I received my first performance appraisal in the early 80's, working in personnel for a specialty retailer in Boston. I was unpleasantly surprised at the feedback. I can't recall exactly what was said, but I remember feeling blindsided and demoralized. No one should ever have to go through such a terrible experience. Looking back, this is where my quest to improve the employee performance review process began.
Fast forward about ten years, when I was working to create my performance management processes. I was confident I'd finally gotten it right with each new version, yet managers still complained. I'd find myself back at the drawing board, making more tweaks, changing forms, competencies, and ratings.
I used to dismiss the complaints from managers about the annual review process. Then I became a manager; in fact, head of HR. and had two important realizations:
It was the first time people didn't complain about the process. In fact, employees and people managers thanked me, sharing anecdotal stories about improved performance and work relationships. And over the next several years, I made my program even better, using feedback and more experimentation to fine-tune the process.
My career took a turn after I started my family, and I could not continue in my 9-5 corporate career. I loved being a mother and raising my children, but I still had a passion for evolving performance management. There was more work to do, more to fine-tune. My journey wasn't over.
I knew HR pros everywhere struggled with getting performance management right, and I wanted to share my experience. I started speaking at HR events on how to modernize performance management. To my surprise, people followed up, and I had my first four clients. In 2004, I launched my consulting practice, Employee Performance Solutions, and haven't looked back since.
Today, continuous performance management is no longer a new concept. And given the recent changes in our work and home lives, there's no better time than the present to implement a system that helps managers and employees work together to improve performance and set near-term priorities.
If you're revising an existing performance management system or lucky enough to build something from scratch and want some help with your thinking please get in touch. I'm always happy to talk with another HR pro. Feel free to pick my brain about how to measure performance without ratings, change management tactics, making pay decisions without ratings, documentation without performance reviews, continuous conversations, manager and employee preparation, etc. Any issue you have is one I've probably dealt with, and whether I can help with a solution or not, talking with someone who is working to evolve performance management always makes my day! Click here to schedule a call.
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