’s the way management interacts with the team. Performance management is more than just how well employees performed last year. It’s the culmination of how their goals (personally and professionally), performance, and development since their last performance review. Kristen Bakalar, Leadership Consultant and Leadership Training Developer at BlessingWhite said:

“Employees are typically eager to perform at a high level. This is not only to do a good job for the organization but also to build their own career, grow personally and professionally, and move themselves towards the highest level of satisfaction as possible.” [2]

Keep it Regulated

The heart of performance management is the performance appraisal. When there’s a problem with performance reviews, the strategy crumbles around it. You can’t truly expect to know how to guide employees to better performance if you don’t understand the drive behind their work. That’s why it’s crucial to keep a regular schedule of performance reviews. Only 52% of companies conduct annual performance reviews, minimum – so a majority of the corporate world doesn’t keep a regulated system of employee performance reviews a portion of their performance management strategy. [3] In a post earlier this year, we mentioned:

“Organizational leadership has to be involved in the performance management system as well, as they ultimately dictate the performance culture of the organization. Performance reviews give leaders the information they need to analyze the data and help improve their team’s performance. They promote high-performance standards through regular performance feedback and goal-setting through coaching.” [4]

Performance management should be as fluid as the employees that walk in and out of your doors. Part of it work well with your employee base, others need to change on a regular basis. While pieces of the strategy might be broken, portions of it still work. Take the time to closely examine your performance management before you change the entire process. With a regulated performance appraisal process, you can assess more than just the performance of your employees. You will see how the organization fits their personal and professional goals with opportunities to match those with the company values.

Bio: Chris Arringdale

Chris Arringdale is the Co-Founder and President of Reviewsnap, an online performance appraisal software that allows you to customize performance management, competencies, rating scales and review periods. Reviewsnap serves more than 1,200 customers worldwide including, Penske Racing, CubeSmart, PrimeSource and Nonprofit HR Solutions.


[1] – Mercer – 2013 Global Performance Management Survey Report

[2] – BlessingWhite – Three Essential Ways to Fix your Performance Manage...

[3] – WorkplaceTrends – The Global Workforce Leadership Survey

[4] – Reviewsnap – Why Performance Management Requires Leadership

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