Main mistakes at designing a PMS

I always insist my clients that they must never forget that, when all is said and done, people (like you and me) are who finally use the PMS and make or not worth of it. Therefore, besides correctly linking strategy and teams objectives, systems must be understandable. My experience is that this represents an usual failure for companies. One of my obsessions when designing a PMS is keeping it as simple as possible.

Specifically I would recommend to avoid:

  • Establishing criteria that nobody understand

Surely, your strategic mind can fly high, try not to do too high so people can clearly understand  performance criteria perfectly –> Use examples for this in your training sessions about the PMS. (If your confusion mainly resides in how to translate company´s goals to performance objectives I recommend you read http://bit.ly/nXID4T where my colleague Sandy Richardson succinctly explains it in 12 points).

  • Being unclear at defining steps and expectations for the system

Once people complete information and training sessions to know how to use the system, expose what the route is in order to keep the system flowing. Uncertainty is a usual mistake. Be proactive, keep them alert and informed.

  • Forgetting  to establish an update procedure for the system

Be conscious that the first shove for a PMS comes easily, since the company has spent a relevant budget on it and HR staff need to show that the project has been accomplished. However, don´t forget that the following step is even more crucial to adjust the system and make a useful tool of it. Don´t be you who forget establishing a procedure to polish the PMS time to time, letting improvements to adjust the system by this procedure.

2 thoughts on “Main mistakes at designing a PMS

  1. Can I add one? Establishing criteria that have nothing to do with priorities. I have suffered it many times, specially when having the periodical interviews with my team

    • Completely agree. I frequently claim for, above all, the systems to be realistic and useful. For this, appraisal criteria must be the result of a collective reflection, and not an individual one, in which directors, middle managers and employees can participate (or even clients, owners…). I also propose that managers and their teams can have a wide margin to agree on specific commitments.

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