The performance management process in our organization has conﬂicting purposes. We use it to determine merit increases and performance feedback for work done during the previous twelve months, to determine training needs, and as a key tool in succession planning. Can one procedure really serve all those functions well?
One of the fundamental problems with performance management is that we load one system with too many expectations.
It is very difﬁcult for one management system to serve so many objectives well, particularly when there is pressure from managers to reduce the number of meetings required and to streamline the form to a one-page document.
Here’s a workable solution. First, communicate the importance of performance appraisal to everyone in the organization. In particular, let everyone know that the process is used as a fundamental determinant of many decisions that affect people in a very personal way. Second, review your appraisal instrument to make sure that it can provide the data the organization and appraisers need to serve all of the different purposes (realize that this may make the appraisal form more complex and comprehensive). Finally, consider using different processes and holding separate meetings to deal with each of the areas that a performance management system addresses.