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Implementing performance management – HRD preview


Matthew Joint, Group Management Development Director at Centrica, is presenting a case study at HRD entitled "Performance Management: what a performance!". Here he shares his experience of introducing performance management in a large organisation.

TrainingZONE What do you think most often goes wrong with performance management?

The most common problem is that it isn't taken seriously, its relevance to day to day activities isn't clear.

For us, much of this was a matter of unifying processes across what are five different companies which each had their own systems of varying value. Too often it was viewed as optional, just a form-filling issue that HR made us do. It wasn't recognised that this was an opportunity for managers to give feedback, or as something that affected each employee personally. It hasn't been seen as a chance for the individual to see how they can do better, and to be able to assess where they are going.

TrainingZONE Does it take a firm system throughout a company to get it working properly?

That makes it more rewarding. Using the Balanced Scorecard isn't perfect, but it's effective. And very importantly it cascades down the company, so that someone working in a call centre can see that they fit in with objectives that build all the way up to the top.

TrainingZONE How do you get employee buy-in?

It has got to feel relevant and beneficial, you need to give a good answer to the question "what's in it for me?". And it has to cover general and particular issues. We have had to make it clear that what this is about is asking the employee "what do you need to do your job, and to enjoy your job?", and listening to the answers. You make the individual benefits clear.

TrainingZONE What are the main lesssons you have learned about performance management?

All of the above, really! And the importance of technical competency frameworks. Not within performance management directly, though behavioural competencies are. But they are very significant in undertaking cultural change, and making realistic decisions.

Find out more about HRD 2003


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