So how do you upgrade a 1950’s performance tool to work in today’s hard-charging work environments? Consider implementing the following more appropriate management strategies to increase management effectiveness:
- Turn the process upside down. Make every employee responsible for managing their own effectiveness. Stop training managers on how to develop performance objectives. Start training employees on how to document and measure their own work. Empower employees to self-manage their performance and to report results up the corporate food chain.
- Throw out the “annual” concept. Management effectiveness evaluation happens daily, weekly, monthly. It is an ongoing dialogue between staff and the person responsible for work completion. Teach everyone how to monitor, measure, and document progress to plan. Then once a year, request a summary of their dialogues for the record.
- Teach everyone, not just managers, the skills needed to conduct difficult and challenging conversations. In the ideal workplace, everyone should feel comfortable in conveying both positive and constructive feedback upward, downward, and laterally.
- Stop talking about, documenting and rewarding activity, start focusing on results. Most management effectiveness objectives I read document what a person is doing such as “serve on the XYZ Committee.” Performance activity should be to achieve a specific result. Managing effectiveness is all about managing the results of what we do. Results yield business success, not focusing on endless meetings, phone calls and emails.