Ditching appraisals – Step 5 – A new performance management system

You’re now at the fifth step in your program to move away from annual appraisals and start to build a system that replaces out-dated performance management systems.

You’ve been through the first four steps outlined in my original post, and have examined what you and your organisation know about your existing system and its history in step 4.  Now it is time to start to craft a new performance managemen system.  But, before you start, you really need to make sure that everyone in the team understands what you are trying to achieve.

Performance management

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It is critical at this point to make sure that everyone has the same understanding of what it is you are trying to achieve.  You need to take time to review what you have learned in the previous steps, making sure that you understand what ‘must be’ part of the new system.  Write a definitive statement that your team agrees defines what it is you are trying to achieve with performance management in the new system.  This would be a good thing to run past your sponsor, to make sure that they’re still engaged.

Finally, how will you know that this new approach will actually be an improvement on what went before?  This may sound like a strange question, but you have to remember that one of your predecessors in your company designed the existing system, thinking that it would be better than what you had before!  Think long and hard about unintended consequences of your new system.  Many systems have been put in place with good intentions, and the people that have used those systems have done their best to look good simply by playing the game!

This statement that describes your new performance management system’s aims and intentions needs to clear for all to see.  Refer back to it whenever you meet; whenever you add things to your new system, make sure that they fit with your statement.

Good luck!