Through the deployment of Talent Chaser, we have found that the very best way to get managers to face up to performance problems is to require them to undertake performance appraisals frequently.
Currently, while many organizations measure the performance of their employees annually, less than 15% do this on a frequent basis. When Talent Chaser is deployed within an organization however, all managers typically use its Performance Appraisal and Task Action Planning Module to measure the performance of their direct reports quarterly. When executives, who are unfamiliar with Talent Chaser, hear this for the first time, it is not at all unusual for them to be somewhat incredulous. Many initially feel that they would not have the time available to do this. Yet, through the deployment of Talent Chaser, we have learnt that managers can not only find the time but also that undertaking frequent performance appraisals can make their task as a manager much easier.
In a recent survey we undertook in conjunction with Benchmark Portal, a world-leading benchmarking consultancy, we discovered that over 90% of organizations that operate Call Centers frequently measure the performance of their employees.
By studying survey participants’ answers to wide-ranging questions relating to the issue of performance measurement, we discovered that organizations within this industry not only measure performance more frequently than organizations within any other industry but also have data that proves clear improvements to both quality and productivity.
To see just how frequently call centers undertake performance measurements, take a look at the pie-chart above. Notice that nearly half undertake appraisals monthly and that a staggering 11.8% do them weekly!
This result is all the more surprising when we consider the constant pressure call center managers to keep their agents on active duty.
Managers’ initially negative attitudes towards frequent performance appraisal is often associated with their fear that frequently focusing on employees’ performance issues could have potentially negative consequences for their relationship with their staff. While it is vital that leaders develop strong working relationships with their direct reports, leadership is not all about popularity. A strong leader knows how to get on well with their team while, at the same time, holding each team member fully accountable for their actions.
Through the deployment of Talent Chaser, we have found that this balance between relationship and accountability can be successfully handled provided:
- Problems are addressed within the context of areas where the employee has performed well, and
- Clear advice is given showing the individual exactly what has to be done to overcome each performance problem, and
- Support has to be given to ensure the individual has all of the resources necessary to follow the advice that has been provided.
The Influence of Motivational Priorities
We have also found that employees can be classified into two groups depending on their motivational priorities:
(1) Those who want to perform well.
(2) Those for whom performing well is not a high motivational priority.
The data we have generated through Talent Chaser reveals that employees who want to perform well respond much more positively in situations where problems in their performance are discussed on a regular basis. One of the areas measured carefully by our online Performance Profile Questionnaire covers each job applicant’s motivational priorities. We have discovered that not only are differences in these priorities often at the root of performance issues but that, to overcome such problems successfully, extrinsically motivated employees need to be managed differently to those who are intrinsically motivated.