Is Your Performance Management Program Making an Impact?

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Moving away from the annual review towards a Performance Management Program focused on continuous feedback

The trend of continuous feedback throughout the year instead of feedback once or twice a year in the formalized performance review is gaining momentum. Some Fortune 500 companies such as General Electric, Microsoft and Adobe have moved away from the traditional annual performance review to ongoing feedback and coaching conversations. Employees need real-time feedback to leverage their contributions.  It is time for organizations to align themselves with the cultural change of real-time information that modern technology has created. Waiting for a year to receive feedback, is like receiving a step count from your Fitbit at the end of the year.  With such delay, there is a neglect in addressing performance shortfalls and an absence of progressive improvement. In fact, recognizing the need for continuous feedback and quality conversations led to Adobe’s popular continuous performance Check-in model and GE’s roll out of a regular feedback app.

In this spate of performance management revamps, how does your organization measure up?  At Pesce & Associates we are helping our clients transform their performance management programs by laying the necessary groundwork involving these essential factors:

Performance Goals and Employee Development 

Since the switch to more feedback is ultimately about more real-time information, shouldn’t we use all this data to jumpstart employee development? Just because a goal was suitably assigned when it was agreed, does not mean it will remain so for a year. Managers need to become more responsive and flexible in relating to goal achievement. As circumstances change, goals may become more achievable, or too easy, or plain irrelevant or even unachievable.  Tracking goals and keeping an eye on performance will provide opportunities to challenge and grow teams. The world of work has changed significantly, and shorter goal cycles and frequent dialogues are among the trendsetters. This calls for managers who will notice, initiate the conversation, and quickly adjust goals to yield greater performance results.

Provide Real-Time Feedback and Coach Forward (Future Focused)

While you can only provide feedback on past performance, you can direct and impact future performance.  The simple act of noticing and saying what you have noticed provides an atmosphere of acknowledgement. Observing direct reports and providing real time feedback on specific activities is a powerful feedback tool. This takes less courage than end of year evaluation and is less likely to be interpreted as biased and inconsistent.  Once the observation is shared and agreed, then both parties can work through the interpretation.  Whether the observation is to be treated as an opportunity for improvement or praise, real-time feedback is essential to the final end-of-year future focused discussion.  If managers take the time to give feedback throughout the year, the end of year discussion on employee performance and development becomes easier.  Compensation decisions will be aligned to performance data inputs, already corroborated, and discussed with employees.  This approach would create a growth-driven, development-oriented, and mutually rewarding year-end evaluation process.

As always Pesce & Associates is here to help should you have any questions or require assistance in reviewing and updating your current performance management policies. Please reach out to your P&A Consultant or Elizabeth Hill, Managing Partner at ehill@pesceassociates.com or 416-491-1501 Ext. 23.

For more information on our services, please visit our website at www.pesceassociates.com.

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