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Performance Management Systems: Catalysts for Continuous Improvement II

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Dr. Abiola Salami

Eid Mubarak to all champions of the Islamic faith.

Last week, we commenced a 5-part series on one of our highly recommended strategies for driving a culture of peak performance – The Evolution of Performance and Impact Measurement. We started by looking at how performance management systems are a catalyst for continuous growth and we will share 3 more values leaders can obtain by implementing an effective performance management system.

C. Closing The Skills Gap

As it’s usually the case, it takes a blend of human and material resources to produce any kind of utility in the workplace. A performance management system doesn’t just identify those really putting in the work and those that aren’t, it also identifies why that disparity exists. More often than not, it’s not necessarily laziness that causes people to be unproductive, it is incompetence. If people know better, they would generally do better. This means that with the right skills, those employees that are not so productive can become productive. Thus managers or management could identify these causalities and upskill those that are lagging behind. A skillset gap is why a group of people are given the same opportunities, resources and timeline but they produce varying degrees of results. Thus, custom training is developed to address thus challenges instead of a generic dissemination of information. What great training does it to help employees in the workplace tie their output directly to the corporate goals of an organization. 

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For example, at a printing press, one worker may deliver higher results owing to a much better mastery of the machines or a particular machine. The other variables are the same for others but owing to self-development, a skilled worker shows that his productivity is directly correlated to his skillset more than it is to machinery and other factors. That data point can be extrapolated from a performance management system which will inform decision-makers at any such organization that a training or learning program must necessarily come into play to counter the lapses identified by a performance management system.

D. Reduction In Employee Turnover And Hiring Costs

A performance management system provides an objective and scientific evidence about that state of affairs in any organization. In its absence, there would be arbitrary termination of employment and impulsive new hires without a proper interrogation or diagnosis of the challenges. It costs organizations a lot to both fire or hire staff members. When an old staff is being fired, the associated costs are just the several package but also the sunk cost of institutional knowledge or experience the person is leaving with. The same thing applies when hiring new staff members, it’s not just an addition of one more person to the payroll, the cost of training and orientation is part of the hiring costs. Not everyone understands or knowledge how to play office politics, some people depend a lot on their results to do the speaking and lobbying for them especially when an appraisal is around the corner. A performance management system helps an organization avoid costly mistakes.

Boeing is one of the biggest manufacturers of aeroplanes in the world, however, it has suffered a string of unfortunate events such as plane crashes and which has seen their stock prices dip. It is very unlikely that it didn’t have a performance management system, it would be more appropriate to say that they didn’t pay much attention to it. What happened was that it took a whistle-blower to call out the fact that quality control was not followed to the highest standards. 1Ed Pierson worked at Boeing for over ten years where he witnessed, “overworked employees, parts shortages, and quality issues”, which he said made the planes produced by the factory unsafe. 

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E. It Helps To Build Leadership Capacities

One major reason some leaders relegate leadership development is because they don’t measure the ROI on such investment.  A performance management system by default develops employees to assume responsibilities and build leadership capacities. When a person knows what has to be done per time and the consequences of both doing and not doing such, there is an attitude that is developed. This reduces micromanagement because employees are self-motivated to do the right things anyways. It reduces the tensions that exists between supervisors and their supervisees because there is a leeway for creativity isn’t of monotonous work. Whilst quality control is important, the more an employee can work without supervision, the more valuable he or she becomes because that expertise frees up the human and material resources that would have been allocated to superintending over others.

A leadership spirit is developed when an employee takes full responsibility for his or her job; it makes people do things without being prompted. The leadership cycle moves a person from being dependent, to being independent to being inter-dependent – then back to being dependent. Newer levels of creativity are unlocked when employees are encouraged to bring their ideas to play and collaborate with employees instead of just waiting for an instruction from higher-ups before acting. The more this happens throughout an organization, the better it shapes a new generation of leaders.

1https://africa.businessinsider.com/transportation/a-boeing-whistleblower-says-he-got-off-a-plane-just-before-takeoff-when-he-realized/7g7nssq

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Growth Opportunities

To further position your leaders for peak performance, you can download a free copy of the latest edition of The Peak Performer Magazine at www.thepeakperformer.africa You can also enroll your Mid-level  Leadership Team for the Made4More Accelerator Program https://abiolachamp.com/m4m-accelerator and your Senior Leadership Team for the Dr. Abiola Salami International Leadership Bootcamp MOMBASA 2024 https://abiolachamp.com/international-bootcamp/ We also have an upcoming training for leaders in public service www.abiolachamp.com/depips/

About Dr. Abiola Salami

Dr. Abiola Salami is the Convener of Dr Abiola Salami International Leadership Bootcamp and The Peak PerformerTM. He is the Principal Performance Strategist at CHAMP – a full scale professional services firm trusted by high performing business leaders for providing Executive Coaching, Workforce Development & Advisory Services to improve performance. You can reach his team on [email protected] and connect with him @abiolachamp on all social media.

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