Exactly who out there thinks that you can build an effective development process without the buy in and involvement of the executive level and beyond? Anyone?! I didn’t think so, which is why I was a little confused when I read a recent article about how senior level management needs to be part of the appraisal and employee development process. If these processes are to get the needed resources and to be in line with organization objectives then it would seem obvious that you need executive participation. Not to mention, if employees see that executives are not buying into the system – how can they be expected to take it seriously?
As Susan Heathfield over at About.com Human Resources explains in her article Why Executives Need Performance Development Plans (PDPs):
While executives may be reluctant to participate in the performance development planning process, their participation sets the stage and the tone for the acceptance of the process company-wide. If the executive leader has a PDP and he or she meets with reporting managers to develop their PDPs, you can be darn sure that the rest of the employees in the organization will have PDPs too.
So, the question that needs answering then is how do you make this happen? How do you implement a strong talent management strategy without executive buy-in? The answer is plain. It’s next to impossible.
Heathfield does point out that the executive appraisal process may not be exactly the same as that of employees, but that appraisals and development plans are necessary:
So, yes, I’m a supporter of executive participation in PDPs. Will that PDP look like that of other employees? Not necessarily. But, the fact of its existence and the participation of executives in this critical process is unquestionably significant.
If executives don’t participate in your employee appraisal and development process now, we feel for you, but hopefully these points will help you get some buy-in and justify the importance of their participation. How have you gotten management buy-in in your talent management and development plans?