Everything You Want to Know About the 2018 BHG Performance Management Study and Are NOT Afraid to Ask

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By Cliff Stevenson, Principal Analyst, Talent Management and Workforce Management

For a free copy of Brandon Hall Group’s new Performance Management research summary, please click here.

Last week, Rosette Cataldo and I delivered a webinar, “Keeping Your Performance Strategy Simple and Human.”

To prepare, we partnered with SHRM to answer questions on Twitter in their popular #nextchat series.

Unlike a traditional Q&A, the questions are put forth so that anyone can respond and nobody is necessarily right or wrong. Everyone involved can see all the answers and decide what makes sense for them – crowdsourcing at its best.

Many of the questions and insights were quite insightful, so I wanted to share some of them with you.

The most common question I get when I talk about companies that have gone rating-less is how they tie their compensation to performance without performance ratings. User @giustiinhr brought this up when discussing changing PM models:

My standard response, and the one I used here, is to ask whether pay should be linked to performance at all. The response from @giustiinhr was exactly right:

There is no one “right” answer when it comes to the “should pay be linked to performance” question, but … there actually is one and that answer is, it depends on the nature of your business. If you are at an organization that found success with pay for performance or mainly deal in the types of jobs where effort is linked to success, then, by all means, continue working within that model.

On the subject of the transition to a rating-less system, user @LoriMacDB was curious about the employee reaction to removing ratings, which is a great question because we tend to focus more on the effect it has on HR and other administrative roles:

After speaking candidly with many of the companies that have gone rating-less, I heard that a period of distrust and/or pushback from employees is common. This is mostly due to either those employees having seen one PM system swapped out for another without resulting in any meaningful change or a belief (sometimes correct!) that there is still a “shadow” rating system going on. The obvious way to counteract this is with an involved and honest internal-communication campaign explaining the reasons for the change and what to expect going forward, all while acknowledging past mistakes. As with many aspects of HR, transparency is absolutely critical.

I’ll close with an excellent response from my co-presenter Rosette who was asked about how to overcome employees’ fear of requesting feedback when organizations move to a more free-flowing, conversational model. It’s natural for employees to fear projecting an air of ignorance or opening themselves up to criticism, as might have been the case in a traditional PM setting.

Rosette posted about her experience watching an open culture grow:

There were many other wonderful questions and responses, but I think these were most indicative of the common points brought up whenever I speak about PM. Hopefully, it answered a few of your questions, too.

I’m happy to respond to anything additional you might have for me in the comments below.

And if you’d like a free copy of Brandon Hall Group’s new research summary on Performance Management, please click here.

For more information on Brandon Hall Group’s research, please visit www.brandonhall.com

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Mike Cooke



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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.