Organisations are shunning the competency approach to
performance management, while a fifth of the UK’s largest employers have no
formal performance management system at all.
Exclusive research by Personnel Today and HR software
company PeopleSoft shows that only 1 per cent of the 900 firms polled said they
used competencies or a competency framework to assess employee performance.
The figure surprised performance management experts, most of
whom see the competency approach, which focuses on individuals’ skills,
knowledge and behaviours rather than qualifications or experience, as the basis
for delivering effective performance management.
"It is easy to assume that most organisations –
especially larger ones – are carrying out so-called high-performance personnel
practices, but the reality is that many of these organisations don’t have even
the basic tools in place to bring about the alignment of people management and
business performance," said Angela Baron, adviser for organisation and
resourcing at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
The survey found a fifth of even the largest organisations –
those with 5,000 or more staff – did not have any form of formal performance
management at all. That figure rose to almost half (46 per cent) of small firms
and 27 per cent overall.
The poll cast doubt on how far organisations are linking
individual employee performance to business objectives. While 83 per cent said
this was a feature of their performance management system, it’s not clear how
they achieved it in practice.