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Bosses not confident about performance management

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Establishing effective performance management programmes remains a challenge for most organisations in the region.

According to Mercer’s 2013 Global Performance Management Survey, just 3% of companies workwide believe their overall performance management systems provide exceptional value.

The study, which surveyed more performance management leaders at more than 1,050 organisations from 53 countries, also found many aspects of these organisations’ approach to performance management were “ineffective”.

The linkage to succession planning received the lowest marks, with 70% of respondents saying this practice “needs work”.

Global survey respondents said the highest priority outcome of performance management is “driving employees to higher levels of performance” – and one third said this is most affected by improving managers’ ability to have candid dialogue with staff.

When it comes to management skills, organisations reported “providing career development coaching and direction to employees” as being their best skill (59%), followed by linking performance to “actionable” planning (48%) and gathering meaningful information on performance (44%).

What managers are mostly lacking is the ability to hold formal performance evaluation discussions with staff (21%) and setting SMART goals (29%).

Additionally, the study found no region or country to lead the world in performance management best practices. In general, organisations in Asia Pacific are more likely to have the tools, guidelines, and metrics in place compared to those in Europe, which tend to place more importance on career development in their pay-for-performance value propositions.

Goal setting occurs more in South Korea and India and least often in the United States and Canada, while organisations in India, Singapore, Japan and Eastern Europe are more likely to demonstrate higher levels of executive commitment to performance management.

“In today’s challenging business and economic environment, companies are struggling to achieve important outcomes – like focusing employees on the ‘right’ things and driving them to perform at higher levels – with their current performance management programs,” Colleen O’Neill, senior partner at Mercer, said.

“And even though there is a lot of talk about workforce segmentation and innovative performance management practices, few effectively support dynamic performance and career development processes, and a minority of companies has made revisions to their practices in the last few years.”

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