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 Industrial and Organizational Psychology:  Perspectives on Science and Practice  

Performance Management Can Be Fixed: An On-the-Job Experiential Learning Approach for Complex Behavior Change

By Elaine D. Pulakos, Rose Mueller Hanson, Sharon Arad, and Neta Moye


Volume 8 Issue 1

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 Commentaries are due 
August 25, 2014

In spite of numerous attempts over decades to improve performance management (PM) systems, PM is viewed as more broken than ever, with managers and employees seeing it as burdensome and low value. Yet, the behaviors that PM intends to achieve are in fact important drivers of engagement and performance. So where’s the disconnect? The problem is that formal PM systems have reduced PM to intermittent steps and process that are disconnected from day-to-day work and the behaviors that actually drive performance – communicating ongoing expectations, providing informal feedback in real time, and developing employees through experience. To deliver on its promise, PM needs to shift from focusing on the formal system to focusing on the PM behaviors that matter every day. We describe a five-step PM reform process that helps organizations achieve this change and is showing promise for increasing satisfaction and positive outcomes from PM processes. Central to the intervention is that organizational members need to intentionally practice and solidify effective PM behavior through a structured, on-the-job experiential learning intervention that yields meaningful behavior change. The change management and training interventions discussed here provide a model for organizational culture and behavior change efforts beyond PM.



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