We have written previously about Re-Engineering Performance Management and there are many articles about companies such as Google, Adobe, Microsoft, Deloitte, Cargill, and many more who have been re-inventing their performance management processes, and moving from the annual performance appraisal to continuous performance management or agile performance management.
Continuous performance management relies on more regular performance discussions, held weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
Continuous performance management is based on:
- Near-term objectives
- Regular feedback and feedforward suggestions
- In the moment feedback
In traditional performance management, SMART objectives were set once a year and cascaded downwards from the top to lower levels.
With continuous performance management, two things are different.
Objectives are set and reviewed much more regularly. The world of work has changed dramatically and we all are working to shorter time horizons and subject to changing goals on a constant basis.
Also, in the knowledge economy, employees are given more autonomy over their objectives rather them just being handed down from on high.
They have the opportunity to review and re-shape objectives on an on-going basis with their manager, in line with changing work requirements and their own growth needs.
Fluid and Regular Communication
Everyone knows that in-the-moment feedback is more valuable than feedback delivered months after the event .
Annual performance reviews might cover feedback, but it comes too late. Favourable behaviour gets little mention and anyway it is too late to provide meaningful recognition. On the other hand, behaviour that needs changing, cannot be changed if it is several month’s after the event.
With more frequent meetings, managers have more of an opportunity to step in and address performance issues and recognise great performance too.
There has been a revolution in performance management software
The reason why continuous performance management is the way of the future is the revolution in performance management software. The advances in performance management software, tools and mobile apps has made agile performance management feasible. Such software allows in-the-moment feedback, scheduling of meetings, and the tracking of goals.
In order to succeed and thrive long-term in this rapidly changing and competitive business environment, companies need to be open and willing to experiment with new technology.
Agile Performance Management
To read more about agile performance management, download our report here