Performance management best practices - Nice in theory
We all love best practices; there's something safe about them, the decisions have been made, the data supports them, the research has been done, and the outcomes are known - who are we to argue with these proven, effective ways of working? You might be surprised.
Best practices are good for specific components. In performance management, this might include a framework for feedback like SBI or AID, a Likert scale for ratings, the conducting of regular one-on-ones, listening through engagement surveys, etc.
However, I often see a sneaky over-reach of the best-practices label being expanded in an attempt to define the entire performance experience. Typically coming from vendors who have developed a single way to implement a performance process.An organisation's performance experience shouldn't be defined by best practices. Context is so much more important here. The experience needs to be aligned with organisation culture, performance drivers, and most importantly, the way your employees work. These are all uniquely contextual to each organisation.
I often speak with HR leaders who have developed Excel spreadsheets and Word docs to manage their organisation performance process. Nine times out of 10 they tell me they are embarrassed about their process and looking for a new 'best-practices' solution. The problem is nearly always NOT the process they have developed, but simply the pain of managing the process with cobbled-together tools.When upgrading your performance approach, don't underestimate the effectiveness of your own-grown processes and the years of iteration that has gone into them, they're likely way better than someone else's best practice.