Friday, September 23, 2011

Three Ways To Avoid Performance Management

Lots of bosses hate performance management and simply try to avoid it. That's not a good idea, but if avoidance is your goal, here are three strategies for wriggling out of the job of performance management.

Strategy Number 1: Just don't do it. After all that troublesome team member might suddenly receive a divine revelation and reform. Or that person who's just not cutting it may decide to quit. This hardly ever works, but you can try it anyway.

Strategy Number 2: Outsource your performance management. HR is the favorite target for this. There are only two problems. First, it's not HR's job. Second by the time they pitch in it's already too late, gruesome things are happening and you can't provide any documentation to support your claims. This usually ends badly, often in court.

Strategy Number 3: Let a perfect compensation plan manage performance for you. The other day I had a conversation with Ann Bares, compensation consultant extraordinaire and the author of the Compensation Force blog. The conversation was sparked by Ann's post "Why Can't HR Solve the Performance Management Puzzle?" Ann says that some managers want her to design the perfect compensation program for them and then they figure that "the plan will do performance management for them."

Of course, compensation is only part of the environment. It may be part of the solution, but it's no substitute for those face-to-face conversations.

Boss's Bottom Line

Performance management is your job. Show up a lot and have conversations with your team members and you'll catch problems while they're small enough to talk about easily. For more difficult situations, learn how to talk to people about performance.

Remember: the longer you wait to talk about a performance issue, the bigger, nastier, and more toxic it becomes.

Thanks to Wally Bock's Three Star Leadership Blog


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