Do you have to fill in performance appraisals once or twice a year in your workplace? Does this form filling process feel meaningful to you? Do the forms have any connection to your daily work?
According to research, man is happiest when he collaborates with other people and pursues meaningful goals. The best way to encourage him for better performance is to give him positive feedback on his actions often enough.
In order to perform better in the ever so tough competition, companies are aiming at being agile and innovative in business, and at the same time they wish their employees would be more active, and responsible, and helpful for their colleagues, and have initiative. Have you ever heard of a company that would not try to get rid of the silos? These goals are really something to stand up for, but too often they are not being lead through the organization.
It’s usually quite hard to put goals into practice if there is no process. I’ve kept asking myself, why performance management practices in companies are based on yearly performance reviews regardless of the set goals and research knowledge. There are various problems with performance reviews:
a) The goals are trickled down from the top-level of the organizational hierarchy
b) The reviews are private and only few can access the information
c) Feedback is usually given only if the employee has not performed well enough
I argue that the only reason these practices are kept alive is tradition; this is the way it has always been and there’s no knowledge of better. However, research shows that this traditional approach to performance management will most likely lead to undesirable behavior: avoiding mistakes, repeating old patterns and doing just the minimum. Of course the traditional approach and negative interference to poor performance can quickly adjust the performance level for better, but this will not bring about lasting change. It doesn’t encourage employees to top performance and it surely does not advance innovativeness.
In our opinion, innovativeness and agility are not the sole privilege of startup companies. It’s mostly a matter of inspiring leadership and management. What I certainly don’t mean with inspiration in this context, is management blogs and videos shared in the corporate intranet, if at the same time employees are filling out performance appraisal forms which don’t have a clear connection to the mood boosting videos published a week before. Corporate culture is formed based on what is being done and what kind of actions the processes promote; not based on what we say we’re going to do.
We at Cloudriven want to make performance management inspiring, engaging and social – who knows, maybe even addictive :). We also want to monitor work progress on a daily and weekly basis, give positive feedback for performance and attach work to a broader context and meaning. Our goal is to help our clients to create sustainable value in their business. Natural byproducts for this are better work and customer satisfaction as well as better financial results.
If you still believe in the traditional way of management, fear not. Inspiration, engagement and social are not synonyms for laziness. Sweat will still be the cologne of accomplishment and success the ladder you cannot climb with your hands in your pockets. We’re not going to demolish the significance of individual performance, yet we’re putting it into a larger frame.