Sustaining The Impact Of Performance & Development Reviews

In this busy, fast-changing business environment, how does HR help businesses to make Performance & Development Reviews more effective by sustaining their impact throughout the year?

At a recent briefing meeting about Employee Engagement, we were asked whether engagement conversations needed to happen outside of formal Performance & Development Review (PDR) processes. We addressed this question directly with an unequivocal yes!! In our experience engagement conversations with line managers need to be brief and often. This makes them very different from formal PDR processes (even with the inclusion of mid-term reviews). However it is vital to have absolute alignment between both.

The Place for Performance & Development Reviews (PDRs)

To perform well, a person needs to understand the performance required of them and how this fits together to make the organisation's overall performance. There is a need to focus on those behaviours that underpin organisational Values and time should be set aside for a personal and career development discussions. All of these elements are critical for effective PDR meeting(s). However, sometimes in their search for the perfect process, organisations develop a range of complex competencies and behaviours, which although well-intentioned, appear to be designed to create "tick-box" criteria, rather than engaging conversations. The process replaces the passion!

This raises the question of whether formal PDRs deal sufficiently with the real behavioural needs of people in trying to address the ever-changing current and future challenges facing them.

The root of 75% of "performance" issues

We know from our experience that the majority of "performance" issues are rooted in factors like:
  • Unclear job expectations
  • Changing priorities
  • Absence of standards
  • Lack of feedback
  • Lack of motivation to perform
  • Task interference
  • Skill & Knowledge requirements
Engaging conversations throughout the year!

To help managers to have these conversations, we have developed a list of ten "prompts" for each of the key engagement areas shown here:

Helping people to shape their own goals and believe that they can make a difference
Being consciously clear about what we are looking for and spotting people doing things right
Giving people the courage to walk towards challenges and make decisions
Spending more time developing people and continuously exploring ways for them to utilise their full potential

These conversations don't need to get bogged down with PDR forms, they can be a natural part of day-to-day leadership.

The 40 prompts are published in "scorecard" format, to focus managers on the areas they are currently missing out on, and to provide simple progress measures.

HR - bridging the gap

At most PDR briefings someone stresses the importance of "regular reviews". However, beyond the occasional reference to a mid-term review, how this will be achieved is rarely clarified.

Many organisations are now at the point where their latest round of PDR's has been completed. This is where HR can make a big impact on the business. They must go beyond collating responses, identifying development needs, completing succession plans and sending out reminders about interim reviews by supporting line managers in having "brief and often" engagement conversations.

Every member of our Engagement Team is equipped to provide 1:1 coaching and/or introductory workshops which are then sustainable by the organisation. To learn more about the team please click here.

To discuss our unique approach, please contact:

The Wadenhoe Consultancy Ltd

Prama House
267 Banbury Road

Phone: 01865 339558
Mobile: 07899 796993
Fax: 01865 339301

Registered in England No: 6717860

©2012 The Wadenhoe Consultancy Ltd