The Worst Part Of My Job…

by Patrice Altenhofen on June 5, 2012

in Employee Engagement,Leadership,Performance Management

Sunset & waves

This post first appeared on our blog last year. Since it is a timeless message I’d like to share it with you again…

Worst part of my job? Performance management. Hands down.

Yes, even worse than discipline. First of all, I rarely have to discipline an employee. And when I do, I have a very specific reason. Identifiable. Discreet. Reasonable. And it usually works. Employees get the message and stop misbehaving.

Performance management is much squishier. Trying to remember what happened over the past year, trying to choose between “outstanding” and “excellent” (or “average” and “fair”), trying to justify what my intuition is telling me about the potential of any particular employee. Squishy.

I am not comfortable with squishy, so, I am not going to do it anymore. Truth is, I really haven’t been doing it anyway.

But I have to do something….I am the President of an Employers Association, after all.

Fortunately, I was forced to face my “issues” with performance management when a member asked me to help their supervisors with their process. I dreaded it. Absolutely dreaded it. But I did it – I reviewed their forms, I talked to their upper management about goals, I listened to the supervisors. And you know what? It inspired me.

Together, we came up with what I believe to be a spectacular approach. It incorporates the organization’s values, the essential job tasks, and the employee’s strengths and goals. Here are the three things these supervisors committed to talking to each of their employees about on a monthly basis:

  1. The Spirit With Which Work Gets Done (by Everyone)
  2. The Success Factors Critical to This Specific Job (for Every Person In It)
  3. The Development Plan (for The Person)

Relatable. Measureable. Inspiring.

Not squishy.

This is something even I could do. And I plan to do it. Starting today.


(This is the first article in a series. I will address each of the three bullets in subsequent posts)

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