Just 42 percent of peoplemanagers say their company has a way to measure goal alignment onan ongoing basis, and only 36 percent say that people oncross-functional teams are held accountable for theirgoals.

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What do people managers think about their company's talentmanagement processes, tactics and initiatives?

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“Needs Improvement” is the verdict for many, according to aJosh Bersin/Betterworks survey of more than1,000 people managers.

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It starts with their company's lack of purpose, or at least onethat is shared openly with employees — includingmanagers, the respondents say.

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Just 41 percent say that everyone at theircompany has a clear understanding of thecompany's mission and vision. Slightly less (40 percent) said that“corporate, departmental and team goals are transparent and sharedopenly at all levels of the organization.” As for the managersthemselves, 62 percent do not “have a clear understanding of thetop company priorities” over the next 12 months.

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Related: Workers don't understand companygoals

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“It is not enough to simply communicate the top company goals;employees need to see how their own work goals connect with themand how what they do interconnects with what others areworking on across the business,” the authors write. “In addition totransparent alignment, companies must also frequently and openlycommunicate the cross-functional progress towards these top companygoals. This transparency increases accountability and facilitatesnecessary collaboration.”

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However, just 42 percent have a way to measure goal alignment onan ongoing basis, and only 36 percent say that people oncross-functional teams are held accountable for their goals.

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The survey also found that managers think their company'sperformance management processes are lacking. A majority (59percent) say managers and employees do not “perceive theirperformance management process as valuable;” 63 percent fail tohave regular and discussions with employees “about their careergrowth and aspirations;” and only 43 percent are “held accountablefor developing their people.”

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“Managers must think more like coaches and provide regularperformance-related feedback,” the authors write. “Theseconversations should be directly tied to the employee's specificgoals, while also exploring where the person can develop their skills.”

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Many managers also say their own development path could bebetter. A third of managers (33 percent) rate their “company'straining and management development for leaders at all levels” asaverage or below;” 58 percent say their company still primarilyrewards people “based on job level or tenure;” 41 percent say theircompany “regularly assesses overall business skills andcapabilities through our performance process;” and just 40 percentsay employees are “highly regarded in my company and managementvalues employee's opinions, needs, career and professionalgoals.”

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“Managers need help from training and technology to become thetalent coaches their business requires,” the authors write. “Theperformance process needs to be flexible enough to deal with therise of cross-functional teams, while providing data that thebusiness can use to analyze the makeup of existing teams andunderstand where skill gaps need to be filled.”

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There is good news from the survey results: 38 percent ofmanagers say their company's performance management processincludes at least some 'continuous' elements: goal setting,alignment, or continuous feedback and development.

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“Given this percentage, it's clear that “continuous performancemanagement” has crossed the chasm into early majority and is on itsway to becoming a standard business practice,” the authors write.“And for good reason…because it works, and it has a significantimpact on multiple key indicators of overall businesssuccess.”

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.