Negotiation based performance management


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Presentation made to the Human Resources Assocation Conference (New York State) by Robert Bacal, entitled Negotiation Based Performance Management (2001). For more on this topic

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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

    1. 1. New York State Human Resources Conference, 2001 <ul><li>Created By Robert Bacal, M.A. </li></ul><ul><li>Bacal & Associates </li></ul><ul><li>252 Cathcart St., Winnipeg, Mb. Canada, R3R 0S2 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
    2. 2. Negotiation-Based Performance Management <ul><li>A response to the general failure of performance management and appraisal schemes when applied to real people in real jobs. </li></ul>
    3. 3. What’s Happening Out “There” <ul><li>Almost nobody assesses whether their system is worth the cost. </li></ul><ul><li>Broken Glass Syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>HR ends up as the P.A. police. </li></ul><ul><li>Increased move to technology that makes it easy to appear to be doing something useful. </li></ul><ul><li>Movement away from the fundamental part of P.M – real communication. </li></ul>
    4. 4. A Conclusion <ul><li>The people that need to understand and use performance management (employees & managers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not perceive it as adding value </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not use it in ways that make it add value </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feel they are saddled with a useless process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tend to do least amount of work possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However, IN SOME PLACES IT WORKS LIKE CRAZY </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. A Definition That Promotes Thinking Shift <ul><li>Performance Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An ongoing communication process, undertaken in partnership, between employee and his or her immediate supervisor with the goals of: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying barriers to performance whatever the source. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Working together to remove those barriers to create continuous improvement. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Principles of Negotiation-Based Performance Management 1 <ul><li>Is “customer centered” where customers are managers and employees. </li></ul><ul><li>Allows “customers” to choose tools that meet their needs within a very flexible set of corporate requirements. </li></ul><ul><li>HR role shifts from police to enabler, providing TOOLS. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Principles of Negotiation-Based Performance Management 2 <ul><li>As a system, developed by cascading from the top of the organization (ideally). </li></ul><ul><li>However it can work on a more local level without the support of the organization or even HR (which is why some managers make almost anything work) </li></ul>
    8. 8. How It Differs? <ul><li>Manager & employee can choose formats. </li></ul><ul><li>HR focuses on education and assistance rather than policing. </li></ul><ul><li>Managers held accountable by their immediate “boss” </li></ul><ul><li>One size fits all </li></ul><ul><li>HR as police </li></ul><ul><li>No real accountability </li></ul>
    9. 9. How It Differs? <ul><li>Manager & employee own the process. </li></ul><ul><li>System developed bottom up. </li></ul><ul><li>System implemented top down. </li></ul><ul><li>HR owns the process. </li></ul><ul><li>System developed top down or HR across </li></ul><ul><li>Usually no coherent implementation </li></ul>
    10. 10. Bottom Line <ul><li>We can continue a monolithic one size fits all approach that is perceived by the managers and employees as largely irrelevant. </li></ul><ul><li>We can continue as is to promote what we believe is “consistency” under the illusion that the information we get means something. </li></ul>
    11. 11. OR… <ul><li>We can acknowledge that managers and employees must be active participants in designing and using processes that meet THEIR needs. </li></ul><ul><li>We can be much better at balancing the needs of company, HR, managers and employees with more flexible systems. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Steps In Designing A System 1 <ul><li>Determine what exact purposes the system must achieve for the organization Usually HR + Execs. </li></ul><ul><li>Define the constraints specifying the absolute bottom-line corporate requirements to meet that need (consider tools, frequency, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Consult with exec., managers, supervisors, employees on what their needs (purposes) are, plus suggestions for tools. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Steps In Designing A System 2 <ul><li>Based on previous steps, create a barebones policy stating minimum requirements + a tool kit for users. </li></ul><ul><li>Review with all parties and modify. </li></ul><ul><li>Educate all parties on philosophy (very important), purposes, tools, expectations. </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation commences with top management using process with their subordinates and preparing them for the process. </li></ul>