4 min read
The old ways that are rooted deeply in our organizational habits, patterns, and ethos have amazing staying power, even when science, research, and visible realities tell us they don’t serve our intent or purpose. Nowhere do I see this play out more plainly than in the realm of performance management and rewards. It’s time we take a hard look at what we know to be true about equity and human motivation and apply that insight to get real with rewards.
Thought leaders like Josh Bersin and others declared 2015 and 2016 to be the years the world would modernize performance management. Yet today our research shows that more than 70 percent of global organizations have made no significant changes to their approach to performance management.
As an author and consultant in this arena, I’ve been witness to an amazing amount of content, research, energy, conversation, and debate about performance management and modern rewards strategies during the past five years. A lack of information or insight clearly isn’t the problem. And while we’ve worked with a range of national and global teams who have bravely and successfully Rebooted Performance Management™, I have also been witness to the inertia that continues to plague the majority of organizations.
At PeopleFirm, we’ve sought to understand the “why” behind this lack of forward movement. What we’ve learned is not a big surprise: the biggest barrier to modernizing performance is solving the challenge of equitable rewards without perpetuating the ineffective, yet deeply engrained mechanisms of ratings and similar evaluative methods.
If you’re one of the 70 percent stuck in the old world of traditional performance management and rewards, fear not, because there is a path forward. I’m going to arm you with a few ideas and proven approaches that may help you break the log jam.
Let’s start with a core idea that is fundamental to understanding performance management (PM). While every organization’s approach to performance management should meet the needs of the enterprise based on its unique strategy, people, culture, leadership, and personality, every effective PM solution will support what we call the three common goals: 1) drive organization performance; 2) develop people; and 3) reward equitably. Why is this foundational framework important? Because if your hope is to create a modern PM approach while leaving out or working around the third pillar of reward equitably, it won’t work. Trust me, I’ve watched organizations try – it doesn’t work.
In fact, the hardest work is in having the courage to re-think and get real with rewards. This means abandoning outdated ideas that science has proven to not drive human motivation. I’m talking about letting go of these beliefs:
If your team is ready to get real with rewards, here are a few big ideas for you to consider:
I’m hopeful that more organizations will soon bust through the inertia and move forward with more modern and human-centered approaches to performance management and total rewards. The opportunity is yours. Happy Rebooting!
About the author
M. Tamra Chandler is a nationally recognized thought leader, author, and speaker known for developing new and effective ways for people and their organizations to perform at their peak. Currently, Tamra serves as Principal in EY Americas People Advisory Services.
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