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Why Don't Most Companies Manage Performance Well?

Why Don't Most Companies Manage Performance Well?

David Wentworth | i4cp

October 08, 2010

There’s a good reason the performance reviews in your company probably aren’t going well. Most of your managers don’t know what they’re doing.

Less than a fifth of organizations have leaders who are either highly or very highly skilled at conducting performance reviews, according to a new study i4cp conducted for a member organization. Companies should not expect employees to be engaged and satisfied with the performance appraisal process when the people conducting the reviews are, well, just not performing.

This insight is supported by another recent i4cp study conducted in partnership with member companies participating in i4cp’s Performance Management Accelerator group. That major study shows one of the most critical keys to performance management is having leaders with the right set of skills.

High-performing organizations recognize that performance management is difficult, so they develop their managers accordingly. We found, in fact, that high performers are about twice as likely as low performers to provide, to a high or very high extent, the necessary training to managers to make them successful:

To what extent does your organization provide training for supervisors on conducting performance reviews to address the following areas?

Percentage of respondents agreeing to a “High” or “Very high extent”


As you can see, managers at high-performing organizations are far better equipped to tackle the hard work of getting performance management right. The important, difficult things are the priority – developing goals, giving and receiving feedback and conducting the meeting itself.

This training lays the foundation for other performance management essentials. For instance, high performers tend to give equal weight to both results and behaviors during the appraisal process. This is far more difficult than simply ticking off a checklist of accomplished goals.

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