By Roelf Woldring

Roelf Woldring consults to C-Level Execs about complex organizational change.  He is trained as a work place psychologist and a respected expert in executive competencies. Roelf will help your organization develop forward looking Executive performance contracts that are the key to inspired results.

Employee satisfaction surveys still tell us, like they have for the past forty years, that employees do not believe that performance appraisal helps them improve their performance.

So why are managers not listening? There are a variety of reasons. Some have to do with organizational inertia. Some have to do with the fact that managers appreciate the re-enforcement of the relative power positions inherent in performance appraisal.

Most importantly, we, as managers, really haven’t had the business support systems that we need to move from performance appraisal performance to performance contracting.

Contracting for performance with our direct reports requires that we commit to the regular independent delivery of feedback to them. That feedback has to be based on agreed upon metrics. Those metrics, in the majority of cases, need to be tied to the automated business applications that we now use to run our business.

So the business tools that we need are finally here.

Now all we need to do is change our attitudes.

We need to stop appraising people. We need to stop telling them what they did and did not do in the past. We need to stop rating them on a scale that invariably involves subjective judgment.

Instead, we must move to contracting about the future with these individuals. We must help them get crystal clear on what it is they are expected to do. We must ensure that they know exactly how what they have contracted for will be measured. And finally, we must make sure that they get the data on these metrics directly from the automated business applications that we both use to do our work.

Magic happens for the organizations that do this!

People want to do well. They want to contribute to the organization for which they work.

Most people, when they get regular independent feedback on how they’re doing, will take steps to correct their performance when they go off track. The best of them will strive to exceed their contracted delivery levels

That’s the essence of performance contracting for excellence.

Let’s start shaping the future, and stop appraising the past.  Here are some links that will help:


How to keep the “Ho, Ho, Ho” in Performance Appraisal Season

Why Performance Contracting? (includes a short voice over presentation that runs in a browser)

C-Level Performance Contracting: Getting It Done (A How To Guide) (includes a short voice over presentation that runs in a browser)

People’s Feeling about Traditional Performance Appraisal.