Friday, 15 July 2016

How to give performance management a face lift

Well if you are anything like us, you will let out a heartfelt sigh at the mention of ‘the one we do not speak of’… Performance Management (PM). This concept has been misunderstood, exploited, abused, used as a weapon to drive fear and ‘performance’ in the hearts of employees everywhere. We, here at Workpoints, do not believe that the reputation of the PM process can be revived easily, so for now, we will rather have a look at what we can do in future.

The first thing we can (and should) agree upon is that a yearly or bi-yearly review is not a smart idea. By the time an organisation realises that a team or individual was not on track, they will have missed nearly every opportunity along the way to correct it. Basically, the pace of business and life does not align with the traditional PM processes and timelines (Cancialosi, 2016). In addition to the lag time in taking action, PM is also subject to the recency effect (last recollection of performance becomes the only frame of reference), personal bias, inaccurate preparation and a disconnect between job responsibilities and employee accountability (Bainbridge, 2016).
Deloitte conducted a study on PM in their organisation and found that they wasted nearly 2 million hours per year on the PM process (including preparation, meetings and analysis) (Buckingham & Goodall, 2015). Deloitte has since revamped their PM programme to build on strengths and facilitate real-time conversation (Orlando & Bank, 2016).
So while there are many programmes out there centred on PM and how to capture this data on a real-time basis, we here at Workpoints, have been working on a little project of our own. Keeping real-time PM at the back of our minds, we hope to one day offer much more than an Employee Reward and Recognition platform. Our future platform will encompass goals, aligning these to the company’s strategic objectives, providing real-time analysis on results and rewarding and recognising employees automatically once objectives are met.
While our plans are brewing, see below for some tips on how to improve PM within your organisation: 
  • Create an organisational culture that supports and embraces the concept of PM;
  • Clearly understand your end-goal in order to design a PM processes that can help drive behaviour towards that goal;
  • Develop a coaching culture;
  • Adjust goals;
  • Dynamically prioritise actions;
  • Frequently assess behaviour and facilitate conversation around actions;
  • Calibrate outcomes and manage progress;
  • Limit bias in favour of facts;
  • Link goals to the strategies and objectives of the organisation.

Estée Roodt (MCom Industrial Psychology)
Estée is part of our Behavioural Specialist team here at Workpoints. She is our keen researcher, our problem-solver and our number one sports star.

Jillian Dabbs (MCom Industrial Psychology)
Jillian is a part of our Behavioural Specialist team here at Workpoints. She is our content developer, our avid blogger as well as our party planner.

Workpoints is a fully featured reward, recognition and incentives platform that provides you with the tools to create a high performance organisation. Our easy-to-use application integrates simply into any organisation and instantly encourages staff to do the daily grind with excellence and energy. Visit for more info and a free trial!

Bainbridge, K. (2016). Manage Performance Management. Supervision, 77(5), 8–12.
Buckingham, M., & Goodall, A. (2015). Reinventing Performance Management. Harvard Business Review, 93(4), 40–50.
Cancialosi, C. (2016). The Future of Performance Management is Not One Size-Fits-All. Retrieved from 11 July 2011.
Orlando, B. J., & Bank, E. (2016). Case Study A New Approach to Performance Management at Deloitte. HR People & Startegy, 39(2), 42–45.


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