Is Managing Personnel Performance Worth the Time?

Author: Bryan Ritchie

If your organization is like most, you don’t have a structured way to manage people and hold them accountable, other than perhaps a yearly performance review. In my experience, most people don’t think yearly performance reviews are that useful. How do you sum up an entire year’s performance in a 30 minute meeting?

Maybe one of the reasons your organization doesn’t do more than this yearly review is that it doesn’t believe there is value in doing so. Only 12% of respondents to a 2015 Deloitte survey indicated that the performance review process was highly effective in driving business value, and only 6% of organizations believe their current process for managing performance is worth the time!

There are at least two possible conclusions that can be drawn from these data. The first, and obvious one, is that the effort to hold people accountable isn’t worth the results. The second is that the current methods of holding people accountable are ineffective and that it’s not that the outcomes aren’t worth the effort, it’s that the effort isn’t leading to the right outcomes.

We believe strongly that the latter conclusion is the real issue – managing performance is perhaps the most important thing a leader can do. But if it’s not done right, the outcomes are likely to be disappointing. To manage performance to improve the bottom line is not an easy task. But it is doable. Here are five ideas to help.

  • Make sure the initial skills of your people match the needs of your strategy. In other words, make sure your people are the right people to execute against your strategy.
  • To the extent that number one isn’t true – skills and strategy don’t match – make sure there are people development initiatives to bring both into alignment. If people don’t have the will to make the needed changes to acquire the appropriate skills, then move them out of the organization, no matter how skilled they already are!
  • Help each team member create a set of key performance indicators that they and their team can hold them accountable for each week.
  • Create a regular team meeting, preferably once per week, where all players account for their efforts to accomplish key performance activities (KPAs) against their strategic goals.
  • Rather than create top-down, mandated, team-building activities, support internal, bottom-up, team-driven efforts to raise trust, unity, skills, and performance. The outcomes will be much higher.

Ultimately, whether managing performance is worth your time or not depends on whether senior leaders have created a system within which mid-level all the way to front-line people can clearly understand their roles in the organization and can develop new skills within their teams. If teams own the development and accountability process, managing performance leads to tremendous gains in every area that matters.

Bryan Ritchie and James Western are co-founders of GrowthSPORT, a successful consulting company whose mission is to improve SCORES (Stimulate Culture, Optimize Results and Engage Staff) for Teams, Divisions, Departments and Organizations through the SPORT model (Strategic Alignment, Personnel Performance, Operational Execution, Results Accountability and Team Strength), which are the Five Core Elements of Success.

GrowthSPORT provides resources, tools and experienced consultants to effectively implement the SPORT performance model from companies ranging from Startups to Fortune 500 companies.

Feel free to reach out to GrowthSPORT at (801) 676-2500 or at


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