3 reasons to transform your
performance management right now

Stefan Op de Woerd
Stefan Op de Woerd

The traditional performance management cycle has well and truly had its day. It does little or nothing to help employees be more effective and engaged. All this at a time when, more than ever, it is the ‘human factor’ that makes the difference to organisations and their success.

Why is the traditional performance management cycle changing? What trends are emerging, and what does this mean for your organisation? We consider the answers to these questions in this blog.

Trend #1 Agility

The world outside your business is in a constant state of flux. Keeping up with these changes and exploiting the opportunities they present is a major challenge. To do so, calls for agility: reacting quickly and adapting to changing circumstances.

Most organisations understand this only too well, and that’s why they are moving wholesale to using agile forms of cooperation (such as Scrum). Not only that, formal, hierarchical decision-making is increasingly giving way to self-managing teams.

Yet, despite all this, the performance management cycle within many organisations is far from agile. Talking about goals and personal development twice a year stands in stark contrast with a world where change and the need to adapt are a constant.

These days, organisations need to pursue an ‘agile’ performance management cycle, one in which goals are not cast in stone and where employees are in regular dialogue about their contribution to the success of the organisation.

Trend #2 Lifelong learning

What will our workplaces look like in 10 years’ time? None of us knows precisely, but it’s clear that change is ever-present while technological developments continue to move at lightning speed. Therefore, the employee of the future will need different knowledge and skills than they do today. This calls for an organisation in which learning is embedded and where employees are engaged in a process of personal development.

The big question here is what is the role of learning in the performance management cycle. Sadly, in many organisations, this is too often limited to listing the competencies you need for your (current!) job, and then having a discussion about it twice a year. Hardly the most effective way of encouraging employees to develop.

Personal development comes about through experimentation, self-reflection and feedback. Successful organisations help their employees to identify areas for development and then support them to work on these areas, reflect and ask for feedback. This shifts the focus in the performance management cycle from static competencies towards individual learning needs, where employees are enabled to regularly work on these areas.

Make performance management simple and effective?

Download our e-book “7 steps to transform your Performance Management”

Trend #3 Ownership

Employees are increasingly educated to a high level, and the new generation of millennials is looking for a sense of meaning and purpose in their work. It should come as no surprise then that the traditional boss who tells everyone what to do is slowly but surely becoming extinct. Organisations increasingly want to give ownership to employees (or to a team of employees). The role of the manager is then mainly to act as a coach and facilitator.

In this case, wouldn’t it make sense to give the employee responsibility for their own performance management cycle as well? If employees are taking ownership in their work, there’s no reason why they can’t do so when it comes to performance and evaluation too.

This does not necessarily mean employees have to do their own reviews. Ownership in the performance management cycle means that employees take the initiative to enter into a dialogue about their goals and development. And, that they provide the input needed for a fair evaluation.

Transform your performance management

It is clear that the traditional performance management cycle is no longer up to the job. So, it’s high time to make it fit for the future. The ingredients are clear:

  1. Make your performance management agile
  2. Integrate feedback and self-reflection
  3. Give your employees control

Our FREE e-book ‘7 steps to an effective performance management cycle’ will help you get started. In it, you will find clear steps to help you design your new performance management cycle – in a way that truly supports your employees in achieving their goals and personal growth.

Jochem Aubel and Stefan Op de Woerd are the founders of Dialog, online software for surprisingly simple performance management. Want to find out more about how Dialog supports your employees to learn and perform better? Take the product tour

Read on..