Team leaders should own this process
Posted by Nathan Sloan on May 19, 2015.
When 90 percent of 3,300 business and HR leaders surveyed don’t believe performance management is a good use of their time (see Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2015 report), a desire for change is apparent — and it’s underway. Many companies (89 percent of those same survey respondents) have recently changed or are planning to change their performance management system. Deloitte is no exception: An April 2015 Harvard Business Review article describes how we’re Reinventing Performance Management at Deloitte. We recognize that organizations differ in type of work, culture, etc. But we believe that the thinking and innovation behind the changes we’re making are what’s needed to reverse the dismal perception of performance management and transform it into the driver of business results it’s meant to be.
Three takeaways from our approach to performance management are key: drive performance at the local/team level, focus on the work, and make it an ongoing process.
In addition, our research shows a strong relationship between team performance and team and individual engagement (higher engagement predicts better performance), and indicates this is best driven at the team level. Team leaders are expected to implement quarterly or more frequent “Pulse” surveys (typically eight questions) that provide real-time data on the engagement level of their team. By regularly monitoring engagement at the team level, rather than via the typical annual organization-wide survey, team leaders can take corrective action as necessary. Team results can even be aggregated and “trickled up” to inform decisions at the organizational level.
Having frequent check-ins with each team member may sound onerous, but we’d bet that your best team leaders are already doing this today. These do not have to be formal, structured conversations. They might happen in person, via a phone call, email, or even in the course of a team meeting that discusses individual priorities. Instead of focusing on goal setting and attainment, or looking backward to evaluate past performance, the conversations are forward-looking, and focused on getting work accomplished — they live in the tactical world of work, rather than an abstract summary of it.
Team leaders are the drivers
|Nathan Sloan is a principal in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Human Capital practice and leads Deloitte’s National Talent Strategies practice, overseeing the development of all talent management solutions.|