Performance Management: The Implementation Challenge

Key research findings

Hirsh W, Brown D, Chubb C, Reilly P | HR Network Paper MP89 | Institute for Employment Studies | Apr 2011

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This note summarises the interim findings of literature and case-based research into the implementation of performance management systems conducted by IES in 2011.

IES worked with seven organisations in a range of sectors on this research and listening to the views of employees and line managers as well as those of HR professionals. 

Performance management systems have been getting increasingly complex in terms of the range of topics they expect managers and employees to cover and the corporate information they are expected to provide.

The history of appraisal systems and their evolution into performance management systems can be compared to the telling and re-telling of an epic saga. Performance management has become such a key process in the eyes of HR professionals that the function is tempted to put more and more things it would like to address into this process.

The shift in terminology from performance appraisal to performance management was intended to make the process more relevant to the business.

It has, however, also encouraged HR to put more and more ideas into that concept of ‘performance management’. Each time HR adds in another idea to its own performance management story, it becomes a bit more complex and the list of purposes for this system tends to grow.