11 Dec Top Three Trends In Performance Management
As a workplace culture expert who’s guided industry leaders at Oracle, Toyota, Lockheed Martin and the Federal Reserve, I’ve had the opportunity to observe a host of varied management styles. Over time, my insights led me to create and implement intentional cultures that were directly responsible for accelerating performance. As we emerge from the cocoon of the pandemic and the impact it’s had on business as we knew it, I’ve come to see three top trends in performance management:
- Impact of hybrid work
- More continuous feedback and check-ins
- Using performance data gathered in real time
Performance Management Trend No. 1: Impact Of Hybrid Work
What does flexibility mean? While employees are looking for more flexible work situations, it has managers wondering, “what does flexible work really mean?”
There are two areas of flexibility that need to be considered: location and time.
Some jobs can be performed remotely but have fixed timelines. For example, customer service support roles need to be performed during business hours. Other jobs need to be performed at a specific location but can be carried out at any time. For example, a stocking position tends to be more deadline-driven. Stockers can manage inventory and move things around by a specific date and time, but the work can often be performed during or outside business hours.
When employees say they want flexible schedules, they can also mean that they’d like to arrive at work by say 10:30 a.m. and leave by 6:30 p.m. instead of the typical 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. schedule. Workers often prefer this type of schedule when they don’t need to continuously collaborate and when the primary goal is just to get the work done on time.
Employers need to ask clarifying questions to make sure they understand what type of flexibility employees really want. Flexible work arrangements, like a hybrid work solution, may be possible depending on the role, workplace needs and other details.
A great solution to balancing employee desire for flexibility with employers’ preference for onsite work is a hybrid work solution. What that looks like for each individual company and employee will vary, but it often looks like allowing employees to work from home for a few days a week and coming into the office for the remainder. Some positions don’t fit a flexible work situation but many do.
Performance Management Trend No. 2: More Continuous Feedback And Check-Ins
Continuous feedback will be a major cornerstone in performance management this year. Mercer’s 2019 Global Performance Management Study found that only “2% of companies feel their performance management approach delivers exceptional value.” That’s a lot of room for improvement for the majority of companies.
By changing the approach to include more continuous feedback and employee check-ins it can be easier to provide the needed real-time resources for improvement and growth. By documenting a plan for continuous feedback and annual performance reviews, everyone in the company will be more likely to comply and see the results of building a culture of continuous improvement and growth.
A plan that dictates processes based on continuous feedback and performance management enhances the employee experience. It allows real-time communication between employees, managers and HR so that the data and processes that are critical to the company and employee growth can be managed in one place.
Performance Management Trend No. 3: Using Performance Data Gathered In Real Time
Organizations can no longer rely on “gut feelings” and biases to make important decisions. Competition for top talent is more intense than ever. To remain competitive, organizations need to make data-driven decisions that optimize performance, motivation and development.
To summarize, in this new world order, managers will be more likely to succeed if they:
- Exhibit flexibility to meet employees’ needs.
- See communication not as something to be executed from the top down, but across the aisle.
- Acknowledge the importance of data and the realization that satisfaction, whether that is from an employee experience (EX) or customer experience (CX) perspective, can and should be measured.
Overall, we can expect greater flexibility, communication and feedback as major themes in performance management this year.