Thursday, December 22, 2005

Improving the Quality of Communications - Part 2

View part 1 here.

Jason wrote this post about The Manager's Role in PerformanceCorsello, Jason, December 19, 2005. "The Manager's Role in Performance." Retrieved from on December 19, 2005. a couple days ago. Seemed to fit into this topic very well and it's his fault this turned into a 2 day post. In it he refers to an HCI/RecruitMax whitepaper that I have excerpted below:

Jason Corsello, Senior Analyst at The Yankee Group, believes that performance management is mainly about aligning business goals with individual objectives. He maintains that, “the one reason performance management has not taken off in a significant way among line managers is the absence in the past of good tools and technology.” Past tools and processes, says Corsello, “have had a negative impact on line mangers in terms of pushing them away from performance management initiatives.” Now companies have a wide variety of tools apart from appraisal tools – such as goal alignment and succession planning – that they can choose from in order to leverage technology in a better way. “If the companies keep in mind the needs of line managers while shopping for solutions and then motivate them to use them, it will not be difficult to get line mangers to fall in line.” Advises Corsello.

The panel agrees that alignment issues are the most important for line managers in performance management. Managers must be able to see their goals and the goals of their team within the bigger picture of the organization and they must understand how they will be measured against achieving those goals.Human Capital Institute, November 11, 2005. "On The Line: The Manager's Role In Performance." Retrieved from on December 19, 2005.

At the end of my last post, I lamented that systems are not the end solution of our communication problems. Jason's post helped bring me back to the technological optimist that I usually am. In this briefing, Jason does a wonderful job of explaining in a few words what all of these systems do when combined into a cohesive toolset. In this specific example, performance is nothing without good succession planning, competency management, goal routing, and learning management. And of course, let's not forget a good compensation plan that is tightly integrated with performance.

These disparate tools combine into an incredibly effective employee management package when utilized in an integrated and systematic way.

However, I will go back to my last post and note once again that systems are not the end solution. However, these systems bring to bear the full understanding of a particular employee's situation and how we as HR or managers can guide the employee into increased engagement, effectiveness and productivity. I'm not going to let go of the fact that the systems can't make your managers communicate effectively. However, the smart manager is inundated with direction that she didn't have just a few years ago.

As a final note, I found this blog on employee engagement. The latest post is on communications and market value and the top value additive from a 4 year Watson Wyatt study is dirving manager's behavior. Sorry, I don't have the WWW reference.Hannegan, Christopher, December 20, 2005. "Proving link between employee communications and market value." Retrieved from on December 20, 2005.