Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How to manage your PMS

I am all performance review managed out.

Here's some words and phrases that were repeated often during yesterday's workshops:

management (as in change, risk, merger, performance review)
KRAs - Key Result Areas
KPIs - Key Performance Indicators
SWOT analysis
PMS - not what you think but rather generic acronym for a Performance Management System
Vision Statement
Mission Statement
Values Statement
Line managers

Words that were not mentioned except by me in my day dreaming:
Superfluous Industry
Management speak has infiltrated every industry and sector
HR Jargon is mystifying because it doesn't actually mean anything
This is all very well in theory but will have trouble working in practice because no institution can fulfil the ideal that that theory requires to be able to work.
Is the contemporary theory of management of people and institutions actually a modern form of myth making so people in charge can sleep well at night safe in the knowledge that they are pretending that everything is working beautifully.

This last comment came late in my workshop induced stupor and perhaps may be considered by some a little cynical.

To be fair there were some interesting points about communicating in the workplace but again it requires enlightened, emotionally intelligent (another oft-repeated phrase) managers and supervisors for this to actually work in reality. I am lucky that I have one so I don't have any issues with taking part in the review process. In my area it's extremely low key because we all chat almost daily about how things are progressing. From the talk in the room though not all my colleagues are quite so fortunate.


lucy said...

How I love this post...It's amazing how similar it is across all industries and how completely pointless the whole process is...why is there this continual repeating of the issues and not actually resolving them (well at least not for a while anyway!) and I don't think your last comment is cynical at all...it's the truth!!

Wendy said...

That's interesting isn't it!...because you actually work in a business area

I can definitely see the point in trying to get employees to do their jobs well...I just don't think suffocating this aim in endless processes actually makes this happen any better in reality. Poorly performing employees don't ever seem to get better and well performing employees will perform well anyway...whether they are "reviewed and managed" or not.

I guess it's the difference between theory and practice isn't it.

lucy said...

No the whole process isn't totally pointless because it's always good to have an idea of performance of a team and what can be improved etc but these reviews always seem to be 'all talk and no action'...I mean sure you can say 'this area needs to be improved' or critisize existing procedures but you must have something to put in their place and ways of implementing the changes (with everyones cooperation - the hard part) otherwise the same issues arise every single review!! Ok getting carrid away...maybe this is just my workplace...or sorry...my perception!

Wendy said...

I do think what you are describing is probably similar to a great many workplaces....sadly!

deep calming breaths now!