The Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to Barack Obama has certainly stirred some controversy.  Reactions range from embarrassment and anger to elation, depending on what your ideology is.   Personally, I always viewed the award as more of a symbolic gesture (with one million in cash), but I was still surprised.  I guess I thought that something tangible needed to be accomplished to win the Nobel Prize. Reaction from previous winners was mixed; some thought it devalued the award when no clear accomplishment could be identified.  Al Gore and Jimmy Carter (previous winners) praised the choice.  Most people agreed that Barack Obama seemed uncomfortable with receiving the award.

Recognitions and awards can be two edged swords.  While the intension of the giver may be to inspire and motivate, the actual results can be bitterness and divisiveness.  This is especially true at the work place.  While there is probably nothing similar to a Nobel Peace Prize at your workplace, not a day goes by where recognition (given or not given) is not affecting your employee performance. Undeserved recognition is as bad as no recognition at all.  The biggest mistake a company can make is to put in a performance appraisal system that is inconsistent or unfair.  While no employer intentionally creates an unfair system, many times a poor system is put in place.   What are some of the common elements of a poor performance system?

  • Subjective criteria.
  • Inconsistent evaluation periods
  • Inconsistently applied throughout organization
  • Lack of management follow up

Having a poor performance appraisal system can reduce productivity.  On the other hand, having a comprehensive, well thought out system with management follow through can improve productivity and accelerate leadership development.  Setting up a good system takes time and should involve an experienced knowledgeable resource. 

Let us know if we can help you set up and administer a performance management system.