Performance Management System (PMS): Handle with care

  • March 13, 2019

If there is one system which has the potential to be the most destructive of all systems, it is the Performance Management System (PMS) and here is why:

1. The results of Performance Management System (PMS) are known to all bosses before the process even begins. All they have to do is adjust the scores to make sure that their perception gets validated. The faith in the system thus gets uprooted for all times to come.

2. Results could be so demoralizing for people that people can even leave their current jobs and look for perceived greener pastures.

3. Team working would take a beating because two great employees will compare their work and if they find it equal and someone gets a bigger pie than the other, it will give birth to unhealthy competition from thereon.

4. HR usually gets the tool in their hand which at times they use for punitive measures more than rewarding measures. It is the power that sets in.

Some suggestions to overcome the challenges in Performance Management System (PMS) are:

A. It’s high time to get rid of the bell curve. It labels people and does no good to the organization.

B. Measure performance, if you must but on a continuous basis, every month atleast and it should not remain a bi-annual process as is the case with most organizations.

C. Potential appraisal should be given a significant weightage and increments should not be based solely on past performance.

D. Delink increment from feedback in the Performance Management System (PMS). Appraisal discussions do not carry much weightage when the increment sword is hanging next to every person’s neck in the organization. Time feedback and increment differently and do not make them a part of the same process.

E. 3600 feedback is not enough. Give the power of increment to subordinates, peers and customers as well.

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