A Conversation about Perfomance Management

A conversation about Performance Management

Written by Jeremy Russon

Family and football are Jeremy's two passions - but in his spare time, making a difference, the Udder way, to the world of TA/HR tech is his thing.

Hello and welcome to our conversation all about Performance Management. 

To start us off, I gave a mini summary of how this event format was going to work and reminded people of the purpose of the event.

To have a conversation about performance management. And I really do mean conversation. Something that’s interactive and that ultimately moved away from monologues and presentations.

After welcoming and thanking each panellist for joining us for this conversation, I asked the first question.

I was really keen to hear Ruth’s opinion on the negative connotations that are often associated with performance management. And if there were any steps that we can do to change that mindset [4.54]

“I think it’s the title of Performance Management specifically – it has a negative vibe. A feeling that you are in trouble, or you’ve done something wrong. The best way to combat this is by talking about performance all the time. It should be integrated into your everyday. So it’s not this big looming scary thing that happens once a year.” – Ruth Penfold

Traditionally, performance management used to be a one-off event tied to your pay rise, but that is no longer the case. Now it’s about embedding it into your culture [8.30].

“We need to reinforce the fact that we can give feedback in the moment. And not be forced to wait for that once a year meeting.” – Ty Jernstedt

But when I mentioned that performance management falls upon the line manager, to drive their team on an ongoing basis. Ty answered with:

“Yes, the line manager of course. But don’t forget your peers. Your colleagues and your teammates. We all have the ability to provide feedback to each other. About what went well and what maybe could have been a bit better” – Ty Jernstedt

At this point, our chat was filled with questions. Selecting the question from Caroline Phillip, I asked the panellist, how do you encourage honest feedback? If the employees feel that giving honest feedback could negatively affect their career? [10.40]

“It starts from above. If leadership openly admit that they are not perfect and admit that failure is a positive thing – that’s where you will start to see the magic. People will feel be more willing to give and receive feedback once the pathways are open and honest” – Ruth Penfold
“Being able to give and receive constructive feedback really all depend on your level of trust – it needs to be delivered positively. If the feedback comes from someone who isn’t actively contributing to the overall goal, you are never going to trust their opinion or value it” – Ollie Phillips

Performance is also always contextual. Your highest performer one month could be your lowest performer the next month. As Ruth mentioned [16.15].

“There are times where your employee could be really focused on doing well at work and there are times where something else in their lives occurs that they want to give priority to. So they just float along doing ok. And that’s ok. We are all human beings.”

Gareth Jones then asked an excellent question around the ineffectiveness of ‘huge culture changes’ [24.10] 

“You need a collective goal and then work your way back from there. It’s about being able to make a company transformation relevant to their own goal. Aligning the translation to their overall vision and objective” – Ollie Phillips

I really hope you enjoyed this event as much as I did. It was packed full of information, examples and real-world comparisons (Ollie, I’m looking at you). 

But that’s just my opinion, I would love to hear what you thought. About the setup, the topic and if we should do any more → send us an email at editor@chattalent.net

I also want to say a big massive THANKS to our event partners Frankli. It was thanks to them that we made this event a reality. And to all our #Friendors who helped us promote the event (SmartRecruiters, Zinc, Candidate.ID, ThriveMap and Equitas).

An equally BIG WELL DONE TO EVERYBODY who managed to join us on the day. For every sign up we received we will be making a £5 donation to the Trussell Trust. Thank you for supporting us and them.

Hope to see you at the next one!

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