Thursday, 10 November 2016

#cipdace16 blog 5 - session E3

I've finally been round the Exhibition, or at least two thirds of it. My bag is steadily filling up with swag, so my family may be happier tonight when I get back. 

And now I'm in session E3 about rethinking performance management, something I'm currently giving a lot of thought to in my day job. 

CJ Green from Servest opened up, highlighting their huge growth over the last seven years, with rapid change. When she came into Servest she had an efficient appraisal process but it was cumbersome at times and her success was measured on how many appraisals she could get done. 

She asserted, and I agree, that it's the quality of the conversation that matters, not the process. In her review of the appraisal process with a mixed group of staff, trying to move to a more continuous improvement culture, there was a split room and no consensus amongst them. 

She noted that much of her desire for replacing the appraisal process with something else was her own view that she disliked appraisals and wanted something else, irrespective of anyone else's preferences, so this was a wake up call for her. 

I think I'm guilty of this too. 

She talked about people being uncomfortable with the removal of the appraisal process, but if that's people's belief then let them keep it as long as they can show the performance data that highlights their performance management processes Inc appraisals are working. 

This is a good idea. But it's also about relinquishing control and trusting managers to manage performance in a way that works. There are worries that managers may do nothing, but they found that this worry was unfounded. If you have adult-adult conversations then people will work out a process that works for them, it doesn't need to be driven by HR. 

Amanda Oates from Merseycare NHS Foundation Trust then took over. She explained some of the cultural and service delivery challenges that the trust faces. All the trusts main challenges were workforce related, and required organisational transformation beyond a mere restructure. 

Much of her barriers stemmed from within the HR team, in that the systems didn't help, the skills weren't right, the reputation was poor, data was non existent and more. And she used these as themes to redevelop the HR function and by extension the organisation. 

This talk was very good and I haven't been able to capture all the detail of it. Amanda did ensure that what she did had a direct link to service improvement and listed a fair list of HR and organisational measures that improved as a result of her retooling of the HR functions. 

My main observation though was that the two talks didn't really fit with each other. Both talks were very good and probably deserved a longer session each, but this session had the feel of two talks bolted together without a great deal of thought. 

But right now, my thoughts are turning to lunch, and a full wander round the Exhibition. 

Till next time...

Gary