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Performance Management - Key Practices

November 5 2012 - Informal feedback is critical to success said 93% of IT Professionals in a recent survey but fewer than half (44% of IT Professionals and 49% of IT Leaders) felt that feedback in their organization could be rated as good or excellent.

The survey of more than 2,000 IT Professionals and 1,500 IT Leaders was conducted in September for TEKsystems a provider of IT staffing, IT talent management expertise and IT services.

TEKsystems argue that effective performance management requires the setting of clear:

  • goals
  • expectations, and
  • processes

In the survey, IT Professionals and IT Leaders identified the top three goals of a performance management programs as:

  • clarifying expectations
  • coaching/mentoring, and
  • aligning employee actions with strategic business objectives

According to TEKsystems, feedback is essential to clarify expectations between IT Leaders and staff. 93% of IT Professionals in the survey said that regular, high-quality, informal feedback was very important to achieving success in their role with 49% rating it as extremely important.

TEKsystems Director, Rachel Russell said:

"The goal of performance management is to take lessons learned and use them to help an individual, or team, improve. Failing to deliver feedback more regularly than quarterly or annual reviews hinders the effectiveness of a performance management program. Formal reviews are very necessary, but informal feedback is more personal and can be absorbed much more easily because it tends to revolve around a specific, timely issue that deserves recognition or pause for learning and growth."

She added that addressing poor performance was equally important to the recognition of great performance in improving overall employee performance. But most IT Professionals and IT Leaders in the survey felt that their organizations did not address either type of performance effectively. A mere 10% completely agreed that either poor performance or great performance were addressed effectively. She said:

"If performance management systems are only effective about half of the time, then they really aren't working too well. Failing to handle poor performance can cause team conflicts, reduce morale and produce lower quality results. On the other hand, taking the time to recognize an individual or team when they do excellent work promotes confidence, builds trust and motivates high performers to help the business succeed. In order to fix these problems, organizations need to first address the fundamental issues with their performance management system before any significant progress can be made."

Other significant findings
  • Only 10% of IT Professionals and 7% of IT Leaders felt that performance expectations were always clearly defined.
  • 31% of IT Professionals said that performance expectations were rarely or never clearly defined.
  • 24% of IT Leaders completely disagreed with the statement that "managers in my organization are great at performance management."
  • Under 50% of IT Professionals and IT Leaders agreed that their organization's performance management system "plays a highly effective role in driving employee performance."

  • 39% of IT Professionals and 46% of IT Leaders agreed that poor performance was effectively addressed in their organization.
  • Almost 50% of respondents indicated that poor performance normally went unaddressed for 90 days or longer and 33% of all respondents cited this delay as the most significant reason why poor performance was not addressed effectively in their organization.
  • 62% of IT Leaders felt that great performance was effectively addressed in their organization but only 43% of IT professionals agreed.

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