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It’s safe to say the annual procedure of evaluating the performance of employees embodies the irrationalities of the corporate world. Most performance management systems are unsuccessful because they are embedded in models that optimize transactional work tasks. What with the influx of Gen-zers, there is a demand for a new way of being managed: how to fulfill their needs, motivate them and foster trust will be the challenge of leadership in supporting a multigenerational workforce.
The Movement of Management
An increasing amount of job roles are demanding employees with deeper expertise, more independent judgment and superior problem-solving skills – a far cry from the time consuming, greatly subjective, demotivating and not very helpful view of the performance management process. Employees are shouldering greater responsibilities in their interactions with customers and business partners which indicate a growing need for companies to inspire and motivate performance.
Most management systems are formed in a way that boxes employees in while taking much of their humanness out. The days of performance management are limited as we make the move away from mindless activity that follows a systematic approach to an increasingly interactive and individualized future of work. While these are not new issues, they have become increasingly obvious in a workforce that hosts talent from multiple generations, with varying needs.
Steering Performance Development
Development, by its very nature, is an individually based process. Regular conversations about performance change the focus to building the environment your organization needs to be competitive. This dialogue boosts employee effectiveness and sheds the bureaucratic reputation of transactional processes that undermine individual potential.
High-performance cultures speak to performance development cycles. Therefore, it is important for leaders to be able to distinguish between management and development to successfully move away from the traditional systems we use to oversee performance. The focus is now on long term future discussion and real time feedback. We have become so robotic with the way we go about business as usual that we do not realize the way we go about business needs to change. As leaders, this requires us to sit up and listen to our employees and keep relationships at the core of what we do.
The Way Forward
Organizations and specifically leadership, need to focus performance discussions on what’s needed for the future rather than what has happened in the past. Leaders must consider new ways to change the attitudes and behavior of employees, with relationship building at the core. Only when we transition from performance management toward the development of the people in an organization, can we create a culture of high-performance. This commitment of leader's to being inspirational and transformational will be central to the future of talent in a multigenerational workforce.
How are you developing your employees to support a high-performance culture?
Leadership is about relationships. The smartest, fastest and most effective leaders all get that the whole game is about people–developing teammates + serving customers + making the world a whole lot better by the way you show up in it. Learn to listen like a master. Commit to being more inspirational. Keep your promises. Do nice things for people. Be the most generous person you know. Staggeringly great opportunities will come your way. Trust me.