Manage Contribution, Not Just Performance

Laura Goodrich Posted by Laura Goodrich.

Laura is cofounder of On Impact, an integrated content company that specializes in creating and producing videos, television, and multimedia content delivered over time to create sustained change and adoption of important leadership concepts.


Manage Contribution, Not Just Performance

How would you rate your company’s performance management system? If you’re like most of my clients, you believe your system could be better. I recall a handful of clients who LOVED their performance management system – most don’t think it helps much, at all.

I believe there are two problems with most performance management systems. First, they’re not very effective. Leaders and team members tell me the process is much more of an academic exercise than a real-life reflection of job demands and expectations. Current systems do not consistently identify relevant goals nor do they help ensure said goals are actually accomplished.

Second, most performance management systems, by definition, don’t measure values or citizenship – they only measure performance. Values and citizenship matters, though. Research on positivity at work and on employee engagement show that safe, inspiring work environments boost performance, service, and profits. Those are very desirable benefits.

I suggest we rename and revise our performance management process. Let’s call it contribution management. Contribution management includes both performance and values/citizenship.

To revise the process, let’s tweak the performance side. We need clarity and relevancy of performance expectations. These targets need to be specific, measurable, and trackable. Relevancy can be ensured when we align goals to declared strategies – which means we must formalize strategies before we can set goals!

Now let’s add the values side of the equation. We need clarity of values expectations; we already know they are relevant! To make values expectations specific, measurable, and trackable, we need to define our desired values in behavioral terms.

For example, if your company has an “integrity” value, you need to clarify what behaviors you want people to demonstrate that will ensure they’re living up to that value. If you define integrity as “Doing what you say you will do,” an observable, tangible behavior might be “Keep your promises.” This behavior will inspire leaders and team members to keep their commitment to their commitments, and do what they say they will do, every day.

Once performance and values expectations are formalized, the process shifts to alignment – holding everyone accountable for delivering on agreed-to performance expectations and modeling valued behaviors, every interaction.

Would your team or department benefit from contribution management, not just performance management? Learn more about creating a safe, inspiring workplace in my new book, The Culture Engine. Get your free sample chapter at TheCultureEngine.com.

 

This is a contribution by Chris Edmonds, the founder and CEO of The Purposeful Culture Group. After a 15-year career leading and managing teams, Chris began his consulting company in 1990. Since 1995, Chris has also served as a senior consultant with The Ken Blanchard Companies. Chris provides high-impact keynotes, executive briefings, and executive consulting. He is the author of six books, including Leading At A Higher Level with Ken Blanchard. Learn how to craft workplace inspiration with an organizational constitution in Chris’ new book, The Culture Engine, which launches on September 29, 2014. His blog, podcasts, free assessments, research, and videos can be found at DrivingResultsThroughCulture.com.

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