I recently read a blog posted by a consultant who said, “Talent management, a fancy term for the annual employee performance evaluation, is often met with as much enthusiasm as a deep scaling procedure. But this is a mistake. While you may cringe at the amount of time it takes to develop the right words to say that both inspires staff, while at the same time, provides constrictive [sic] criticism for areas of deficiency, don’t discount the importance and power of evaluating employee performance. Whether you’re reviewing one person or 10, this process is absolutely essential to cultivate a high performance team; and if handled correctly, ultimately increases your profits and reaps other numerous benefits for your organization, including more engaged employees.”
As an internationally recognized Talent Management authority, I would like to define what Talent Management is and address the issue of the annual performance evaluation. Talent management is a business strategy that must be fully integrated within all of the employee related processes of the organization. This includes attracting and retaining talented employees. Every member of the organization, especially managers who have reporting staff (talent) must be included for a talent management system to be effective.
Regarding the annual performance evaluation, many authorities consider this a classic waste of time and rarely serves any useful purpose other than to create angst for both manager and employee. In my book, Turning Good People Into Top Talent, I devote a chapter to Coach-Based Management, which emphasizes that performance must be managed or coached in real time. To use a sports analogy, annual performance reviews would be like a football coach only providing feedback and review at the end of the game or perhaps at half-time.
My primary purpose in this post is to counter a misconception about the definition and scope of talent management and dispel any belief that a traditional annual performance evaluation has any significant value toward developing high performing top talent – individually and teams.
I welcome comments below or by email to Bob@Effectiveness.com.