Performance Management: Can the practice ever deliver the policy?

Brown D | Opinion Paper OP23 | Institute for Employment Studies | Oct 2010

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Performance management, it appears, isn’t working.

HR departments have set themselves an ambitious agenda to marry organisational purpose and goals with individual actions and performance, business direction with employee communications and engagement, sophisticated assessment techniques and multiple information sources, and linking the disparate strands of HR practice: talent management, development, reward and diversity.

It all sounds fine and good, but concerns remain about the skills and attitudes of reviewing managers, the consistency and quality of approach across large organisations, the complexity of the paperwork and value of outputs. If it has all become too complex to be workable, what should be done?