Traditional Performance Appraisal System is Failing

A conversation with Jay Beecroft can be a heady experience. Topics change and twist; one good thought invariably triggers two more. We recently had the good fortune of finding Beecroft at his St. Paul, MN base of operations and available for lunch. Between soup and salad, we gathered the following classic “Jayisms.”

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• Education is a simple process; training is not. Educators give people knowledge; trainers help people put knowledge to use.

• No training group can expect to gain influence without committing to operational results.
• A training manager has a responsibility to realism. Management must know what is and what is not possible through training, even if it detracts from the image.

• The traditional performance appraisal system is still failing ignominiously. To develop relationships between managers and people, any system which does not begin with the job incumbent starting the analysis of performance will never succeed to the degree that it should.

• We know that performance review is a continuous process, but apparently we’ve only convinced each other.

• On-the-job coaching is one of the longest running fads of all time. But in practice it rarely takes place to the degree that it is a significant behavioral agent. Great in theory, but sad in practice. The problem with on-the-job coaching is not that it cannot work, but that managers don’t take the time to make it work.

• Training can never be really important in an organization where management does not perceive human resources development to be a critical part of every management assignment.

• If the people at the top aren’t continually trying to improve them¬selves, no one else will try either.
• The organization of the ’80s must accept responsibility for helping people with personal career development.

• Career development and career planning are conservation measures. They keep us from squandering valuable resources.

• Line management has been the victim of consultants and trainers who work harder and harder at doing the wrong things better and better.

You can download excellent powerpoint slides on HR management, business strategy and personal development HERE.

• Trainers who won’t roll up their sleeves and help line managers turn theory into practice are irresponsible fakers and culprits.

• Our most critical task is to help line managers spot the problems, to sort real problems from perceived problems. Once the problem is identified, most people can find a reason¬able solution.
• The future is in problem analysis, not program building. To sell to the need, you have to know the need.

• Knowledge isn’t power. Only knowledge in use is power.
• An overdose of knowledge can lead to a bad case of smug.
• Don’t kid yourself. Most good line managers could do what we do if they had the time to do it. We’re mostly extra hands and heads.

• We have to encourage our organizations to get into the human asset assessment business.
• Managers are afraid to say, “I trust you to do it” and “I believe in you.” They’re not afraid that people will fail, they seem to be afraid they’ll succeed.

• A lot of managers think they’re supposed to be authority figures, parents or police. They wouldn’t know what to do all day if they weren’t checking up on people.
• In training, as in everything else, delivery sells more than content does. The world never beats a path to any¬one’s door— not without being sold first.

• The trainer who doesn’t actively involve management in the program development process is doomed.

• It’s not the smartest or best educated who succeed. Most frequently it’s the boldest.

• People who don’t continually grow become inefficient, then ineffective and, finally, obsolete.
• The young hotshots of the world often fall victim to their own talent.

• Jesus established the most important role of a manager— namely, getting people to believe in them¬selves. If you don’t believe it, just re¬read the story of Simon Peter.

• No training department can be all things to all people. We have to continually bring in outside talent and help just to stay even with progress.

• If the creative parts of an organization are rigid, then the organization has no creative parts.
• In human relationships the skill factor is not as important as the level.

Source : TRAINING Magazine, 1979

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