Time for a systems audit: Performance management

I agree with your conclusion that “if you do what you’ve always done, you get what you’ve always got”.

After 20 years in HR management, I reflect on all those occasions when line managers were blamed for not tackling under-performance, appraisals were viewed as a form-filling exercise, or performance management systems were changed in the hope of improving matters. Is it now time to consider whether these approaches are themselves part of the problem?

To say that poor organisational performance is caused by the under-performance of individual employees alone is far too simplistic. The HR profession has a vital role to play in working with line managers to improve the systems of work that deliver products or services to our diverse clients.

To do this, we need to consider our methods of working, the equipment we provide, the materials our people have to work with and the overall workplace environment.

Improvement to systems must be tackled long before we can honestly identify the individuals who need either development or discipline. Now that would be an ambitious culture change.

Glyn Lumley
HR adviser,
The Deming Forum

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