Performance Management – Can You Put Employees in Control of the “Meets vs. Exceeds” Equation?

Kris Dunn Engagement and Satisfaction, Performance, Recognition, Total Rewards

Last week I broke off a couple of riffs (this one and that one) regarding the difference between a Meets vs. Exceeds when evaluating employees via your Performance Management process.  I’ve probably said enough on the topic for at least a week – so I’ll give everyone a break – from my thoughts on the topic anyway…Office_performance_management_2

How about someone else’s thoughts on the importance of the Meets vs. Exceeds dynamic?  While most of my thoughts on Performance Management have been focused on the impact driving the distinction between the two ratings can have on business results, the folks at More Than a Living popped up last week with a reminder of why the differentiation is just as important to the employee:

"You’ve had your review. Hopefully with feedback from many, likely with input and reflections just from your manager.

No one becomes “valued” doing just their one thing – we are all replaceable when we fail to differentiate against our stereotype or next-best candidate for the job. You can be the most brilliant, wicked smart recruiter (or tax accountant or programmer) on the street, but if all you do is take orders and execute, you are valued based on your tactical contributions. True or not, the market perception is that tactics can be delivered by any fellow with a similar resume. And to a large degree, rightly so.

What are you doing to outgrow your last performance review? Are you more than tactical delivery? Who is singing your songs of greatness?"

Pretty good stuff – supporting the need to differentiate performance from the employee’s point of view.  The tough part about this angle?  How do you have this type of conversation with the masses without sending out the alarm bells of forced ranking and outsourcing/offshoring?  It’s a delicate balance to strike, but one all performance cultures need.

The folks at More Than a Living have a product under development called Kumquat.  After looking at the preview, it looks like it will be an on-demand performance management tool designed for the employee, with tools like 360 feedback incorporated to ensure balanced feedback when the employee reaches out to understand how others perceive their contributions.

A neat idea to say the least.  I am sure the goals of Kumquat are much broader, so I’ll let their team leave a better description in the comments section if they are so inclined… 

Kris Dunn
Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He's also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.