The Future of Performance Management: Webinar Recap

Make feedback a winning habit on your team.
The future of performance management is moving quickly, and we want to help you keep up. Traditional annual reviews are stepping to the side in favor of continuous feedback. This shift is not just a passing trend but a required change to cater to the needs of today’s workforce. We’ll explore the future of performance management and give you practical tips on how to implement continuous feedback for your team.

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What is Performance Management

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Performance management is all about creating the space where employees can perform at their best while being aligned to company goals. It involves setting clear company goals, establishing hyper clear individual expectations, providing support so people can succeed, and ensuring accountability through continuous feedback. While performance reviews can be a part of performance management, performance management is not a singular moment in time. The future of performance management is about a continuous process. It is a lifestyle. 

Success in performance management looks like this:

  • Clarity in goals and expectations: People need to know exactly what is expected of them. This clarity often needs to be revisited and reinforced to stay effective as priorities have a way of changing and shifting especially in fast paced environments. 
  • Regular feedback and accountability: Feedback should be given weekly (or daily!) to keep everyone on track and engaged.
  • Transparency against goals: Monthly updates such as Monthly Business Reviews or retrospectives help ensure everyone knows how their efforts contribute to the company’s goals.
  • Ongoing support: Employees should have always-on support from their managers and peers. 

Normalizing Continuous Feedback

Studies show that 60% of employees would want to receive feedback on a daily or weekly basis. This stat increases to 72% for employees under age 30. Continuous feedback means sharing high-quality feedback with team members regularly, helping them improve and stay motivated.

The future of performance management lies in normalizing continuous feedback. When continuous feedback becomes the standard and expected behavior, it becomes a habit. In order to normalize a new behavior, you need to show that it is (1) average – everyone does it and (2) ideal – the people they want to be like do the behavior. 

Here’s how you can get continuous feedback going in your organization:

1. Alignment

For continuous feedback to work, there must be alignment within the team that continuous feedback is important, a priority and something that is worth investing in. Here’s how to achieve that:

  • Agreement on importance and priority: Everyone in the organization, from top leadership to entry-level employees, must agree on the importance of continuous feedback. It is especially important to be honest here. If your organization doesn’t have the time or space to commit to this new way of working, don’t start yet. 
  • Commitment from leadership: Leaders must commit to giving and receiving continuous feedback, setting an example for the rest of the organization. What they say is important has to match what they do. The team will quickly be able to tell if leaders are just paying lip service to continuous feedback but not actually doing it. 
  • Tie the initiative to employee feedback: Ensure that the process of continuous feedback is aligned with the feedback employees want and need. You may be able to get this information from an engagement survey or pulse check. 

2. Support

Supporting continuous feedback involves providing the tools and training to make the process work for them:

  • Training: Offer training sessions to teach employees and managers what good feedback looks like and how to respond to feedback. 
  • Rituals: Establish regular rituals, like weekly one-on-one meetings, Feedback Fridays, or Talent Tuesdays to make feedback a regular part of the workweek.
  • Tooling: Invest in tools that facilitate easy and efficient feedback, such as Tandem
  • Templates and examples: Provide templates and examples of effective feedback to show employees how to do it in their day to day work. 

3. Accountability

Ensuring accountability in the feedback process is crucial for it to stick:

  • Measurement: Regularly measure the effectiveness of your feedback processes. That which gets measured gets done. Find a system or tool that will help you measure feedback. See below for an example of feedback tracking and measurement.
  • Praise growth and improvement: Celebrate when teammates start giving feedback. They will likely continue behaviors they are praised for.
  • Inclusion in what matters: Make sure that feedback is tied to what matters most in the organization. 

What You’ll Get Out of It

The future of performance management, with a focus on continuous feedback, offers lasting benefits:

  • Improved performance: Continuous and timely feedback helps employees understand what they are doing well and where they need to improve, leading to better overall performance quickly rather than waiting for out-dated reviews. 
  • Higher engagement: Employees who receive regular feedback feel more engaged and connected, which can lead to increased satisfaction and retention especially of your top performers. 
  • Faster development: Continuous feedback allows for more agile correction and guidance, boosting employee development.
  • Better alignment: Regular feedback ensures that everyone is aligned with the company’s goals, leading to more cohesive teamwork.

Putting it All Together

The future of performance management is continuous feedback. By aligning your company goals to individual expectations, providing necessary support, and holding people accountable, you can create an environment where continuous feedback is the new norm. If you need support, Tandem is here for you!