Negotiation Based Performance Management and Appraisals


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How to get performance reviews to work? Particularly when it's almost impossible to OBJECTIVELY evaluate employee performance? In this presentation to an HR conference in New York, Robert Bacal explains the need to move away from manager's dictating the process, to a more balanced position where employee and manager actually negotiate throughout the performance management process.
In search of employee engagement, the process of working WITH employees if far more powerful than doing things TO them.

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  • Focus: To briefly discuss the generally disappointing state of performance management & appraisal Present some alterative ways of thinking about this process. Touch on what a different perspective might mean for HR role I’m going to talk about a process called negotiation-based performance management. Before I get to that I have to explain where I come from, and where I’ve been, and my observations. Points: Over the years talked with hundreds of HR people in various sectors, hundreds of managers and executives and literally thousands of employees. Often my job has not been to address performance management, and people have been prone to tell me what’s happening in their workplaces, often telling me things much more frankly than to people in their own organization. What I’m going to relate to you is not “scientific, and it doesn’t play science. I think it will appeal to you as practitioners struggling with performance management and appraisal issues. I think it will “make sense” once you think about it. And, for those with a more theoretical and psychological bent, I think you will be able to find this, also, sensible. That said, there’s lot’s to this. No doubt you will have many questions, so feel free to ask them as we go. And we’ll try to leave some time at the end for questions. I hope, by the time we are finished, that you have a sense of the possibilities of improving your performance management/appraisal system. You probably won’t walk out with a full understanding of what I mean by negotiation-based Performance Management, but we’ll give it a shot in the short time we have. Before we move on, quickly, let’s define some terms and make a distinction between performance management and performance appraisal.
  • Ok, so let’s look as some of the observations and conclusions I’ve reached over the last decade plus on this issue.
  • Negotiation Based Performance Management and Appraisals

    1. 1. 1New York State HumanResources Conference,Created By Robert Bacal, M.A.Bacal & Associates722 St. Isidore Rd., Casselman, ON,Canada R3R 0S2
    2. 2. 2Negotiation-BasedPerformance ManagementA response to the general failure ofperformance management andappraisal schemes when appliedto real people in real jobs.
    3. 3. 3What’s Happening Out“There” Almost nobody assesses whethertheir system is worth the cost. Broken Glass Syndrome HR ends up as the P.A. police. Increased move to technology thatmakes it easy to appear to bedoing something useful. Movement away from thefundamental part of P.M – realcommunication.
    4. 4. 4A Conclusion The people that need tounderstand and use performancemanagement (employees &managers:– Do not perceive it as adding value– Do not use it in ways that make it addvalue– Feel they are saddled with a uselessprocess– Tend to do least amount of workpossible– However, IN SOME PLACES ITWORKS LIKE CRAZY
    5. 5. 5A Definition ThatPromotes Thinking Shift Performance Management– An ongoing communication process,undertaken in partnership, betweenemployee and his or her immediatesupervisor with the goals of: Identifying barriers to performancewhatever the source. Working together to remove thosebarriers to create continuousimprovement.
    6. 6. 6Principles of Negotiation-BasedPerformance Management 1 Is “customer centered” wherecustomers are managers andemployees. Allows “customers” to choosetools that meet their needs withina very flexible set of corporaterequirements. HR role shifts from police toenabler, providing TOOLS.
    7. 7. 7Principles of Negotiation-BasedPerformance Management 2 As a system, developed bycascading from the top of theorganization (ideally). However it can work on a morelocal level without the support ofthe organization or even HR(which is why some managersmake almost anything work)
    8. 8. 8How It Differs? Manager &employee canchoose formats. HR focuses oneducation andassistance ratherthan policing. Managers heldaccountable by theirimmediate “boss” One size fits all HR as police No realaccountability
    9. 9. 9How It Differs? Manager &employee own theprocess. System developedbottom up. System implementedtop down. HR owns theprocess. System developedtop down or HRacross Usually no coherentimplementation
    10. 10. 10Bottom Line We can continue a monolithic onesize fits all approach that isperceived by the managers andemployees as largely irrelevant. We can continue as is to promotewhat we believe is “consistency”under the illusion that theinformation we get meanssomething.
    11. 11. 11OR… We can acknowledge thatmanagers and employees must beactive participants in designingand using processes that meetTHEIR needs. We can be much better atbalancing the needs of company,HR, managers and employeeswith more flexible systems.
    12. 12. 12Steps In Designing ASystem 1 Determine what exact purposesthe system must achieve for theorganization Usually HR + Execs. Define the constraints specifyingthe absolute bottom-line corporaterequirements to meet that need(consider tools, frequency, etc.) Consult with exec., managers,supervisors, employees on whattheir needs (purposes) are, plussuggestions for tools.
    13. 13. 13Steps In Designing ASystem 2 Based on previous steps, create abarebones policy stating minimumrequirements + a tool kit for users. Review with all parties and modify. Educate all parties on philosophy(very important), purposes, tools,expectations. Implementation commences withtop management using processwith their subordinates andpreparing them for the process.
    14. 14. 14More Resources Bacals Books On Amazon (print and kindle formats) The Performance Management and Appraisal Help CenterCheck out our various mini-guides to help you m