The Future of Performance Management

Organisations spend a lot of money on performance management. Nonetheless, most leaders have no idea what their employee’s needs are and staff have even less of a clue on what their leaders want from them.

The reason for this is that, for the most part, performance feedback is only discussed once a year. With such little contact between each other, it makes knowing where everyone stands difficult. Things are changing though, with many leaders and organisations adopting a new approach to performance management.

Why the need for change?

It’s no secret that many view the ritual yearly performance review as a huge waste of time. Both leaders and employees often see them as time consuming, subjective and demotivating. And they do very little to improve employee performance. In fact, for some employees they mean failure, as they struggle to meet their KRAs and incorporate the feedback.

Employee engagement is also at an all-time low right now, with 85% of employees not engaged in the workplace. Worse still—many are actively disengaging from their work! This situation is the result of a divide between organisations and employees. The two sides are misaligned in their way of thinking regarding incentives and what motivates employees to be their best.

Not only that, leaders and organisations fail to treat employees as if they are different. They seem all too intent to use a one-size-fits-all approach for performance feedback. For example, younger employees have grown up with social media and getting immediate feedback from the people they interact with. But that’s not how the old system of feedback in the workplace works. As such, these younger staff members are finding themselves left behind.

The change

The biggest change for performance management is a shift in the current mindset around how it is delivered. This means leaders will have to provide a work environment where employees don’t feel stuck in a repetitive rut. And somewhere where they feel they have a voice. The new approach will be a combo of quarterly meetings, planned check-ins and real-time feedback.

More frequent conversations means leaders can give employees the advice they need—when they need it. Moreover, as much as half of all employees say they are uncomfortable bringing up issues with their leaders. This change then, will open the door for employees to share their feedback as well.

The old system of performance management has proven to be painful and ineffective for employees and leaders alike. As such, this change is not only needed for the future of performance management—it is vital for the future success of any organisation.


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