Why we are not heading into end of year performance reviews

Posted by Joseph Sapp on November 20, 2019 2:22:53 PM

It’s nearly November, the weather has cooled, and pumpkins, or at least something pumpkin-flavored, is always at arm’s reach. These are usually all critical ingredients to the end of the year and a signal that the annual performance review is upon us. Well, not here at TMG, at least.

Several years ago, we stopped annual performance reviews. In its place, we installed a new performance management system. One that focused on real-time feedback, improving connections between managers and their teams, and concentrates on coaching. Every two weeks, we ask our teams how they are feeling, what is on their priority list, and then a carefully curated list of questions that help us facilitate discussion and growth amongst our teams.

A recent HBR article, The Leader as Coachdives into a similar philosophy that we have adopted here at TMG, viewing managers as coaches. In association management, this mindset becomes even more relevant when considering the pace at which we must adapt. Our teams can work across several clients and industries each day. To quote the article, “Twenty-first-century managers simply don’t (and can’t) have all of the right answers.” The shared services model of an AMC requires nimble managers that “give support and guidance rather than instructions…”

The structure we built and the systems we put in place are there to facilitate these types of interactions. To have coaching in replace of traditional “command and control” management allows our managers to adapt to the needs of their teams and provide guidance that is focused on teamwork. This approach gives our team freedom, as well. Freedom to learn and implement working styles that best fit their needs while still ensuring that our client partners receive the support and expertise they expect from TMG.

This is still a work in progress. Just as we desire continuous performance improvement within our teams, we have a focus on it as a company. So we will continue to look at this process and see how we can improve it and continue to implement a system that drives our teams and company forward. 

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