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Talent and Performance Development
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Classic: The Top 50 Problems With Performance Appraisals

Classic:  The Top 50 Problems With Performance Appraisals | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

 In 1996, Frederick Nickols estimated the cost at just under $2,000 per employee. ...includ[ing] manager preparation time, employee time, HR processing time, opportunity costs, and advances in technology, still puts the process cost at over $2,500 per employee per year.

Partial list of the 50 Problems cited.


Most Serious Performance Appraisal Problems


1. Don’t assess actual performance — most of the assessment that managers complete focuses on “the person,” including characterizations of their personal “traits” (i.e. commitment), knowledge (i.e. technical knowledge) or behaviors (i.e. attendance). While these factors may contribute to performance, they are not measures of actual output. If you want to assess the person, call it “person appraisal.” Performance is output quality, volume, dollar value, and responsiveness.


2. Infrequent feedback – At the very minimum, formal feedback needs to be given quarterly, like the GE process.


3. Non-data-based assessment — most assessment criteria are “fuzzy” and subjective.


4. Lack of effectiveness metrics — many accept that the goals of the process are to recognize results, provide feedback to address weaknesses, determine training needs, and to identify poor performers. Unfortunately, rarely do process owners ever measure their processes’ contribution to attaining any of these goals. Instead, the most common measure relating to performance appraisal is the percentage completed.


5.  Lack of accountability – ...One firm attempting to remove a troublesome employee found that the manager had rated the individual the highest within the department and awarded them employee of the year.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The comments on this blog post are also very helpful.  Look at Robert Bacal's contributions in particular, as well as consider the recent, "Beyond Performance Management"book that delves into the "Why" of any system including performance management.  ~  D

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The Pros And Cons Of Forced Rankings: A Manager's Perspective

The Pros And Cons Of Forced Rankings: A Manager's Perspective | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

...on Forbes.com there's been a spirited dialogue around the controversial management technique known as "stacking," or forced ranking. Here's one manager's reasoned, hands-on perspective."


An article in Vanity Fair by Kurt Eichenwald (“Microsoft’s Downfall: Inside The Executive E-mails and Cannibalistic Culture That Felled A Tech Giant”) triggered recent discussion.  Forbes subsequently featured posts including

 



These...touched a chord in the business community...generat[ing]  ...close to 400,000 readers and well over 300 reader comments. 


As a manager with MassMutual Financial Group (a well respected Fortune 500 company), I did see some benefits to forced ranking, though in the end I felt these benefits were outweighed by the managerial problems it caused. 


  • The system did force managers to have hard conversations with employees that they might otherwise have avoided.   ... In a forced ranking system, managers – and employees – have no place to hide.  It literally forces performance issues to be addressed; for an organization that wants to tighten or formalize its management processes, I believe the system can have benefits.

  • it caused employee morale problems.  While the system I managed in was intended to help promote closer linkage between job performance and bonus payouts –...it often felt like the cure was worth than the disease.   As a manager, the discussions I had over many years about the fairness of bonus payouts were not nearly as problematic as those I routinely came to have over end-of-year rankings.  






Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This perspective is similar to my own experience in the trenches working with managers and HR / OD clients updating or implementing their performance systems.  

The pros and cons are aptly described.  The size of an organization and it's cultural state determine what a forced ranking system will do, ultimately, to performance overall.  


A comment by Dick Grote, a performance management consultant and well-known author on the topic,  (pro-forced ranking with appropriate conditions) is this:  


  • "Forced ranking, used well, has the power to be the most beneficial management procedure an organization can adopt—for the company and its employees alike."


Forced Ranking or "Vitality Curve" systems may have power for a performance "clean-out."  However, what is the lasting nature of that power?  Is is enough to make a forced ranking system worth the Return on Investment (ROI) with the focus being only individuals?

Another point of view from a comment on this excerpted blog post is that,


  • "Team-oriented organizations provide more flexibility, consistency, and growth than organizations based on individual performance."


~ D

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The SILOS: Integrated Talent Management, What Is It and Why Should You Want It?

The SILOS:  Integrated Talent Management, What Is It and Why Should You Want It? | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"Start with three (3) well-intended but ineffective scenarios of siloed talent management.  Add in, organizations are still struggling to understand what integrated talent management is."


