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Is Your Performance Management Framework Built to Stand the Test of Time? (part 4)

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In this edition of my blog, we continue looking at the critical steps you MUST take to ensure that your performance management framework endures over the long term.

Recall that to ensure that your performance management framework stands the test of time, you must: Make it Visible, Make it Relevant, Make it Actionable, and Make it the Way You Work.
Let’s look at how you can make your performance management framework the way you work.

Make It the Way You Work
Have you ever considered extending your performance management framework beyond itself? This might sound strange but it can, and should, be done. To extend your performance management framework, simply build elements of the framework and your performance management approach into other key business and management processes. The bottom line is that the further you can extend it, the more sustainable your performance management framework will become.

Here’s one idea. A key concept in performance management is the results color coding concept. Why confine this quick analysis tool to your performance management framework? What about other business reports and project management updates? Why not introduce a red, yellow, and green performance range assignment methodology in these situations to facilitate quick results assessment? Harmonizing your approach to business results analysis using the same color coding approach is one very effective way of extending your performance management framework.

Your performance appraisal process offers another opportunity to extend your performance management framework. For example, structure the performance appraisal document used by your employees so that performance goals can be organized using the same categories as your performance management framework. In addition, train employees and supervisors to leverage applicable performance measures and targets from your performance management framework when creating employee performance goals and targets. Extending your performance management framework in this way plays a critical role in aligning employee activities and the results they produce with business strategy.

Taking the performance appraisal process a step further, your employee compensation process can, and should, eventually be aligned with your business strategy via the performance management framework. That is, tie base and bonus compensation schemes to business strategy by leveraging the performance measures and targets in your performance management framework. The key to success with this approach is to ensure that applicable performance measures and targets are selected for each employee’s compensation scheme.

Finally, be sure to extend your performance management framework to your reward and recognition programs. Many employee reward and recognition programs have ambiguous criteria and even reward behavior that may produce results that do not advance business strategy! Instead, why not mirror the key elements of your performance management framework (e.g. the key strategic objectives and performance categories) in your reward and recognition programs? In this way, you will ensure that you are rewarding and recognizing your people for ideas, actions, and results that support the execution of strategy and the achievement of the results measured via your performance management framework.

The Real Key to Long-Term Performance Management Framework Success
Simply put, your ultimate goal is to “institutionalize” your performance management framework. That is, you want to integrate your performance management framework into your culture so that it becomes how your organization lives and breathes. The more enmeshed your performance management framework becomes with the other key business processes in your organization the better. Once your performance management framework becomes ingrained in your organization and your culture in this way, it simply becomes what your organization does and how it operates. Once your performance management framework and your performance management approach become the way your organization works, it will be positioned to outlive those who were there at the beginning – the ultimate goal of all performance management professionals and a true sign of performance management success!