What is Continuous Performance Management and 4 Reasons You Need It
Instead of annual/bi-annual employee review models, progressive companies are increasingly looking at a 360-degree and around-the-year framework. Popularized by BetterWorks, Continuous Performance Management offers immense benefits in terms of efficiency, engagement, and data quality. We explore this in greater detail.
Continuous Performance Management is a new way of looking at traditional employee review structures. Instead of bi-annual or quarterly reviews, Continuous Performance Management lets you gather data on employee output from a variety of touch points. This results in a more holistic and accurate picture of employee performance, countering the possibility of bias or one-dimensional data points.
What is Continuous Performance Management?
The concept of Continuous Performance Management was popularized by HR technology major, BetterWorks. Their platform leverages data dashboards and creative performance KPIs to provide businesses with a better understanding of how their employees are doing, new ways in which to boost performance, and which areas need special attention from managers. CEO Doug Dennerline, explains why Continuous Performance Management makes a genuine difference. “I see too many businesses lagging in meeting their growth goals and struggling to respond with agility to changing market conditions. They are struggling because they are trying to motivate today’s workforce with yesterday’s outdated and ineffective annual review processes,” he said.
“Betterworks facilitates the complex, continuous process of Performance Management, with an intuitive, seamless and social end-user experience that drives end-user adoption, and the customization necessary for each program to work within each unique organization.”
4 Reasons to Deploy Continuous Performance Management
A flexible structure, as exemplified by Continuous Performance Management, enables agile goal changing as per dynamic business requirements. Team leads and organizational stakeholders can regularly specify the desired objectives, take stock of personal employee targets, supply on-going feedback, and ensure an uninterrupted alignment between various requirements. This results in four tangible benefits.
1. Better Quality of KPI Data
Because performance information is collected from various sources (conversations, check-ins, progress updates, network feedback, and social media) without undue dependence on a single person or parameter, the data collected will be more accurate. Prejudice arising from isolated factors will be eliminated indicating exactly how an employee is performing in different contexts across the workplace.
2. Deeper Engagement Among the Workforce
With companies across the globe looking to forge new lines of communication and strengthen employer-employee relationships, Continuous Performance Management can be a powerful tool. Once a year event-based reviews are replaced by a continuous line of communication; employees are aware that they are always being heard and their grievances/needs are being noticed by the management all year round. “CHROs recognize that motivation and engagement are not one-time events for an employee. These need to be continuously stoked through regular, open, and ongoing conversations between employees and their leaders,” commented Doug.
3. An uptick in Performance Review efficiency
Processing employee reviews in bulk at every year end/quarter end can be a cumbersome task, weighing down on your HR department’s workload. A Continuous Performance Management framework constantly and consistently collates data, giving your HR team uninterrupted visibility over key data. Furthermore, team leads are also aware of exactly where each employee is positioned at any given time. As a result, reviews are processed much faster, without delays or errors.
4. An Increase in Conversation and Feedback Value
In a Continuous Performance Management feedback scenario, every survey response, questionnaire, and feedback mechanism is directed into the larger review blueprint. This minimizes the waste of time and effort on the part of both employees and employer. Additionally, knowing that their opinion would make an actual difference, participants are likely to share more honest answers — thereby improving data quality, as mentioned.
So how does Continuous Performance Management work?
Managers and organizations start by setting specific goals that employees are expected to follow. “Recent research out of MIT recommends goals be FAST instead of SMART, meaning they are embedded in Frequent discussions, Ambitious in scope, measured by Specific metrics and Transparent for everyone to see,” Doug recommends. Next, 360-degree conversations across the workplace are considered to determine if the said goals have been met. This is further complemented by peer feedback — in fact, Networked Feedback is one of BetterWork’s USPs, incorporating information from peers, direct reports, and other parties interacting with an employee, and not just a top-down evaluation.
Depending on the results of the Continuous Performance Management process, employees are duly recognized, and the platform is updated (dynamically) for the next cycle.
Clearly, Continuous Performance Management offers a smarter alternative to existing and arguably outmoded review models. Companies like BetterWorks are already exploring AI, ML, and Advanced Analytics to further amplify the capabilities of Continuous Performance Management. “We will be releasing expanded analytics for our customers that include highly visual workforce insights, derived from their continuous performance management programs. We are also working to develop the rest of the tools needed to identify and manage top talent, like next generation 9 block and calibration tools,” Doug concluded, looking forward to newer terrains.
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