Hewitt Associates have come out with another informative study, called The Current State of Performance Management and Career Development 2010. They surveyed HR professionals from 193 employers.
On the performance side, it looks at how companies are using performance goals (the “what”) and behavioral competencies (the “how”) in their year end performance assessment process. Here are several key findings:
- While 15% said that their employees’ individual performance goals were very aligned with the company’s business strategy, a full 73% said they were only somewhat aligned. The issue is whether you can see a direct line of sight from what an employee works on and the strategic objectives his or her work supports. What would you say for your organization?
- How many performance goals do they typically have for an employee? 70% reported 4-6 goals. We at Fulcrum Associates suggest 4-7 Key Result Areas in our own “Aligning Your Unit” process.
- As for reliance on behavioral competencies, the vast majority of reporting organizations use competencies that reflect a range of areas, particularly leadership, job specifics, function/skill, and organizational values.
- One constant issue for discussion: what weight should you give to results vs. behaviors that get you the results? Not surprisingly, the higher the level in the hierarchy the greater the weight placed on achieving results. In 30% of the firms, performance measures for executives were based solely on results. Other firms reported basing their weightings on various combinations of results and competencies.
- Finally, who engages in what sometimes are called “calibration meetings?” These are where managers get together, review collectively, and then make decisions on what the final overall performance rating will be for each individual employee. From my experience, these meetings are a really good investment of time. They ensure consistency of criteria (e.g. what do we mean by “satisfactory”, what’s a “3”?) applied to ratings across the organization. At the same time, the management team can discuss possible actions to close an employee’s performance gap and suggest priorities for developing a particular individual, going forward.Here’s what Hewitt found out about the frequency of calibration meetings:
- 43% hold such meetings and the group makes final decisions.
- 18% hold the meetings but the group only provides for the respective direct managers.
- 39% do not hold calibration meetings.
Food for thought as you look at your own situation. [Note: You will find equally interesting points about career development but I’m not addressing these in this post.]