A personal account of performance management that works… and doesn’t

My take on performance management is quite different than it was 10 years ago. I once worked for a company that basically rewarded all employees for their continued employment, and performance was not really taken into consideration when we all received a 5% raise. Regardless of how fabulous of a job I was doing or how not-so-fabulous my co-worker in the cubicle over was doing, we both received the same reward. This was not motivating me to be a better employee nor was it motivating for my mediocre colleague.

Fast forward well over a decade. Not only has the world of work changed in many ways, so has my career and thoughts on performance management. As I reflect on this past year with Horizon Point Consulting, I think about what has been motivating. What have I enjoyed? What have I really not enjoyed? As I’m asked to reflect on these things in preparation for plans for another year with HPC, I’m so very thankful for an employer who seeks my input and is genuinely concerned about how I see my career moving and my ideas for furthering our mission.

First, I will say, my personality is that of a planner and one that needs plenty of notice concerning a change. When I think about what has been most stressful this year, I would have to say it was my very first week on the job. I was given a project that involved computer codes and website administration. I thought, what have I gotten myself into? I was stressed to the max to say the least, but I completed the project and am thankful for the learning opportunity it provided. I’m also thankful for an employer who asked me how I liked working on this and other work concerning marketing and website management. When I shared how stressful it was for me and that it just wasn’t what I felt was the best use of my time where my strengths are concerned, my employer listened and began thinking of better ways to get those projects done.

I’ve learned so much this past year. The ability to select what professional development I wanted to do was wonderful. I’ve received three credentials and am working on completing a course to be an instructor for one of the courses we offer. All of this was so rewarding.

I’ve also been motivated by the type of work I get to do. I especially love the program development and one-on-one coaching I do. And, of course the commissions that come along with some of the projects are always motivating.

In the end, what matters most is that I have career that I love and have the flexibility to get the work done when it best fits my schedule. That’s huge for a mom of two and allows me to do my best to live out my mission statement:

I will strive daily to present the best version of myself to clients, family, friends and others. I will work to empower others and help them in their journey to lead better lives.


What are your thoughts on performance management? Are they in line with how your current employer sees performance management?

Mary Ila Ward

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