Human Capital & Careers

Failing Grade for Performance Management

Most employees do believe, however, that their performance appraisals are accurate and that they lead to better raises and bonuses.
Stephen TaubApril 28, 2004

Just 30 percent of workers believe that their companies’ performance-management programs improve performance, according to a survey of 1,190 workers by consultancy Watson Wyatt.

Further, only 20 percent say their company helps poorly performing workers improve, according to the survey.

In some regards, however, employees believe the system works: 61 percent felt that their performance appraisal was accurate, and 54 percent say employees with better reviews get better raises and bonuses.

On the other hand, fewer than 40 percent say their company’s way of gauging performance sets clear goals, generates honest feedback, or capitalizes on technology to streamline the process, according to Watson Wyatt.

The results are disappointing for purveyors of the programs. “Performance-management programs represent a lost opportunity for most companies,” said Scott Cohen, national director for talent management at Watson Wyatt. “These systems, if designed and implemented properly, can have a strong, positive impact on individual performance and financial results.” Studies by the consulting firm suggest they can boost shareholder value by 20 percent, he also asserted.

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