Success Story

Performance Management as a Leadership Tool

When a CI federal client implemented a “pay for performance” system, it created concern to say the least. How could this be done in a way that served the organization, improved individual and team performance, and was perceived as fair to employees?

To successfully transition to the new system and increase the comfort level of everyone involved, the client asked CI to provide performance management tools and insight for both supervisors and employees.

Our Approach

In most organizations, performance management is considered an HR function, something to be endured once a year and then forgotten. Our approach emphasized performance management as a leadership tool, not an administrative or bureaucratic function, putting the focus on leadership responsibilities rather than the appraisal system. Performance management is, at heart, two things: clear goals and good feedback. By keeping the focus on leadership, we showed supervisors how to create effective performance plans and establish clear goals at the beginning of a performance period.

Additionally, we gave them tools to have detailed conversations with employees regarding these plans and how to articulate that achieving the goals was directly tied to the mission of the agency. Through our workshops geared to employees, participants learned how their contributions to organizational success could be captured and shared with supervisors to ensure they received the appraisal they deserved.

This dual approach for supervisors and employees, with the common threads of results orientation and a communicative, collaborative approach to performance management, alleviated many of the concerns expressed by the client’s employees and ensured the new approach was met with interest and openness, not skepticism and fear.

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