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Continuous feedback: the benefits of performance management

The real benefits of performance management come with continuous feedback – reviews are only meaningful if managers and employees are willing to openly discuss their strengths and weaknesses on a regular basis.

Understand your employee

Historically, appraisals were an annual occurrence, and would install nervous anticipation across the organisation. With the build-up to the discussion of employees’ successes (and supposedly failures), workforces can feel immense pressure on the approach to their appraisal.

However, infrequent appraisals have a limited impact. Being yearly means that key achievements can be forgotten, or their unique triumphs devalued. As such, organisations saw a boosted increase in efforts on the lead up to individuals’ appraisals, rather than consistent efforts across the year.

Indeed, 89% of employees polled by us believe their performance would improve significantly if their performance management process was changed. This change can come in the form of moving the process online, which allows employees to log their successes (and struggles) in real time, documenting an audit trail of their progress across the year.

Performance management

By having more regular conversations and documenting accomplishments online, teams can have more power through sharing their successes. 65% of our respondents agreed that one of the benefits of performance management was feeling more motivated and engaged in their personal roles; however, this is only possible if employees are shown a clear layout with their objectives, development, reviews and feedback displayed in one manageable window. This helps employees to remain focused on both their business objectives and their personal development.

The true measure of the value of a manager is performance

Regular performance reviews not only benefit employees; managers gain a documented audit trail of achievements that can be very useful in recognising how much their team has accomplished.

Infrequent performance reviews may seem more time-efficient, but 52% of managers and directors surveyed claimed to have spent more than two hours on each employee’s review. Depending on the size of the team, this could equate to as much as an entire working week. This is because of the breadth and depth of the conversation required to cover the achievements and falls of each employee over the entire year. However, if performance conversations are had more regularly, these timeslots can be broken down into much more manageable pieces.

Learning goals

Individuals’ goals can often be left to slide when other priorities come in, understandably – however, the team’s objectives should remain the focus in everything they do. This is possible with the help of an online tool. Online performance management tools are built with both employees and employers in mind. Managers are given the ability to perform simple, fast and effective tracking and reporting on their team’s progress on their individual and shared objectives, enabling more meaningful conversations.

Bringing it all together

A collaborative approach, whereupon employees and their managers are encouraged to undertake a shift in mindset and attitude to ongoing, frequent, forward-looking dialogue can transform the gained benefits of performance management. It is critical that this is supported by a culture focused on driving employee engagement and the types of behaviour that will boost performance.

By enforcing regular check-ins between managers and their teams, you allow for timely feedback to employees, therefore shifting the focus from dwelling on past actions to improving success for the future. This enables any barriers that are holding up performance to be solved much more efficiently and collaboratively than before.

Enabling a dynamic and agile culture

As performance management practices are becoming more dynamic and agile compared to that of previous years, conversations between managers and their team members are taking place on a more regular basis. This is a more continuous approach that has recently been embraced by organisations – directors, managers and employees have proven to have a more positive attitude towards performance management when progress can be monitored across the year.

This removes the pressure from managers and employees, allowing the formal annual review to be transformed to a quick reflection on past performance, with more emphasis of what can be achieved in the future. This removes the unpleasant element of surprise. If completed successfully, 77% of employers, managers and directors saw the overall value in performance reviews.

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