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Contemporary practices in performance and development management

Contemporary practices in performance and development management

Dr John Viljoen, PhD Iedex Associate
  • Engagement
  • Human Resources
Aligning individual performance objectives with business goals

Given the cost of acquiring, inducting, managing, upskilling and outplacing people, contemporary practice is rapidly shifting toward ensuring all individual performance effort is directly aligned with business goals. Slippage in alignment can be a major source of sub-optimisation in human performance.

Yet currently less than 5% of Australian organisations are able to align individual performance objectives with business goals.

Aligning individual performance objectives with business goals should be possible in a variety of ways (see below)

Are your strategic goals/objectives suitable for individual performance planning?

In the process of aligning individual performance objectives with business goals, some goal types are more suitable than others.

Differentiating the way different staff are performance managed

In the effective management of performance and development, once alignment with business goals has been achieved, contemporary practice is to differentiate the way different “categories” of staff are managed and supported.

A “head and tail” focus

An efficient approach to managing the solid performers

Identification and treatment of poor performers

Every poor performer could be costing a business as much as three times their annual salary through customer disrespect, poor team spirit and extra management time.

Put the spotlight on talent

Most “exceptional talent” is characterised by intelligence, insecurity and competitiveness (can you find these people in your organisation)?

But talent can become ineffective through many potential “derailers” such as impulsiveness, arrogance, micro-managing, self-promoting, risk aversion, volatility, defensiveness, eccentricity.

The key to dealing with these challenges is building a strategic approach to human resources management, supported by evidence based decision making.

  • If a business cannot accurately identify its talent, how can it implement succession planning? What is the cost of lost potential?
  • If it can’t manage performance and development of all its “solid citizens” systematically, what is the cost in terms of leadership time and effort to compensate?
  • If staffs are constantly being diverted away from real business priorities, how will the strategy ever get implemented?

Clearly, a one-size-fits-all approach to the performance and development of people will produce strong sub-optimised outcomes. This is especially true if there is significant misalignment between individual performance objectives and business goals.

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