Continuous performance management: It is possible. It works. And it can transform your organization!

continuous performance management

Neither does a marriage function on the basis of efforts you put in on the anniversary nor are your kids raised merely with the love and gifts you shower them with on their birthday.

Therefore, the concept of interacting with your employees once a year to tell them what you think of them must have a fundamental flaw, right?

In fact, through a survey conducted by Deloitte, only 8% of companies said that their performance management process drives high levels of value, while 58% say it is not an effective use of time. Not to forget the majorly negative psychological impact that rises out of what some people go on to describe as a ‘soul-destroying exercise’. People start associating feelings of dread and escape with perfectly sensible activities like giving accurate feedback and providing balanced career advice!

To put it simply, workforce has had enough of the ‘rankings and yankings that annual reviews bring with themselves. It is a huge investment in terms of time, effort, and even money for the organization. In 2015, Buckingham and Goodall estimated that two million hours are spent conducting performance evaluation processes each year by each global organization. That too for discussing something which has passed and cannot be changed by any means.

Instead, what the new age employee needs today is a path driven by a vision for continuous betterment and goodwill. Hence, the need for continuity of performance management, both in thought and action.

Be vision driven, and goal oriented

The shift to a more continuous performance management needs a strong and rooted vision, to begin with. The underlying purpose of this shift in the way performance management and evaluation happens needs to be driven by a greater shift towards building a more employee-centric, value-based culture. If not one big goal, the organization’s journey should be clearly smaller ones that eventually add up. Let us say that, moving from annual to biannual can be a  good first step in this direction. These small actions, have massively conducive reactions and go a long way in helping you build a foundation on which your continuous performance framework rests.

Prepare well

A recent Towers Watson study found that 4% of organizations amongst 90, did not use ratings for their performance management system (Towers Watson, 2014). A further study found that 7% were looking to change their rating system, while 1% wanted to do away with their rating curve altogether (Towers Watson, 2015). But the move from annual to continuous often includes a major shift in the dynamics of the organization. Therefore, it is one for which the HR must prepare themselves as well as the employees well in advance. Starting with educational sessions in choosing a platform that helps you make the big move, everything must be checked off the list carefully, one at a time. The first of these is the right culture that enables frequent feedback and coaching discussions. It helps nurture a mindset of transparency, and growth by helping promote real-time, value-adding interactions within the organization. The second is having a population of people managers who are not only equipped but have a commitment to developing employees and facilitating these discussions.

Engagement solves for a lot

Engagement and performance management no longer happen in isolated silos. Today, by taking to the continuous route, performance management has essentially become an extension of employee engagement. Features like daily journals, instant feedback etc. are helping organizations engage their employees far more productively while generating critical performance related data on the go. Moreover, there is constant data generation and crunching that happens all the time, linked to other critical yet seemingly unrelated parameters like attrition or headcount to help you ace your talent game.

Stretch, not stress

Finally, while continuous performance management definitely seems like the road to a far more efficient system of talent management, make sure you pick your battles wisely. The overall idea of this new age practice is to move away from the outdated, conventional approach to empower the modern day employee to contribute better. The aim remains to leverage modern technology and outlook to help them stretch towards achieving individual as well as collective goals. It is important to understand the difference between the ambitious and the impossible. This shift in philosophy should be one that is welcomed by the employee by virtue of its clear orientation towards helping them achieve more and grow.

At Darwinbox, our product is built with utmost attention towards helping organizations build a culture of continuous performance management through world-class HR Technology. And this is exactly why over a hundred leading brands in India, empower their 250,000 strong human capital through our HCM platform! To know more about the people, process, and the product that makes it happen, schedule a demo today.