I was excited to see an email from the Gallup Business Journal with this headline hit my inbox recently. Awesome topic! Since Gallup has done so much research on employee engagement, I couldn’t wait to see their analysis and recommendations for managers to get better that this fundamental part of their jobs.
My excitement didn’t last long. Gallup’s list, it turns out, was a series of high-level platitudes:
- Clarify the organization’s purpose and brand.
- Remove cultural barriers to performance (executive team misalignment, lack of commitment to change, lack of role clarity, inconsistency in strategy execution …)
- Study [high performers]… to ensure that strategies for selecting and developing employees are on target.
- Use predictive analytics to hire for excellence.
- Align people and processes.
That’s a fine list for top executives crafting an organization’s future. And sure, those things could improve performance management in indirect ways. But what I wanted was insight about helping actual managers get better at managing performance now.
My disappointment in Gallup’s article led me to wonder, “what would be on my list if I wrote an article with that title?” What could help managers do a better job at performance management? Here are four suggestions for your consideration.