There are many drivers pushing the business world away from the annual performance review process. Goals that are set only once per year don’t align with the fast pace of business as it develops over the course of the year, and conversations about year-end ratings are less valuable than talking in real time about performance. But it’s not just outdated data that makes performance management stale, it’s also inaccurate data, missed opportunities and a burden on HR to administer this process.
One of the most dangerous consequences of a poor performance management process is how it reduces workplace morale and contributes to employee turnover. A weak performance management strategy is a costly exercise with little value, so how do we make the performance management process more effective?
Improving the performance management process
First, we should acknowledge that performance management is based on the foundation of a conversation between a manager and direct reports regarding their performance. Cascading corporate goals, individual performance goals, competencies, bell curves and remuneration all have their place in the process, but should also be accompanied by simple conversations. The informal interaction, including ad-hoc coaching and recognition, should be a component to a holistic performance management strategy.
Far too often, companies don’t adopt real-time feedback because they’ve have accepted the annual performance review as the holy grail of performance management. It’s a large investment of time already, so implementing something new is unappealing. A major component of the review is an employee’s annual goal status. Instead, encourage goals to evolve organically throughout the year, and adopt a more pragmatic methodology that follows the same realistic timelines of company projects and initiatives. Through this process, goals can be reviewed and scored when they’re completed, or can be a part of a weekly or monthly informal check-in.While this conversation is best held in person, face time is becoming a fleeting luxury in a busy office.
The power of technology
This is where technology can become a crucial component to the success of good performance. A performance management tracking solution can complement the one-on-one relationship with tools that provide additional clarity on performance metrics. It allows performance management to be accessible any time to capture feedback on the fly or check off a milestone as completed. Additionally, technology provides real-time metrics which can empower you to make smart decisions with current and relevant data.
By taking the time to strip away the clutter in performance management, employers can streamline the basic conversation that is essential to the well-being and growth of the workforce.
This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.