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Performance Management

What Effective Performance Management Truly Looks Like in 2020

July 8, 2020
6 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged


54% of employees said that performance management has not had a positive effect on employee performance.

Many organizations may be realizing their performance management approaches are no longer suitable for the new workforce dynamic, and that they will need to become even more agile in order to meet future needs.Emerging technologies built to automate and streamline the way we work — and the shift to remote and virtual work — has created a more complex situation surrounding performance management. Many of the trends we see in performance management align with larger patterns in the workforce ecosystem. If those patterns are not at the forefront of performance management, the process in its entirety can be deemed ineffective.

Over the last few months the way businesses operate has changed. According to @ClearCompany, updating your #PerformanceManagement processes to better reflect today’s #workplace is integral for success.
  • Company performance management systems that have a positive impact on both employee and business performance are much more likely than others to report better business outcomes.
  • Among those who consider their company performance management systems effective, 60% say their companies have outperformed their peers in the past three years — nearly three times the share of respondents who rate their companies’ performance management as ineffective.

A Need To Simplify The Performance Management Process

When organizations strive to simplify their performance management processes, the increase in efficiency allows for a performance review that is more focused on the individual. This streamlining provides the reviewer with ample time to get to know and understand the employee’s professional and personal challenges as related to their work, and reviewers can approach the conversation with empathy. Here are some quick tips for simplifying your performance management process:

  • Adopt a shorter timeframe for review cycles.Rather than a typical mid-year and year-end review, begin implementing performance reviews more consistently. This allows for more highly-specific feedback and allows employees to make adjustments in real-time.
  • Adjust your 360-Degree performance reviews to fit a smaller pool.Peer feedback is integral for professional growth, however, gathering feedback from every employee about their colleagues can be time-consuming. By limiting peer feedback to 1-3 employees (i.e. employees within the same department, or employees eligible for promotions) you can continue to get insights from your team without additional time constraints.

Now is the perfect time to implement performance reviews. These unprecedented times have created new challenges for everyone, and by listening to your employees’ concerns and offering support and feedback, managers can reinforce their commitment to their teams’ well-being and professional development. Effective performance management is linked to better business outcomes; companies that are able to pivot their processes as the needs of the workforce change will rise to the top.

Continuous feedback isn’t a novel idea, companies around the globe have been utilizing this strategy for years. Check out some of the improvements that organizations notice after transitioning from the standard performance review to a continuous feedback method:

  • More than 70% of companies reported designing “continuous performance management” practices. 
  • Employees are 3.2 times more likely to rate themselves as highly motivated to work when receiving continuous feedback. 
  • Employees are 2.7 times more likely to be engaged in their work. 
  • About 83% said they had seen the quality of conversations between employees and managers go up as a result of performance management process modifications.
  • 96% of respondents said their new processes were simpler and less bureaucratic.

Pro Tip: Best-in-class performance management is about more than feedback. It also includes:

  • A focus on employee growth and development.
  • The separation of performance from compensation.
  • Feedback from peers and stakeholders in addition to managers.

By incorporating these elements into your performance management process, you can approach employee reviews with a more holistic view.

A Growing Need To Manage A Remote Workforce

The way businesses operate has changed over the last few months, and with that, employees’ needs have changed as well. Companies are challenged with addressing individual’s needs more than ever before as a result of the transition to a remote workforce. As organizations change, the way employee performance is managed must change with it.

Have you adapted your #PerformanceManagement processes to better fit the current environment? @ClearCompany explains why the old methods are not as #effective anymore.

Performance reviews allow managers to have an honest and open conversation with their employees about their needs. Ask your employees questions about how they are handling working virtually, and whether they have the tools they need to do their job successfully. You may be surprised to find that their needs have changed from the start of this year.

Managing a remote team can be a struggle, but there are many resources managers can rely on for advice. Here are some of the most important things to consider when managing your virtual team:

  • Have you been consistently recognizing employees who are performing well?
  • Are your goals and objectives clear?
  • Are you offering adequate outlets for communication?

By combining feedback from employees with self-reflection, managers will see a clearer path to transforming their current processes.

Bonus Content: Check out how COVID-19 has changed Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

An Agile Approach To Performance Management

As we continue to navigate these changing times, the need to take on agile performance management rises. This is because agile performance management is a more continuous and lighter process than traditional performance management. Agile framework provides organizations with an option for both the stability of traditional performance management and the dynamism of an agile process.

Agile organizations focus on transparency in goal setting and employee appraisals, and the frequency of feedback in an agile process allows for a more defined glimpse of employee productivity. Tracking the progress and performance of remote employees can be more challenging, so managers need to be certain they are utilizing the correct tools. Through performance management software, such as ClearCompany’s comprehensive platform, leaders can measure performance, track goals, and gain insights from analytics.

Implementing an agile performance management process in your organization will help you navigate the changing times and will help increase your overall performance:

  • Of employees who report effective performance management, 62% say their companies revisit goals at least twice a year or on an ad hoc basis.
  • Employees who say ongoing performance discussions take place are 10 times more likely to rate performance management at their companies as effective, and they are nearly twice as likely to say their companies have outperformed competitors.
  • 68% of respondents agree that ongoing coaching and feedback conversations have a positive impact on individual performance.

When comparing traditional performance review methods to continuous feedback methods, employees overwhelmingly prefer the latter. Ditch the annual feedback and transition into a more agile process.

Transforming Hyper-Connectivity Into Hyper-Productivity

Employees are working in an ultra-connected world and the tools and technologies being used at work for better collaboration can either make or break performance. Effective performance management ensures hyper-connected employees are also hyper-productive and that technology is enabling productivity, not hindering it. When managers work with their employees to provide clarity on responsibilities and expectations, self-management can be more easily achieved.

Bonus Content: Check out our 7 Tips for Successful Employee Goal Setting

The pressing need to completely revamp performance management and realign it with who and how we work today is apparent. To truly make performance management effective, it has to change, consider every segment in your workforce, take on an agile approach, and be built to withstand the noise in employees' lives.

With ClearCompany, performance management is more easily managed - even from a distance. If you’re looking to more efficiently track and measure employee performance, ClearCompany can help. Reach out to our experts today to learn more about how our software can help you achieve organizational alignment and growth.

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