Brad Federman, COO at F&H Solutions Group

The Future of Performance Management with Brad FedermanBrad is an author, a speaker, and consultant with more than 25 years of corporate experience in various aspects of human resources including performance management and employee engagement, employee compensation, executive recruiting, change management and instructional design. His background also includes sales, marketing, product development, and operations.

Brad works with clients to strengthen their brands through Culture, leadership and people initiatives. He helps clients develop the best talent and reputation and provides them with the tools to help clients become the organization of choice for both employees and customers.

He is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council, a frequently requested featured speaker for television, conferences and business meetings worldwide, an author of three books and has been interviewed for national publications.

What is currently missing in the way overall employee performance is being managed?

Companies face many challenges with the way they manage performance these days. Two things missing from managing performance are timeliness and reality.  Because we set up meetings for performance management, most of the feedback employees receive does not happen in real time. The feedback is provided too late. Unfortunately, most managers are not proactive and do not communicate soon enough for a number of reasons including a lack of time and discomfort in having those conversations. Generally, that is because managers view these conversations as punitive when they do not have to be. The second challenge is that you can manage the process and execute tasks, but you can’t manage the performance of people.  That is a form of control and control is fear of action. What you can do is coach people up, grow your team and help facilitate people’s thinking.

Given that a company’s workforce now has a significant proportion of virtual and freelance workers, how should performance management include them?

Honestly, if we are managing performance correctly it should not matter whether someone is virtual, freelance or sitting right next to you on a daily basis. Our problem is that we focus on the wrong things like time, activity, being visible in meetings and looking busy. The truth is we should be focusing on results and productivity; and how people are getting the results. We want productive team members that do not mow people down in the process. Anyone that can build great relationships and get things done ethically is a real asset. That is what we should measure and we can do that regardless of where an employee is located or their status.

What are employees, managers and decision makers looking to make performance management more effective?

Coaching, coaching, and coaching.  We are moving from a traditional performance management effort that is linked to compensation to a coaching culture. The traditional efforts limited open conversation about growth and were more of a conversation about justification. For managers that had to justify why they were only going to give a certain amount for a raise or bonus. For employees, the conversation was about why they deserved more. It also made people wait to get feedback and caused many surprises for employees because the performance review was the first time many had received feedback and it was too late to address their manager’s concerns. Companies are now moving to real-time, on-going coaching to drive development, growth, and performance. It puts the manager in a coaching role and on the same team with their employee.  Surprises disappear and trust is increased.

What are some of the new things being introduced in Performance Management that are working/not working?

It is early to judge the new efforts, but the latest things are to remove the Performance Appraisal. No more annual conversations tied to compensation. It has merit, but time will tell if it has real staying power.

If not periodic appraisals, then what & how?

As I said earlier real-time coaching, coaching, coaching.

F&H Solutions Group specializes in employee engagement, leadership and coaching, and performance management. Please visit their website to find out more information:

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