The Rest of The Story – Performance Management Jobs to Be Done

I don’t document a formal budget or balance a checkbook. I accept there’s risk and potential benefits I’m leaving on the table, but the return doesn’t merit the investment for me, personally. And, I have other habits that ensure things are within control and that the jobs of a budget and checkbook get done. 

Accenture is making news lately by abolishing performance reviews. No judgment there, but it’s only part of the story. I’m sure there is a countermeasure for how the organization ensures people are aligned at scale (e.g., how strategy is broken down to individual goals, actuals vs. planned are reviewed and responded to, feedback is provided and lessons learned about strengths to extend and things to change are identified, accountability and recognition/rewards are dealt to reinforce behavior). Is it responsible to make all this noise without ever discussing how the purpose and outcomes of performance management are being accomplished? I am, though, intrigued to learn what they’re changing to and how it accomplishes the jobs to be done. 

Many of you are thinking,
“…we have reviews and don’t accomplish any of these things”

…Or, “that’s not why we have reviews.”

If you’re cheering for reviews to be abolished it’s likely because you view them as illegitimate. You manage to cope and don’t see the point…for your team. However, as someone who has gone into a few companies that didn’t have performance management, I can tell you this wasn’t terribly functional or effective either. And, the people didn’t like it…because the jobs weren’t getting done. 

Where’s the rest of the story?

2 thoughts on “The Rest of The Story – Performance Management Jobs to Be Done

  1. I think this a bandwagon issue that hasn’t been fully baked. “We” do a terrible collective job of coaching and developing employees and without an embedded culture that empowers people and managers to coach effectively and hold each other accountable for business metrics, ripping the band-aid off the annual autopsy process is a recipe for disaster. Adobe embarked on this before Accenture and is now struggling with compensation decisions for those employees who don’t make widgets in specified time frames or increase X sales over annual goals. We can all point out the terrible aspects of the performance review process as it currently exists, but without having a culture that supports in-the-moment coaching, accountability, shared goals, etc…. it’s just going to make us hate something else….like trying to demonstrate our impact, our value and our job. Don’t get me wrong – I’d be the first to throw out the process….but not without first ensuring the right framework is available to support the change. That should be the rest of the story.

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