Why have we made Performance Management Complex?

When we started qilo, we had only one Purpose in mind- how can we make Organizations Perform Better?

During this journey meeting with hundreds of CXOs across the globe, one unifying theme that came out – THE only matrix of Performance which matters is Company Performance if that is not happening rest all is just execution with zero results.

So, if this is the main agenda then what is the reason for the disbelief amongst CXOs and employees is the way Performance Management process is executed?

Here are my top reasons why companies are struggling in this.

1) Lack of Alignment; on company’s goals with teams and individual’s execution. How many of us know the execution we are doing every day is contributing to companies goals and it’s growth?

2) Ownership of the Process; Performance management is one job which no one want’s to own and is passed to HR who is not the right owner. Performance management has to be designed, owned and executed by business. HR plays an important role which is organization capability building and design and it has to stick to that only, doing interventions on low performers and transforming them.

3) 1980,s style of Management. While things around us have changed, some of our management practices haven’t changed, not going to debate, why? Today we need Agility in organizations and our MBO driven industrial style of managed limits that. Perhaps we need to rewrite few of old schools management books, which were written by executives of GE, Ford etc.. relevant in that era not NOW! 

4) Culture– Haha! Another monkey which has no takers. We all want to build High Performing Culture, and what do we do to drive this? Make cool offices … Culture is built on the foundation of purpose and vision. Things we put as posters on the wall and are discussed during induction!! (Pun intended) There is only one person responsible for culture -CEO! Accountability starts from his office. We take about open work environment but don’t trust employees while sharing Strategy, numbers.

5) Technology – Companies have invested heavily in capacity management, sales, and financial software. What about business alignment? As an organization, we want everyone to go beyond their role, your technology is binding them in ‘roles’ and giving a clear message it’s not my job, why bother? 

6) Communication – An organization that talk’s get talked about. The sheer concept of communication misleads us; every engagement survey throws out lack of communication in an organization and what we do post that -Town Hall or employee newsletter. We need to understand what communication means. What the employee is seeking is very simple- where are we going, how can I help and how am I performing? Rest all is gibberish and that’s the reason why a stupid question like cafeteria food comes often in Town Halls. Managers have to own communication on performance while CEO is aligning on vision and direction.

7) Going beyond frameworks – Business management frameworks like OKR, BSC, Hoshin Kanri are amazing guiding principles, don’t make them Holy Grail, use them as guiding principles and build your strategy execution customized to your needs around them. Cascade them in teams, unifying them with Objectives, not Roles!!

My learning so far is that; when the leadership has the intent and wants to make people accountable for Performance, Organisation’s Culture and Execution goes to the next level.

Rest all plans for the next QBR to identify the reasons and necks for failures.

On a parting note – Just ask one question to yourself, does your organization have 4 Objectives or 400?

Cheers – Do share your views …