The world of work has been significantly altered by COVID-19. Over the past few years, the efficacy and perspective of the employee performance management process have undergone a major transition, but the pandemic has sped up the process even more.
The exit of boomers and the onset of employees from younger generations has been significantly altering workplace practices too – regular performance monitoring and evaluation is gradually replacing annual rating-based performance evaluation. Most businesses still utilise the yearly approach, but a growing number of organisations have started shifting gears, realising that their performance management systems and strategies are steadily getting out-of-date and inefficient in keeping up with the rapid and ever-evolving changes in the workplace.
Importance of Performance Management
Your HR staff benefits from consistency and structure provided by performance management. Employees, managers, and HR specialists within your firm will be aware of what to do and when to do it if the procedure is set in a straightforward manner. This makes it easier to keep track of your employees’ development or to identify when they need assistance if their performance can do with a bit of guidance.
Assessments and performance reviews are only one aspect of the employee performance evaluation. Companies should go beyond simply auditing employee accomplishments if they want to develop an empowered and competent workforce – such as striving for a management cycle where their support and development are vital.
3 Outdated Performance Management PRactices
1. Annual Performance Reviews
The opposition to the yearly performance evaluation has begun. Businesses like Deloitte, The Gap, Adobe, Microsoft, and IBM have all discovered that yearly evaluations are not only very expensive (the entire process costs about €30 million for a firm with around 10,000 employees), but they are also rather pointless. Traditional performance appraisals are so ineffective that, in almost a third of work situations, they actually worsen performance or have a negative effect on talent retention.
However, companies end up quantifying employee behaviour by using the traditional approach to reviewing annual performance. Behaviour is an intangible concept that cannot be measured. It is arbitrary, necessitates self-reflection and continual improvement, and tends to develop over time with guidance from reliable mentors and coaches. Even worse, once a performance evaluation is documented in writing, both staff members and managers are likely to be forced to accept the results, which can have a negative effect on engagement, productivity, and morale.
2. Padding appreciations with Casual Negative Comments
Throwing in a casual negative remarks without any basis can scar the morale and enthusiasm of employees. When assessing the performance of your staff, you, as the manager, must be objective and fair. Not all employees receive negative comments equally and casually.
Most employees actively avoid receiving unfavourable remarks from their bosses. Negative feedback often indicates that “there is room for improvement” and that the employee has perhaps not properly accomplished all areas of their job. It is both disrespectful and disheartening to give a poor performance assessment; only in extraordinary circumstances would someone receive praise in front of everyone, but other employees cannot hear a performance assessment that is not favourable. Shaming is counterproductive and just spreads negativity throughout the organisation. So, humiliation in any circumstance is a huge NO!
3. Forced Ranking
Forced ranking, a method of performance management developed by GE in the 1980s, has generated debate practically from the beginning. The approach known as “stack ranking” or “force ranking,” which pits employees against one another in a Darwinian rating system, has lost favour in recent years.
Forced ranking, which pits employees against one another, is harmful to team-building, and many firms are beginning to abandon this archaic practice. A lawsuit against Yahoo was allegedly motivated by coerced ranking, according to a Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) article. The claim in the lawsuit was that the performance management strategy resulted in discrimination against the male employees of Yahoo! The practice has led to expensive litigation, negative publicity, and declining morale at certain organisations where forced ranking has not worked effectively or has served a purpose at a high cost, according to numerous CEOs, consultants, academics, and HR experts.
5 Trends leading The future of performance management
According to Gartner, less than one-fifth of HR executives think that performance management is currently working, and 81% of HR leaders are modifying their organisation’s performance management system. Performance management is about to undergo a comprehensive transformation in the next three to five years. The following five trends will be leading the way for how employee performance is managed:
1. Frequent Positive Feedback
Communication that compliments a person’s abilities, accomplishments, or successes, is known as positive feedback. Everyone benefits from providing and receiving favourable comments. While giving feedback could appear like a managerial responsibility, individual contributors should make it a point to appreciate their coworkers’ qualities to help boost their morale and enthusiasm. Positive feedback has the power to strengthen certain talents and boost the productivity of your workforce. Boosting productivity, in turn, can improve work effectiveness and result in advantages for your business as well as your colleagues.
