Category Location Job title
Practitioner United States Director/Analyst

Functional Areas Industry Industry sub-categories
Supply Chain, Procurement, Distribution
Publishing -

1. Explain performance management by using a metaphor, comparing it to something in everyday life or an abstract concept:
Performance management can be compared to parenting. Goals are established (“I want my child to be healthy”; “I want my child to read by a specific age”). Commitments are made (providing natural foods for the child; insuring that foods have low amounts of additives; introducing books to the child as early as possible). Measurements are taken (is the child developing at an acceptable rate; is the child showing an interest in reading). Adjustments are made. The process and measurements start over. Certain performance aspects might be apparent immediately; others are seen over time.
2. 2010 was the international year of biodiversity. What living organism best represents the term performance?
Humans and all they do best represent the term “performance” when discussing biodiversity. It is up to the human species to perform in such a way as to save the precious elements of the earth that are subject to loss. We can control so much of the things that impact our world, yet our individual and corporate focus is not always in tune with preserving our delicate environment.
3. What would you recommend as best practice in performance management?
The best practice in performance management is to set clear objectives, establish realistic measures, and adjust as necessary to achieve the goal. It’s important to involve all key stakeholders and subject matter experts when establishing a performance management process/program.
4. What aspects of performance management should be explored more through research?
An area of performance management that is often unclear is motivation: what factors improve employee performance and push them to want to succeed on their own? Incentive based rewards may work for a while, but often behaviors revert to less than productive ones. I believe we all understand that we cannot actually motivate someone to perform better; we somehow we must provide the mechanism the prompts an intrinsic desire to want to achieve more. We need to research human behavior and understand what triggers a sense of motivation.
5. Share a short story about the use of performance management concepts in practice (experienced, witnessed or read by you).
One of the most inspiring performance management tools my company has employed has been a specific type of personality assessment with accompanying training in what the assessment means both to the individual and to the teams the individuals works in. In the previous environment, we worked on projects with many coworkers and learned how each acted and reacted. Sometimes there was friction between members due to one or the other’s approach to an issue. When the new assessment and training was deployed, we learned about the motivational triggers associated with a person’s reactions to issues and also learned how to work together to not trigger each other into a less than desirable mindset. We understand that one person might be driven to follow rules, another might be motivated by a desire to achieve a goal, and someone else might be looking at only the details instead of the bigger picture. We can build diverse teams knowing the skill set each team member has and using them to the fullest capability.

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What Performance Management question would you like to have answered?
How successful are companies with implementing performance based incentive programs?

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