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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mercer: Lack of confidence looms in performance management programmes

Despite an understanding that talent is a source of competitive advantage, establishing effective performance management programmes remains a challenge for most organisations. 


That's according to Mercer's 2013 Global Performance Management Survey which reveals that just three per cent of organisations worldwide report their overall performance management system provides exceptional value.


The survey, which asked more than 1,050 organisations in 53 countries, found that one in three organisations around the world say improving managers' ability to have candid dialogue with employees has the greatest impact on overall company performance. The analysis revealed that the two components of manager skills that matter the most are linking performance to career development and setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, ambitious but achievable, relevant, and time-bound).


Alongside the contribution of managers, organisations with higher levels of executive commitment are more likely to have effective performance management programs. One-on-one performance discussions, formal performance planning, and team accountability are some of the more common practices executives are implementing to direct their teams and achieve desired business results.


Calibration and technology are two additional drivers of successful performance management. Mercer's survey reveals that organisations that practice calibration have more skilled managers, and thus, are better at determining accurate performances, increasing talent awareness, and identifying individual employee development opportunities. More than half of organisations around the globe use calibration processes to differentiate between performance levels. And while technology (used by 40 per cent of organisations) alone does not ensure performance management success, it allows for ready access to accurate data and actionable insights to all stakeholders.


Colleen O'Neil, senior partner at Mercer, said: "In today's challenging business and economic environment, companies are struggling to achieve important outcomes - like focusing employees on the 'right' things and driving them to perform at higher levels - with their current performance management programmes.


"And even though there is a lot of talk about workforce segmentation and innovative performance management practices, few effectively support dynamic performance and career development processes, and a minority of companies has made revisions to their practices in the last few years."

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