Performance Management: Avoiding the Gulag
A mind-numbingly tedious appraisal meeting, Suburbia, 2003
“…and where do you see yourself in the company in five years?”
And there I faltered. I was fresh out of university. I’d never done anything that lasted 5 years, apart from school, and believe me that wasn’t voluntary.
“I’ll get my coat.”
[Exits stage left. Curtains.]
Stalin and Statistics
What an utterly pointless question to ask any employee, potential or current. It’s reminiscent of Stalin’s endless 5-year plans in the Soviet Union, where ludicrous goals were set and statistics fabricated month after month in order to be able to report that those goals had been met. On paper.
In reality, life got in the way, corners were cut, people were imprisoned, and incompetence prevailed.
In an employee’s situation, it’s pointless because it presumes linear progression in our modern, non-linear work environment.
But that’s not to say that planning for individual growth is not possible; nor that appraisal meetings and performance management are pointless. They just need to be done differently.
Here’s one I made earlier
And, in a “Here’s one I made earlier” moment, here’s how: the key is in the data – the data you’re getting, and what you’re able to do with it. At Entelechy, we’ve developed the Discover solution, a revolutionary new way of encouraging personal and professional growth through development of Character Qualities.
DiscoverQuality Character What Who?
Discover is a company-wide solution, which is personalised for each individual. In brief, everyone goes through a 180, wherein they answer questions about how they see their Character strengths and growth opportunities. Once completed, they send out requests to their closest circle for those peoples’ views of their Character strengths and growth opportunities. This information is then collated into our Character Key, which reflects back the results of the 180 / 360 process, and offers small actions they can take to develop their Character Qualities. Insightful, actionable, and personally relevant.
The pot of gold
And that’s just the beginning. Once each team member has their Character Key formed, team leaders now receive a Character Kaleidoscope, which shows them the results of their whole team, in context. Lovely. And here’s the gold: within the Kaleidoscope leaders will find an area for each employee that acts as an individual growth plan. No more inventing pie-in-the-sky five-year plans involving the CEO’s salary and the mailroom boy’s responsibilities.
Each individual growth plan includes the aspirations the individual identified for the next year. It includes their verified strengths and growth opportunities (verified by their closest circle in the 360, not just what they thought in the 180).
Armed with this intensely individualised data, how easy do you think appraisal meetings are going to be? How much simpler do you think performance management will become when driven by highly individualised reports?
Data = granular detail
With this data you can get to the heart of how an individual can develop; how they can improve performance for the company; and you can see in granular detail the steps they can take in order to dial up or down a relevant Character Quality to meet company needs at any given time.
Character Qualities, you see, are innate in all of us. The only difference is the degree to which we have each Quality as a strength, a growth opportunity, or perhaps even a hidden strength. In becoming aware of this, and in studying the 54 Character Qualities which we have identified as the foundations to the most in-demand workplace skills, an individual can learn to adjust their balance of Qualities at will.
If, at the same time, the organisation the individual works for has identified which Qualities are most in demand for a certain position, the individual can look at their Character Key, see what they need to change, and work on those Qualities to better meet their employers’ requirements.
This has never been seen before, not just because the technology is new, nor because the platform is bespoke, but because never before has human Character been placed at the centre of personal development.
Now it is at the centre, where it rightfully belongs, because each of us can develop our Character Qualities to meet the needs of an ever-changing workplace. Now doesn’t that sound better than fudging some statistics and being sent to the Gulag?
To get a personal assessment, and find out how Entelechy’s data analytics can help you develop your Character Qualities for the challenges you face in your position, get in touch with us today.