How Do You Know If Your Organization Has a Performance Management System?

A Performance Management Culture

How do you know if your organization has a performance management system? Once a year, your boss is thrust into the dreaded “performance management cycle.” There he is required to complete numerous performance appraisals. Many managers rush to complete their appraisals en masse the Sunday night before the appraisals are due. While most of their ratings are influenced by the rankings and bell-curve pre-established by the organization. Upon the completion of an exhausting approval process, he finally schedules a meeting with you. Following the meeting, you rush back to your cubicle, call your significant other and exclaim, “I got a 3.5 on collaboration!”

Your reaction is not your fault. You have grown up in a culture built around performance management, rating categories, and numerical rankings. If you took a moment to reflect on your life, you would recall statements similar to the following:

  • “Your daughter is in the 98th percentile for height and the 95th percentile for weight.”
  • “Your daughter has received an A in History, a B+ in Social Sciences, and an A- in Biology.”
  • “Please notify your parents that your cumulative grade point average at the completion of your sophomore year is 3.25.”


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