As covered in the previous article, performance management is the process of monitoring and evaluating employee performance to make sure it meets the needed standards defined by succession planning.
Consistent, timely feedback is important because it ensures employees receive feedback when they need it, not after the fact. They can then make changes in real-time, cutting back on lingering mistakes, and growing their skills faster.
Alexis Haselberger a Time Management and Leadership Coach at Alexis Haselberger Coaching and Consulting believes in continual performance management vs. just performance reviews. She states,
"I think with continual performance management you get better results. This means asking for feedback consistently so that I can improve, and giving feedback to others in a timely manner so that they are able to improve and ask for clarification on the fly."
Many performance management processes are currently a “one and done” sort of deal based on annual or semi-annual performance reviews. However, we at ProSky believe it should be a constant process that evolves for each position within the company.
Continuous Performance Management
Continuous Performance is not just the one-time performance review, but an ongoing evaluation that allows you to get feedback on a continuous basis to constantly improve. Some benefits include:
More Engaging Communication: Managers are able to communicate with employees in a more interactive way and both sides will be able to give and receive relevant feedback. The entire performance management cycle more effective and sustainable as both sides benefit from regular conversation
- Efficient Problem Solving: Instead of all the praise and critique being crammed together in an annual or semi-annual assessment, problems are addressed as they appear and change is implemented as soon as possible. This allows the company to focus on future opportunities instead of gathering all the problems and mistakes that accumulate over the year.
- Accurate Performance Info: Employees know exactly where they stand and because they will receive meaningful encouragement or guidance based on their day-to-day task completion. Managers have a more comprehensive picture of the employees’ ability and performance. Course adjustments can be made in a timely manner allowing for improved performance and engagement with employees.
Identify Missing Roles and Skills Quicker: Continuous performance allows managers to detect whether employee performance is not improving because of lack of skills or gaps within the organization. Once these are identified, the company can implement training to develop the employees or hiring to fill in the needed roles.
These are just some of the benefits that you'll come to realize after implementing continuous performance in your company. This process requires an investment of your time, will continually affect your company for the long-term.
Communication and Gathering Feedback
An important part of the continuous performance process is constant communication with managers and employees. Improving communication in the workplace can bring many benefits to your organization such as increased productivity and loyalty.
There are many software out there that help with continuous performance and provide tools to facilitate communication. These tools can include:
- Employee Reviews
- Pulse surveys
Our ProSky software also features questions that managers can choose to send to the team and employees can give feedback or simple emojis (like/dislike). When responses are received, it will prompt management to give feedback on a daily or weekly frequency essentially creating a feedback loop. Communication isn't something that may be perfected at once but taking the right steps sure helps a great deal. Supplementing your continuous performance with the right software can make it easier to communicate.
HR professionals should focus on getting feedback directly from employees, but can also consider reaching out to managers and coworkers who collaborate together during the performance-review process. The Society for Human Resource Management states:
90 percent of HR professionals believe that a combination of feedback from an employee’s manager as well as others in an organization creates a more accurate picture of employee performance.
Obtaining feedback from an individual’s manager is important but it is also only one perspective. To get a full view of how an employee is performing one should always talk to their co-workers as well.
Using Employee Feedback
Real continuous performance should include not only the above communication tools with employees but also using that feedback to improve the employee experience and benefit the company.
CP is all about finding the right fit for employees, identifying challenges or problems, and then assisting them to improve. Allows HR managers to continually align employee milestones and skills development with the goals of the company.
A great thing about CP is that you are able to make better decisions based on data. Because every task is backed up with performance statistics, you're able to know exactly which employees are excelling, which ones are performing well, and which ones need extra help or training.
If CP is implemented and an under-performing employee is not changing to meet the requirements, you have measurements in place to decide whether a separation, cross training, or moving them to a different pathway would be suitable.
Real life example
One of our clients had an employee who started out as an SDR with the company because she thought she was interested in going into sales. After the first three months using continuous performance, we realized she wasn't performing well in that role. We got feedback from her that she was becoming frustrated with her lack of success and was having difficulty finding the motivation to continue on in doing her job.
Using the information from CP, we were able to transition her into another pathway creating content for our marketing team which is something that she had not done before but was interested in trying. After a few weeks of training and adjustment, the employee performed much better and felt very comfortable in her new role. She fell in love with it and continues to create great content to this day.
Continuous performance management is a highly effective and cost-efficient way to improve the productivity and effectiveness of your workforce. Employees will feel better in their roles knowing how their tasks are helping the company achieve success. Having a constant feedback loop going will improve morale and reduce employee turnover.
For more tips on how continuous performance management can help your company succeed, be sure to check out the rest of our Hiring Blueprints!