Abstracts: December 2nd, 2009

Research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has revealed a wide gulf between what managers say about performance management and what they actually do about it.

There is a general recognition that performance management is about helping people to understand how they contribute to the strategic goals of organisations and ensuring that the right skills and effort are focused on the things that really matter. But in practice it often becomes a tick-box exercise to fulfil other requirements of the organization.

While managers indicated in the survey that they are aware of what constitutes best practice performance management, a different picture is painted in reality. Despite over 90 per cent of respondents including regular review meetings as the main activity, in practice only six out of ten actually carry this out.

Almost half of respondents think that individuals are the primary beneficiaries of performance management, but only one in five think it has a positive impact on individual performance with a similar number actually disagreeing that it has a positive impact.

There is a similar gulf between theory and practice relating to the role of line managers. Only one in five think that line managers benefit most from performance management, yet one in four agree that performance management would help line managers to manage people better. More worryingly, almost four in ten disagree that performance management helps line managers to develop the capability to manage people better.

Performance Management in Action is available from CIPD. http://www.cipd.co.uk