In my blog ‘Performance Management: Mind the Gaps!’ I talked about what happens when there is a gap between good performance management practice and our actual performance management practices. In Performance Management Gaps: Monitoring Employee Performance I covered (go on, make a guess) monitoring. In this blog I’m covering what happens when there’s a gap where our performance feedback should be
Performance Management Gap 3: Performance Feedback
We give our employees performance feedback because we know that this feedback not only improves employee performance but also employee job satisfaction. When we don’t give performance feedback we create a ‘feedback gap’ that our employees just have to fill. Here are some of the ways they try to fill that gap
People make it up
- How you behaved this morning (he ignored me – he thinks I’m boring)
- What you last said to them (she asked to see my client record – she thinks I’m lazy)
- What you said in the last team meeting (when he said we all need to improve accuracy he really meant me – he thinks I’m stupid)
- What you said in the tea room / bar / water cooler (she said she feels we need to promote the product more actively – she thinks I’m not pulling my weight)
- What you don’t say (he’s never asked to look at my client proposals – he just doesn’t care about what I do)
Or any combination of the above! Of course our employees might make more positive assumptions ‘she’s not complaining about my work so it must be OK’ but without giving performance feedback and discussing that performance feedback how do we know?
People look for performance feedback elsewhere
They might try clients, team members, or the guy who services the air con system. Still, as long as they are getting exactly the feedback we would be giving them if we had the time, skills or just didn’t have something stopping us giving that performance feedback I guess it doesn’t matter much. Does it?
People give up trying to get performance feedback and just do what they’ve always done
Until they can find a job where their manager would care about them, their performance, their career development and so on
Performance Feedback Gap Summary
Employees are struggling because there is a gap in their manager’s performance management practices. They struggle because they aren’t clear on: what their manager expects of them and how they are performing against those expectations. Clearly there are real benefits to closing our ‘performance management gaps’ So, how about you? Are there gaps in your performance management practices?