Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to build understanding of how to engage a highly educated workforce with the benefits of performance management through sharing the lessons learned from introducing performance reviews (appraisals) into an academic environment. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents a case study of a four-year programme in a UK higher education establishment. The author was closely involved in the last two years of the programme, and completed a detailed evaluation of the programme for the client. Findings – Performance management creates significant value within a highly educated workforce through bringing together individual capability and expertise to focus on delivering the strategy. Obstacles to success such as routine complaints of “time-wasting” and “pointlessness” can be overcome by wide and deep engagement with employees throughout the design and development of the approach. Research limitations/implications – This is a single case study; however, the author has worked on many similar programmes with highly educated work forces with very similar results. Practical implications – The vast majority of staff positively want a high-quality performance review; the practical challenge is to channel this desire into shared ownership and responsibility for the success of performance review in practice. Originality/value – Literature abounds with analysis of what is wrong with performance review, this paper is a rarer piece in that it develops our understanding of how to set up performance management and review for success.
Industrial and Commercial Training – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 2, 2015