The previous version of Goldman Sachs’ performance management system placed a lot of emphasis on ratings, stack rankings, and yearly reviews – all of which have been demonstrated to have a negative impact on employees.
In order to boost informal performance talks, Goldman Sachs established their own web-based solution for delivering and getting feedback after several internal polls revealed workers sought more ongoing, and constructive feedback.
2. emphasis on Mental Health and Wellness
Companies and managers must be flexible based on how each person is doing and build performance talks and goals around employee well-being. Since each employee faces a unique set of circumstances, empathy is a crucial quality managers must possess. Being aware of your teams difficulties and challenges will help you understand why they are failing to meet their goals and how you can address it to make things better. School runs and caring responsibilities while keeping up with a demanding workload, and other personal setbacks resulting in loneliness and isolation could be some of the reasons. Managers need to take the big picture into account before relying on numbers for answers. It helps to have empathy, to be open-minded, to think outside-the-box, and to be agile enough to swiftly switch from one employee’s world to another.
Employers may use technology to advance the discussion about mental health and include it in the evaluation of their team’s performance. The same software system that “shoves” employees with notifications to check-in on the status of their goals might also “poke” them with notifications to check on their mental health.
3. the overall Employee Experience
Another performance management metric that has been gaining traction is the employee experience, but it has evolved into something slightly different: the human experience. The importance of imparting meaning to or personalising workers’ work is highlighted by the human experience. Because of their personal and constructive contributions, employees’ productivity increases.
In addition to wanting to boost productivity, companies also want to promote employee retention. Organisations need to keep their staff engaged or else they risk losing them to competitors. 3.5 million workers, or 2.3% of the workforce in the United States alone, have left their employment this year, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
4. Reflecting More on Context and Empathy
In the past, software and employee evaluation forms used a point system to rank employees’ performance in many categories from 1 to 5. Studies have shown that this kind of measuring is ineffective, especially in settings where the value of the job is assessed versus measured. Evaluation of engagement, contributions, and collaborative projects that improve the company’s overall health are recent performance management trends.
By using practices like regular check-ins and quick 1:1s, managers will be better prepared to address performance concerns as they arise before unfavourable performance practices become entrenched in the companty’s DNA and hard to alter. These qualities helps build stronger teams and highlights areas that employers and employees may need to develop where criticism is sincere and detailed. A clear direction inspires workers to strive toward a specific aim and provides them with a framework for success and accountability in relation to their own goals, and in keeping with the mission and vision of the organisation.
5. Peer Evaluations
Employee peer review is the name of the process in which co-workers evaluate one another’s productivity and abilities. Managers generally give out peer review forms to all employees to be filled out anonymously with information about their coworkers’ performance during the peer performance evaluation. When you automate business communication, the process of collecting peer evaluations gets easier. Even in the finest work situations, employees act differently when speaking to their managers than when speaking to their co-workers. As a result, managers cannot only depend on the employee’s disclosure of information. A closer examination of an employee’s abilities, flaws, and strengths is possible, thanks to the peer-to-peer performance review method, which makes employee evaluations more objective.
A performance evaluation that is primarily based on a company’s production and financial outcomes is useless. Peer evaluations provide you with the chance to rectify a worker’s flaws by pointing out performance gaps that could have gone unreported. An employee will be able to focus on the areas that need development with the help of constructive criticism, and ideally, they will also have support in doing so.
Like many businesses of its size, Facebook (Meta) conducts semi-annual evaluations with an emphasis on employee and peer input. Facebook’s management clearly understands how staff members co-operate with one another, a quality that is essential to the success of the firm – by focusing on peer input. Facebook management and employees give and receive ongoing real-time feedback between review cycles, thanks to updated internal technologies. Because feedback is continuous throughout the year, employees are no longer startled with their ratings under this method.
Performance management systems will continue to improve and will remain a key areas of focus as businesses adopt more agile and data-driven strategies to help their employees succeed. Managers will be increasingly cued-in and active across all facets of the employee lifecycle using people analytics tools and other HR technologies that support performance management. This will also help managers develop sincere working relationships and enhance their team’s development and growth through positive practices like ongoing 1-1 conversations, employee recognitions, and giving a re-boot to the performance review process.
Photo credit: John Schnobrich on Unsplash