Elements 

  • Talent Management Processes Are Aligned to the Talent Strategy
  • Talent Management Processes Share Inputs and Outputs 
  • Competency Model as a Common Language
  • Technology Enablement for Talent Management
  • Change Management as a Foundation

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Integrated lessons being learned here:  Do-able?   Any take-aways for smaller organization looking to avoid performance and talent snafus in building their systems? ~  Deb

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Maya Mathias's curator insight, June 8, 2013 8:00 PM

If talent management is silo-ed, no wonder our workflow and throughput is too.  Organizations need to speak the same talent management language, and align their hiring/training/rewarding/firing goals with overall corporate strategy.  If a big organization like GE can do it (based on popular literature), there's no excuse for the rest of us!

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, August 5, 2013 12:18 AM
Getting the language clear (well-defined, accessible) helps a great deal, as well as seeing who is doing it well. Thanks for the comment Maya
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Four Major Flaws of Force Ranking - i4cp

Four Major Flaws of Force Ranking  - i4cp | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it
Forced Ranking or "The Vitality Curve" -  This isn't comparing apples to apples; it's like comparing apples to bacon.

The chart above are the results from a recent i4cp study on performance rankings, published in  Performance Management Playbook: Managing Critical Performance Challenges, showing a sharp decline in both forced rating and forced ranking since 2009.  

  • Two-thirds of companies that did utilize these practices abandoning them - from 49% in 2009 to 14% in 2011.
  
i4cp's list of shortcomings of force ranking includes:
 

Companies unwittingly give a huge boost to the competition.

..when Microsoft jettisons their presumed lower-performing employees, they are providing the competition with fresh talent

   

The bottom 10% isn't always the bottom 10%.

An employee who is in the bottom 10% in a high-performing department might rank much higher when compared to employees in a different department that has lower overall performance. Why should that employee be let go when he or she outperforms those in other fucntions? This isn't comparing apples to apples; it's like comparing apples to bacon.

   

Forced ranking can be an engagement and innovation killer.
    
Related posts by Deb:

     

   




Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Dick Grote is still touting forced rankings (in a modified way, but still rank & remove) in his articles and books on performance appraisal and performance management.  

The i4cp consulting group offers reasons why it's not working in 2012.  ~  D

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Peer Performance Reviews - Reviewed

Peer Performance Reviews - Reviewed | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it
Some companies are doing away with traditional top-down, manager-led performance reviews and relying on the rank-and-file for employee evaluations.


The system provides more valuable information about each worker's performance than a review by just one person would, Mr. Garrity says. That's particularly true at Hearsay Social, because it has very few formal managers, most employees work across multiple teams, and leadership changes from project to project.


___________________

"We are decentralizing as much decision making as we can, so we also need to decentralize reviews..." 

___________________


"We are decentralizing as much decision making as we can, so we also need to decentralize reviews," says Steve Garrity, the chief technology officer.  at Hearsay Social Inc., a San Francisco-based social-media software company with some 90 employees.


But the process, which the firm plans to do twice a year, is also time-consuming and complicated, he says, and it may not work as the employee count grows. 


___________________


...crowdsourced feedback may not provide better data....feedback may gravitate toward positive and negative extremes...

___________________



...Crowdsourced evaluations go a step beyond traditional 360-degree reviews, which are generally more structured and often involve lengthy surveys.   


___________________


 "...Another potential downside is "rating fatigue" and lower quality information..."

___________________


But critics argue that crowdsourced feedback may not provide better data. Like online restaurant or product reviews, feedback may gravitate toward positive and negative extremes, says Tracy Maylett, chief executive of DecisionWise.   ...Another potential downside is "rating fatigue" and lower quality information, he adds.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Assessing the "why" of these processes are key.  For example, the goals of peer review may fit the type of work that happens in  team oriented cultures of a certain size.  360 feedback is also best for newer to mid-level managers, open to development.  ~  D

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Robin Martin's curator insight, July 15, 2013 9:30 PM

Just think of how productive and beneficial this could be for a small team. After all, no one knows more about a team member better than another member of the team! 

David Hain's curator insight, July 16, 2013 4:11 AM

Fascinating experiment - hope it works!