Painless Performance Management

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Best practices in employee performance management …

Best practices in employee performance management

Presented to the Verde Valley Human Resources Association

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  • These are a few of the books that have been written in the past few years calling for the end of the performance evaluation. I’ve read them and they all say the same thing…which I agree with.Rather than doing the evaluation TO the employee once a year, which often ends in surprise, disappointment, anger, or just indifference, we should be having regular conversations with employees, setting clear expectations, coaching them to be wildly successful, and recognizing that success when it occurs. However, I also believe, as do most HR professionals and employment law experts, that a formal process is critical to documenting the employee’s contribution. If done well, the employee appreciates it as recognition and as a record of their good work. The manager benefits because she knows she is providing the formal support the employee needs to grow, and the organization benefits because it has a method for proving its decisions and for tracking progress over time.So, long live the performance evaluation!! Let’s finish this up for today.


  • 1. Painless Performance Management Using Performance Evaluations to Create a Culture of Development and Feedback Prepared for Verde Valley HR Association By Marnie Green, IPMA-CP, Principal Consultant
  • 2. HR War Stories• Have you ever had an employee who was valuable to the organization but whose behaviors were disruptive to others?• Have you (or a supervisor you work with) ever inherited an employee with a history of poor performance?• Have you ever told a supervisor they could not terminate an employee?• Have you ever procrastinated the termination of an employee because you were afraid you might get sued?
  • 3. Session ObjectivesAt the end of this session, you will be able to:• Explore the essential elements of successful performance management systems• Follow a case study of organizational change driven by performance management• Identify tools you can use to help supervisors better manage employee performance• Recognize best practices in the field of performance management
  • 4. Performance EvaluationsWhy do we bother?
  • 5. The Ostrich Effect• Lower standards• Lowered morale• Reduced supervisor credibility• Decreased organizational performance• Inconsistent application of policies
  • 6. Start with Clear Expectations
  • 7. Performance Management Cycle Organizational Goals and Strategic Plans Individual Performance Planning Performance Feedback Evaluation and Discussion Adjustment Performance Evaluation Documentation Preparation
  • 8. What’s a Painless Performance Evaluation?  There are no surprises!  Employee-driven  Future-focused
  • 9. City of Richland, WashingtonA full service city located at the confluence of the Columbiaand Yakima Rivers in the Tri-Cities region of southeastern Washington, USA.
  • 10. The City of Richland provides:• Police and fire protection• Water• Sewer / stormwater• Garbage collection, recycling, and landfill• Electrical utilities• Parks and recreation programs• Street and public facility maintenance and development• Library services• Short and long-range planning
  • 11. Big Changes in 2000•Introduction of a pay for performance system•Elimination of a step based pay system•Complaints and resistance from staff
  • 12. The Richland Story Then• Ineffective delivery of evaluations• “Don’t rock the boat” culture• Tenured executive team• Inconsistent performance ratings
  • 13. The Richland Story Then• Unwillingness to have tough performance conversations• Rating factors the same for all, regardless of job or level• 40 person management team
  • 14. The Richland Story Now• Every employee has a performance plan with goals• Goals are tied to a strategic plan• Regular feedback meetings and a mid-year assessment conducted
  • 15. The Richland Story Now• New team structure drives change• Executive commitment is high• Employees participate in the management of their own performance
  • 16. Performance ManagementTransformed the Culture of Richland Organizational Goals and Strategic Plans Individual Performance Planning Performance Feedback Evaluation and Discussion Adjustment Performance Evaluation Documentation Preparation
  • 17. In 2008 the Richland City Council adopted a strategic plan, “Seven Keys to Unlock our Future”
  • 18. Tools Used to Transform Richland’s Culture Organizational Goals and Strategic Plans• Developed a strategic plan with stakeholder input• Established clear performance expectations for executives based on Jim Collins’ Good to Great• Changed weekly meeting structure to focus on shared responsibilities• Introduced “undiscussables”
  • 19. Tools Used to Transform Richland’s Culture Individual Performance Planning• Executive team led competency model development for all leaders
  • 20. Competency Model Development• Input gathered from supervisors, managers, and executives• Built upon existing shared values E M• Asked, “What does exceptional S leadership look like in Richland?” Foundational Competencies Shared Values
  • 21. Richland’s Competency-based Performance Management Model EXECUTIVE COMPETENCIES - Manage to the Future MANAGERIAL - Have a Global COMPETENCIES Perspective - Display Political and SUPERVISORY - Develop Effective Intra- and Inter- Business Acumen COMPETENCIES Departmental Relationships - Manage Resources Effectively MANAGERIAL - Foster Teamwork - Think and Plan Strategically COMPETENCIES- Prioritize Work and Commitments - Drive for Team Results SUPERVISORY SUPERVISORY - Manage Employee Performance COMPETENCIES COMPETENCIES FOUNDATIONAL COMPETENCIES Use Technical/Functional Expertise Communicate Effectively Be Accountable for Performance Work Safely Provide Excellent Customer Service TEAMWORK, INTEGRITY, AND EXCELLENCE
  • 22. Tools Used to Transform Richland’s Culture Individual Performance Planning• Executive team led competency model development for all leaders• Management team developed performance evaluation linked to strategic plan and competency model• Annual collaborative expectation-setting meeting in January is used to set performance goals
  • 23. Tools Used to Transform Richland’s Culture Feedback, Adjustment & Documentation• Employee Self Assessment completed twice per year• Mid-year evaluation provided with comments required, without ratings• Goals adjusted based on shifts in the environment
  • 24. Tools Used to Transform Richland’s Culture Feedback, Adjustment & Documentation• Increased use of Performance Improvement Plans• Individual and group coaching with struggling supervisors• Soon, implementation of an online tool for managing performance
  • 25. Tools Used to Transform Richland’s Culture Performance Evaluation Preparation & Discussion• Provided a comprehensive guidebook to the evaluation system• Training at start of year on goal and expectation setting and using the competency model to give feedback• Training at mid-year on leading mid-year feedback conversations• Training at year-end on applying the rating scale, writing comments, and delivering the evaluation
  • 26. Trends in Performance Management» APOPs» Integrated goal setting processes» Linking performance management to competency models» Focus on “the conversation”
  • 27. What’s Your Best Practice?
  • 28. Best Practice Training Activities Want more?
  • 29. Marnie E. Green Management Education Group, Inc. Twitter: @MarnieGreen