Performance Programs Giving Poor Performance

Only three out of 10 U.S. workers say that their companies' performance management programs actually do what they are intended to do: improve performance. And only two out of 10 workers say their companies help poorly performing workers improve, according to a recent survey by Watson Wyatt, a Washington, D.C.-based human resources consulting firm. "The survey results clearly indicate that corporate America's performance management systems need fixing," says Scott Cohen, national director for talent management at Watson Wyatt. "Unfortunately, too many organizations view their performance management programs as 'organizational wallpaper.' They exist in the background and aren't expected to add value." While performance management programs do somewhat better at more traditional functions, such as appraising performance and assisting with pay decisions, they are not successful in improving performance. The survey of 1,190 workers found that 61% of employees feel their performance appraisals are accurate, and 54% say employees with better reviews get better raises and bonuses. However, only 30% of employees give their performance management systems good marks in helping them to improve their performances.. In addition, less than 40% say the system establishes clear performance goals, generates honest feedback or capitalizes on technology to streamline the process. The survey also found that only 54% of workers say their companies set high performance standards, and only 44% feel that people are held accountable for their performances. Nineteen percent of all workers say their companies deal effectively with poorly performing employees.

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