Sunday, January 26, 2014

Improve performance management

Improve performance management to drive high performance

There's a lot of talk about getting rid of performance appraisal and traditional performance management systems.  I certainly can see why.  The performance appraisal process is, in general, a demotivating event for everyone involved.  They are too infrequent to be natural, and no matter what we say, everyone knows they are tied to salary increases.  Managers are forced to find negative things to say to balance out the positive, and it's basically a CONFRONTATION rather than a CONVERSATION.

Must we throw out performance management systems in order to make things better?

Or do we have to go to the only "positive and happy" feedback version of performance management?

There is a realistic alternative that can take performance management to the next level in your organizations. You can have discussions about what's working well and what's not while improving employee performance and providing management development.

Optimizing Energy - the lens for new performance management

With over 1 million data points on employee energy at work, several large, multi-firm research studies on energy and predictive analysis showing that energy leads to higher individual, team and firm performance, a process has been developed to monitor employee energy and provide feedback tools for optimization.  This process can be used to positively change performance management.  I don't have enough space in this blog to review the science of human energy optimization, so for now, I will just say that we have learned the following:

* Measurement of human energy at work can be done in a simple, fast way
* The metrics have been validated and predict performance (individual, team and firm level)
* Energy is an optimization metric so employees are asked about their current energy state and their ideal energy state.  The optimization concept is similar to what is used in other fields (e.g. finance, marketing and health).  The simplest example is that human energy at work acts like your body pulse - it fluctuates, and you want to stay at a level that is ideal for you.
* Employees are at their best - personally and at work - when energy is "in the zone."
* Frequent measurement of energy is needed to track if one is in or out of his/her zone.
* Frequent measurement data can be provided to leaders (heat maps are a great way to monitor) and to managers.
* Employees learn how to optimize their own energy at work - they are ultimately in control of it.
* Managers learn how to be directors of energy - they help employees reach their potential.

eePulse has created a process by which the science of energy is combined with effective management and leadership development designed to manage the energy conversation.

What happens?

* Measure energy frequently.
* Give employees access to their own data.
* Provide managers with data.
* Teach managers how to engaged in the right conversations - engaging employees to talk about their data.
* This happens frequently because energy data must be collected frequently.
* Leaders talk about the energy of the company in meetings; managers review their work; employees have one-on-one dialogues with their managers and with each other.

Voila - energy is the thing that drives conversations - not once a year but ongoing.

What did we do?  We just radically and positively changed performance management.  It is not part of the way business is being done.

This work is fun - it's energizing - it's not the drain that is performance appraisal and performance management.

If you want to learn more, go to, or feel free to write to me at

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Nice article. Organization as well as employee both should know the vision and goal of an organization. organization should take suggestions of employee while setting goals. Communication between employee and organization should clear and transparent.

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