A Publication of WTVP

Organizations today face an unusual confluence of challenges: a slow recovery from a deep recession, the rise of a younger generation that expects more coaching and development, and the globalization of the workforce.

To address these challenges, the majority of organizations are transitioning toward a coaching and development model of performance management. Such an approach empowers organizations to provide support when they cannot offer more compensation. It also facilitates the development of younger workers and helps retain employees in competitive, emerging markets.

These are some of the key findings from a recent study by Bersin & Associates, High-Impact Performance Management: Part 1, Designing a Strategy for Effectiveness. The purpose of this study is to help organizations create or develop a new performance management strategy. This research—based on a year-long analysis of performance management that involved more than 500 HR leaders from a range of industries, geographies and organization sizes—produces another startling finding: Senior leaders who coach, develop and hold others accountable for coaching and development are three times more effective at producing improved business and talent results.

Unfortunately, the study also establishes that most senior leaders do not seem to understand the impact they can have by supporting performance management at their organizations. It turns out that only 11 percent of senior leaders “very frequently” coach their employees, while 15 percent of leaders discuss the importance of coaching and development with employees “very frequently.”

The lack of senior leader focus on performance management—and specifically coaching and development planning—is alarming for two reasons. First, most organizations (70%) claim they have a coaching and development performance management philosophy, but very few leaders actually model this behavior. Secondly, managers’ inability to effectively coach their employees is the No. 1 challenge to performance management. This is especially problematic since senior leaders are not showing lower-level managers how to effectively coach and develop employees.

At the same time, the research clearly demonstrates that performance management, when done well, can deliver immense business impact. In fact, a key finding is that the coaching element is much more important than organizations previously believed.

In a time of wage and hiring freezes, layoffs, and economic turmoil, your workers (or you) may be feeling overworked, underpaid and underappreciated. The morale in the business community is low, and energizing your workforce is more challenging than ever. On October 19th, AAIM Employers’ Association will present the Strategic Directions Conference 2011. Kim Lamoureux of Bersin & Associates will kick off the conference by sharing the top 10 findings from the aforementioned study, while keynote speaker Tony Schwartz, author of The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, will discuss four key needs you must meet in order to perform at your best.

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