5 excuses people use for not bringing their performance appraisal to the next decade
- Mar 10, 2020
By Gilles Mattelin
Many CHROs and HR directors have been trying to get rid of the traditional performance approach with annual performance reviews for years. They know they're not effective, everyone hates doing them and hates getting them, but they're stuck to the process like gum on a high school desk. In my 8 years experience, I have spoken to many organisations, each of which brings their own excuses to the table as to why they cannot update their performance management process. We've implemented intuo for no less than 900.000 users, and while many of the organisations might had the same silly excuses at first, they are happy they took the plunge with us. The goal of this article is to give you ammunition to counter the top 5 excuses I hear to most to not update the costly, subjective and time-consuming process.
Excuse 1: My management board doesn't see any value
This is a power play. Your management might not believe in working towards creating an engaged workforce or a feedback culture. They most likely don't see any value because they don't see any problems. Chances are that you will have to prove that your organisation is facing challenges and you need to solve them as soon as possible. From our own experience, we know that starting with engagement pulses to get the management on board is your best move.
Unless your organisation screams unicorns and rainbows, these engagement pulses will reveal issues such as low retention, disengagement or misalignment. Show the management these results to make them realise people expect changes to happen.
Excuse 2: It's too much change at once
I'm pretty sure you nodded when you read that one. You've heard it many times: "It won't work, we need to change too much to make it a success" or "too much time and effort go into realising such changes". Let's get real. Will you need to invest some of your time to coach people? Sure. But will it create a highly engaging and performing culture? That's a double yes. What's the counter-argument? You being stuck with your core HR tool that doesn't really do the job for performance management? The effort will be worth the benefits.
We've helped more than 140 organisations change their performance management, and none of them turned all their processes around overnight. Our approach is to start small and learn to scale up without overwhelming employees.
Excuse 3: Our culture is not ready yet
This one probably takes the lead as excuses we've heard the most. Except if you have a specific case that can prove your culture isn't ready, or you cannot change your culture even the tiniest bit, it's not the strongest argument.
"We've seen many organisations that did not have a great feedback culture or amazing manager-employee communication, but we were still able to successfully implement performance management changes."
We swear there was no magic involved. Wondering how we did it without the help of everyone's favourite wizard? We don't force any change on anyone. We work step by step. Start small, don't wait until the yearly appraisal because that will raise a lot of questions just when everything is already very stressful. Start slowly with the changes you feel are the most secure.
So if you're fear is that your culture isn't ready. Don't worry, we'll make it ready.
Excuse 4: We don't need a software to manage our HR processes
This one is often aired with great confidence. If you say that changing people's behaviour with only software won't work, we're 100% with you on that. However, leaders can have a significant impact on culture and values in an organisation. What makes a good leader is the capacity to adapt to their environment. This implies that leadership is not a static practice, but rather a fluid one, that should adapt and evolve depending on the evolution of your team.
In order to do support their teams, leaders need a support mechanism. You probably already see it coming, they need a performance management tool! A team leader or manager has to evaluate and decide on the right approach, but this duty becomes more complicated when teams work together across functions, locations or when number of team members is high.
"Gathering data in an intuitive way supports leaders in making objectives decisions."
Managers only have a few aspects they can focus on but this allows them to get a full view on how their team member is performing and can therefore assess them better.
Having a tool that guides you, is key to success. Our secret is user filters. These allow you to go beyond teams and classify your users/employees according to roles, seniority on the job, location, or any other option you have in mind.
Excuse 5: Risk and compliancy is a struggle
Did you get a shiver down your spine when reading that title? We're not going to lie, we felt it too.
When you pitch a new tool, your data security officer or privacy security officer will probably ask about 200 questions on whether the organisation's data will be safe. Does the vendor have the right certificates? What about GDPR compliance? Do they run vulnerability tests? Yes, yes, a hundred times yes. You are not the first one asking us these questions. We have done many implementations and have security teams that are trained in protecting your data. We know what we are doing and we know what you need.