I enjoy training, both attending and delivering. I try to go on a lot of it if I can. Sometimes, particularly, if it’s web-based, it’s disappointing. Well, this webinar on Performance Management, wasn’t. It was right on the button. I really enjoyed the asides relating to experiences you or others had had, especially the mistakes. I think the ‘lazy’ one sticks if we’ve ever had such words said to us or we’ve said them to others. Mine was ‘sympathy’! It really ‘undid’, unsettled me leading to me losing respect for the reviewer…for a time, anyway. This was in the hidden stuff, right, you talked about. Was she right? Well, I wouldn’t go there again with this reviewer and never did.
I just have a couple of questions. The first is about the word ‘performance’. I’ve never liked it and prefer not to use it. I’m not reviewing core staff, however, which might make a difference but sessional tutors. I don’t like it because the focus of the word is too narrow. It’s threatening. It’s also about a sense of not being authentic. It’s a performance. I hope I make it clear to my tutors that we do look at performance in the sense of looking back at what progress we’ve made in the past year before looking ahead. I feel I may be being disingenuous as ‘Performance Management’ is written all over every document. And it seems to work well.
In my reviews with tutors, we also cover support and training and any ‘disciplinary’ matters. The latter is more theoretical as I don’t have to do this too often. I do have to give negative feedback and recognise all the difficulties which arise when dealing with tutors who are defensive and/or feisty…quite a lot of mirroring can go on from both of us, which I’m becoming more adept at spotting the signs of.
The other question I have is where someone on the same grade is reviewing another member of staff’s performance. This isn’t something that’s happening in our region now but it has been suggested as a possible solution to line managing core staff amid a welter of new and additional responsibilities senior managers have in the region. My own view at present is that I feel it would be disruptive of team camaraderie and affect morale. I could be wrong but I would caution against going down this path if at all possible. We are not that many staff now with so many having left over the past few years to manage and the current situation, where E grade managers supervise D grade, seems to be effective. I just wondered if you have any experience of peer supervision?
I can see it can work in organisations with a flat structure like cooperatives but ours is not like that. It is a hierarchy and stands and falls largely on the shoulders and efforts of its people and how we work together. I’d welcome your thoughts or signposting to more information on this.
I appreciated the interesting discussion on carrying out an annual review. It’s made me re-evaluate how I do them and hopefully refreshed them. I’m glad I wasn’t there in a group, face-to-face, though, getting a right grilling and going over from you! I think I’ll stick to webinars in future. Far less feisty!