Performance management is usually thought of almost exclusively in terms of formal, structured processes through which managers are expected to control the performance of their staff. These include formal target setting procedures; routine progress checking and performance monitoring; programmed feedback sessions; and end-of-year reviews. Often these elements are driven more by the requirements of an organization’s pay structures and the felt need for managers to get to grips with ‘poor performers’, than by the wider considerations of business performance and staff engagement.
While leaders are focusing their attention on getting these formal systems and processes ‘right’, though, they need to recognize that other, more powerful forces are at play which unavoidably impact upon organizational performance. The everyday conversations and interactions that they have with their staff – and that staff have with each other - are particularly influential in this.