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Why you should take the management out of your performance management.

September 17, 2018

With the end in mind, I learnt management is not the answer.


As a human resources professional I have been involved in the design, implementation and review of numerous performance management systems. However I began to realise that I had it all wrong, and it started with a particularly uncomfortable poor performance challenge that I supported a manager with. When I looked at why the wheels had fallen off, one thing became apparent, we had created a battlefield. 


The system, and many systems I have experienced, positioned the manager as the advancing general protecting their organisation, and the employee defending their territory at all costs. This adversarial approach was setting both leaders and staff up for failure and that was certainly not the point of the exercise. 


So I started with the reason for the process and the outcome we were aiming for, which led me to behaviours and mindsets. Or more specifically the principles which would guide leaders in their approach to supporting the performance of their team. Yes supporting because the first thing I realised was that the process was not about management at all.