Shortly before Christmas the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development ("CIPD") published a report which looked at academic research on two aspects of performance management - goal setting and performance appraisal.
The main conclusions of the report are:-
- That while goal setting is effective, it can be misapplied
- Although specific and challenging goals are generally motivational, "do your best directives" and goals focussed on learning and behaviour are more effective in complex tasks
- Performance management should be seen as a continuous process and not a discrete process that is occasionally revisited
- Employers should "appraise the appraisal" by consulting with employees about how fair and useful they perceive them to be
- Employers should differentiate between assessments that inform pay and promotions and those used for development purposes.
The report also looks at the factors that are critical in making both goal setting and performance appraisals effective, and how bias in carrying out the assessments (which can be unconscious) can be prevented. The full report is well worth a read.