High “Touch” Beats High Tech in Performance Management

Benefits & Compensation Solutions Magazine recently published stats and data on performance management, finding the tools and programs are typically not meeting their goals.

The article cites Towers Perrin: “This focus on high tech over what we call high touch could explain why just 43% of the respondents said their performance management program was only somewhat or not at all effective.” Indeed, technology can be an effective enabler of performance management – as it is with recognition – but any time a manager abdicates the importance of human interpersonal contact to technology, then the relationship with the employee will suffer.

Another study cited in the article found fault with pay for performance programs that were not applied equitably at all levels or simply did not communicate the factors impacting their pay package. We have also found this to be true with recognition. Most employees only see cash compensation (salary), benefits and perhaps equity reflected in their pay statements. The important investment companies make in employee recognition is left out. A key feature of an effective strategic recognition program is giving HR a way to easily communicate total rewards to all employees, individually – usually as line items in a pay statement but perhaps more visually as a pie chart with recognition as one of the wedges.

The article concludes, “To get more from their performance management programs, employers need to implement more human interaction so that employees understand how their contributions affect the company’s overall performance.” A strategic recognition program can also enhance these efforts by ensuring all recognized behaviors or actions are linked to the company values or goals to ensure reward recipients understand not only understand their efforts are appreciated, but also how those efforts directly impact the success of the company.

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