Performance Excellence: A Better Alternative to the Performance Review

Last week I wrote about the failings of the typical Performance Review Process. So is there a more effective, efficient, and likeable alternative? There is. It’s called the Performance Excellence Process. Here’s how it’s better:
1. Results-Oriented
Who likes to have their performance reviewed? Almost no one. The goal isn’t to review performance, it’s to deliver excellent performance. The Performance Excellence Process is results-oriented, not ratings-oriented. And Performance Excellence conveys something more desirable than Performance Review.
2. Future-Focused
Results-oriented means future-focused. The Performance Excellence Process is concerned with three things: continuous improvement, employee development, and employee support. Understanding past performance provides a context for what the manager and employee each need to do to drive success in the future. It’s a means to an end, not the end in itself.
3. Joint Responsibility
A core premise of Performance Excellence is that both the employee and the manager are responsible for the employee’s performance. The manager is responsible for creating an environment in which the employee can succeed (i.e., to meet expectations). The employee is responsible for performing – doing what it takes to succeed. It’s a collaborative process that requires the commitment of both parties.
4. The Right Environment
There are five things a manager must do to create the right environment:
Direct: Conveying the organization’s purpose, goals and expectations, and what those mean for the employee. Aligning the organization’s “why” with what’s important to the employee.
Equip: Making sure the employee has the necessary knowledge, skills, resources and authority to succeed.
Coach: Providing performance-related feedback and guidance that is meaningful and actionable. Recognizing the employee for good decisions, actions and outcomes. And holding the employee constructively accountable when expectations aren’t met.
Support: Ensuring the organization’s processes, policies, structure and infrastructure allow the employee to succeed.
Value: Treating the employee as a person first, an employee second. That means respect, trust and caring.
These are the key differences between Performance Excellence and the Performance Review. The final component, where Performance Excellence comes to life, is the Performance Excellence Meeting. When does it happen and what happens? That’s the topic of next week’s blog.
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