Expert’s revolutionary performance management strategy is a boon for business owners, department heads, and HR managers.
If you want to be the best and grow your business, you must not only hire and reward the best but also develop or eliminate the rest. It’s that simple. So you may be surprised to learn that traditional “tried and tested” performance management methods are failing. One of the biggest offenders is the ubiquitous and poorly advertised performance review.
Business leaders and HR professionals have developed the doctrine that an annual review or review is sufficient to document employee performance. According to Hewertson, who has just published his long-awaited second book, Hire Right, Fire Right: A Leader to Find and Keep His Best People, the problem with this logic is that it is short-sighted and often inaccurate. “There are times when managers need to fire someone but find that nothing in that person’s personnel file points to a problem, and often the opposite is true,” he says. “It’s a chronic problem when supervisors don’t like (or don’t know how) to provide constructive feedback when needed throughout the year, rather than at an annual ceremonial event. That’s what complaints, arbitrations, and lawsuits are all about.” And often, these are disputes that are lost by management for good reason. An annual performance review or review is not a panacea, it is more like ‘using a broken crutch instead of a broken leg’.
Studies are emerging that further confirm these deficiencies in performance appraisal. A recent National Library of Medicine/US National Institutes of Health study published in 2020 provides evidence that “discussions about performance feedback can have counterproductive effects, allowing recipients to augment self-service attributions from past performance” with no additional effects intentional, including “less acceptance of feedback” and “less motivation to change”.
Companies need something much more effective because the “old way” won’t help them retain their best talent, exploit their greatest potential, or correct underperformance. Ultimately, annual performance reviews are a waste of management time and organizational money, exacerbating missed opportunities. And “almost everyone hates to give and take,” says Hewertson.
There is a better way.
Hewertson argues that companies completely replace formal performance appraisals with a personal dialogue (PD) process. A PD is not a traditional performance review. As Hewer son explains, it’s a very powerful and strategic conversation between a supervisor and an employee that happens at least once a year and is followed by rumors that happen at least quarterly, sometimes even more often.
“It is important to establish a protocol and a methodology that managers and employees understand and must follow,” he says. “Instead of dreading the ‘annual review’ meeting, a PD is a two-way conversation that both parties can wait for. It’s what builds the relationship and trust, rather than diminishing it. The PD tries to be positive about it both sides to wrap.” add real value. ”
Prepping for a Productive Personal Dialogue
Hewertson recommends going through two full annual cycles to normalize the process within your organization’s culture. “You’ll likely find that both staff and supervisors can initially resist change, but they’ll be looking forward to these powerful conversations,” he notes. “This is due in part to the greater trust and synergy these conversations generate between manager and employee and the measurable positive business results. The Personal Dialogue process can become a solid foundation for dynamic cultural change. ”
Interestingly, the Hewertson PD process can be used with any employee, whether independent or not, non-exempt or non-exempt, front-line personnel, executives, or senior personnel. The text can be adapted to the nature of each employee’s role, but the intent of each question must be preserved. “Although some employees are completely satisfied with their status quo, they still have hopes, goals, opinions, and things that are important to them in their particular workplace that need to be heard,” says Hewertson. “You never know what’s important to your employees or what key insights will emerge unless you have a meaningful conversation and ask the right questions.”
While the PD process requires more planning, time, and thought, it has the benefits of increasing employee engagement, building trust, and generating positive versus negative ROI for any organization.