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Performance – It’s All About People

“Star performers will earn big raises in 2017; pay for others will stay flat. Continued low rates of inflation coupled with the ongoing pressure on profit margins are making employers cautious when it comes to budgeting salary increases”. WorldatWork – August 2016

Who Benefits From “Star Performance”?
Dr Petrus Claassen (former Executive Director of Absa) often warned that if an employee consistently performs at the same level as the previous year, they will over time become poorer and poorer. Consequently, to improve or even just maintain one’s buying power and standard of living, continual improvement on past performance is required. This is equally true for individuals and organisations. The quote above, confirms the statement by Dr Claassen and emphasises the importance of “star performance” for both employees and organisations.

Who Executes Strategy?
Charan and Bossidy argues that there are three important processes of execution. The first process is the strategic process, which shows ‘what’ is aimed at and what must be executed. The second process, equally important, is the operations process which provides direction on the road to execution via the guidance of policies, processes, procedures, roles and structures. The last and absolute vital process, is the people process which will get you there, in other words, it is the employees and only the employees that will execute the strategy.

The All-important Question
How do we ensure a continual upward spiral in employee performance, benefiting not only the employee, but also sustainable organisation growth and profitability?

The Answer
Proven practices show that the solution lies in not one, but a combination of solutions which all have to do with how employees experience the climate of the organisation they work for. In other words, how they view the unique employee value proposition.

Employees want to know what they are accountable for and how it will be measured; they want to receive honest and to the point feedback on how they perform. Along with encouragement and solid guidance; they want opportunities to improve their capacity to perform and they want to be recognised (rewarded) for work done well.

From experience we know that the above is absolutely possible, but it certainly is not evident in a large number of organisations. Organisations who have their performance and reward management systems aligned to their goals and have it implemented as ongoing processes, rather than once off events merely complying to prescribed actions, are testimonies of how this approach ensures success.

Being a “star performer” or as we prefer, an “on or above target performer”, is what most employees strive for. If we could therefore have the majority of our employees perform at this level by merely ensuring alignment of the performance and reward management systems with organisation goals and then warrant that leaders “own” and actively drive these processes, more employees will be on or above target performers benefiting themselves as well as the organisation and its stakeholders.

Murray Burger and Dr. Dennis Farrell have developed sound People and Reward Management Practices to assist organizations to manage their employee performance and reward.

Contact us at +27 44 874 4256 or alternatively at or


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