Re-imagining Performance Management for the new world of work

Posted: July 01, 2020

belinda By Belinda Kovachi

Companies are adapting their performance management processes and methodologies in response to the new world of work. By swapping out the traditional annual performance review for more frequent, quality interactions between managers and staff, they are leveraging technology to engage and motivate remote workers.

In a world of “Corona-commuting” and working from home, leaders and managers are asking “How to keep remote workers motivated, engaged and on track with their deliveries?”. As we move further into the digital workplace, the way we answer this question now will become our future operating norm.

Traditional performance management has been characterized by infrequent peaks of interaction – typically an annual goal setting exercise and an annual review of achievement / performance. The emerging digital workforce, while geographically separated, is in many ways more connected than people who work in the same office. Social media and communication platforms have made it possible for people to stay in touch wherever they are. Driving the popularity of virtual connectedness is an innate human need to feel connected, valued and included.

What is the purpose of Performance Management?

Performance Management works on the principle of “What is measured is managed” By making goals and expectations clear, and measuring achievement of those goals, people are able to focus their effort at work into effective, productive activities. Performance Management should help managers to:

  • Link individual objectives to strategy
  • Create focus on strategic goals by measuring activities linked to company objectives
  • Create opportunities to improve performance
  • Recognise and reward the right behavior
  • Engage employees by paying attention to what they are doing and providing feedback
  • Provide opportunities for coaching, learning and development to improve individual and company performance.

How is Continuous Performance Management different from what we’re doing now?

Continuous Performance Management is based on shorter, more frequent, and higher quality focused interactions between manager and employee. Instead of spending large chunks of time annually, Continuous Performance Management leverages familiar tech platforms to enable managers and employees to engage frequently and productively.

Reviews Annually or bi-annually
Goals cascading down from organization goals
Informal feedback encouraged throughout the year
Complex and difficult to access systems
Infrequent and time-consuming interactions between manager and employee
Recognition provided annually or bi-annually
Development planned annually
Emphasis on measurement
Frequent check-ins
Individual goals linked to organization goals
Emphasis on frequent formal feedback or one on ones
Simple and accessible systems
Frequent short, planned interactions
Recognition on achievement
Development and coaching available on demand
Emphasis on coaching and quality conversations

What are the benefits of Continuous Performance Management?

Annual Performance Reviews – one of the key components of traditional performance management – have a reputation of being time-consuming, complicated, “after the fact” and generally counter-productive and contentious. Traditional performance management processes and systems, when not executed well, can be more damaging to morale, productivity and employee engagement than doing nothing at all.

Because Continuous Performance Management sessions are frequent and focused, discussions are centred around the present and the future. Recognition for achievements can be given “in the moment” and course correction, coaching and support for employees can be implemented when it’s needed. Frequent 1:1 “meetings” build rapport between managers and employees, encouraging innovation, increasing engagement, and ensuring alignment between activities and strategic goals. There is a decrease in anxiety related to performance reviews. There is more collaborative behaviour between managers, employees, and teams. Employees are more focused, feel more supported and are able to be more productive. Managers are more in touch with their employees and are able to offer more support, coaching and recognition for achievements.

How technology supports Continuous Performance Management?

At Pure Survey we partner with our clients to develop bespoke performance management apps, platforms and software that make sense for their businesses. Our solutions are engaging, robust, simple, and fun to use. We use social media interfaces, gamification, and mobile technology to deliver Performance Management to managers and their employees - wherever they are. Real time recognition programs, 360 feedback, interactive dashboards and progress trackers are some of the features we have included in our solutions.

We’d love to speak to you about engaging, motivating, and inspiring your people using Continuous Performance Management.