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Modern dating and engaged employees

As we approach Valentine’s Day, the rise of modern dating is at the forefront of many millennials’ thoughts. Modern dating is renowned to be a minefield of etiquettes and complexities. How often should you keep in contact? How often is too often? With the likes of online dating and dating apps, users have developed ingrained behaviours of making split-second judgements, an unsparing yes or no with instant feedback.

This behaviour is creeping into the workplace, and we’re not talking office romances.

Employees expect feedback to be instant from their employers; waiting a year for their annual appraisal is simply not good enough as their achievements can be forgotten or diminished over time. Employees expect more regular conversations about their contribution to the organisation’s goals and how they can impact its future – and if they cannot see themselves in its future, they will begin their search for a new role.

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One of the key objectives of employee management is that every individual should contribute to both team goals and those of the business as a whole [1]. Continuous performance management ensures that there is awareness, so these goals are also aligned with the individual’s own personal goals.

As with the early days of dating, it's important to understand where their future lies; some conversations need to be had before they become an issue. Performance management allows these conversations to take place in a less formal setting, allowing employees to share their aspirations. This allows the business and the employee to work together towards finding a common solution without delay.

A long and happy relationship

Studies have shown that an engaged employee is the ideal partner for a business; they take pride in their job, show loyalty to the brand and their team, and go out of their way to put effort in [1]. However, as with all relationships, a two-way partnership is required before engagement is even considered!

Organisations are making use of online tools to allow employees to take control of their development. By allowing employees to note their thoughts on their own progress without manager influence, employees become better empowered to oversee their personal development. Organisations are also expanding their communications throughout the business to ensure employees are aware of the latest updates and changes. The latest best practice in performance management supports this approach [2].


A modern approach to relationships

CIPD has noted that by and large, the annual appraisal ‘has been replaced with more frequent, informal exchanges [for enhanced] performance, interpersonal relationships and perceived fairness’ [3]. Organisations may face some resistance to a more continuous performance management process, with manager fear that it will be a greater administrative burden, requiring more paperwork.

Online tools are on the rise, and with good reason; modern solutions have been developed to coincide with modern performance processes. Online performance management tools have the additional benefit of cutting paper from the process, allowing managers to review a broad dashboard of all achievements – and struggles – across the year, giving them full visibility of how the employee relationship is fairing.

This approach allows for more regular feedback and a better working relationship: benefiting employees who gain their manager’s understanding, and managers, who save time and reduce their administrative burden.

A match made in heaven!

Business case builder

[1] Acas, ‘How to manage performance’ booklet

[2] Training Journal, ‘Getting performance management right’, 26 October 2016

[3] CIPD, ‘Could do better? Assessing what works in performance management’, December 2016

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