200 hours a year. That’s how much time Gartner research found managers spent per year on annual review documentation. And considering 95% of employees are dissatisfied with the annual review process and 90% don’t believe they provide accurate information, it hardly seems worth the effort and time spent. Of course, it begs the questions that if annual reviews are an inefficient use of time and ineffective feedback, how do you provide meaningful feedback to employees?
Continuous performance management is a new philosophy being adopted by companies today. It means ongoing one-on-one conversations between managers and employees held at regular intervals throughout the year with light documentation.
And it works.
Ready to get started changing your company culture to one of continuous performance management? Here are five things you need to know to successfully make the transition.
Change your philosophy
There’s a fundamental difference in the underlying attitude and philosophy between annual performance reviews and continuous performance management.
Annual performance reviews are built on the idea managers must hold employees accountable and access that employee’s value to the company. Feedback is one-directional as the employee receives a grade followed by either reward or reprimand. It’s no wonder employees find the process to be ineffective and inaccurate. They need to feel empowerment in the feedback process and play an active role.
Continuous performance management (CPM) starts with the foundational belief that employees want to perform well and they want to improve, grow and develop in their careers. Employees drive the direction of their own development and managers take a supportive, coaching role, which creates an environment that fosters trust and builds relationships.
When you empower employees to take the reins in their career, the result is success for both individual and company. So, when you’re trying to make the change to CPM in your company, start by educating managers about their new role in the review process. “You’re the coach, not the judge.” Set that expectation first and you’re ready to get started with continuous performance management.
Set the tone early
Continuous performance management starts on day one of an employees’ life at your company. The onboarding process must be used to set the tone and expectations surrounding feedback and employee development. Let employees know that feedback is a give and take and they are fully empowered to initiate feedback conversations with their managers. Furthermore, tell them that development is part of the feedback process and your company will be supporting their natural desire to learn and grow within their career.
Dr. Henrik Thomas from Cornerstone OnDemand, is an expert on continuous performance management. He has lead sessions for HR leaders in New Zealand exploring the topic of CPM and has been instrumental in building a Check-ins feature in Cornerstone’s performance management solution for small businesses, PiiQ Performance.
“Changing your company culture is an incredible challenge,” stated Dr. Thomas. “The key to success here is to set the tone early for new employees. If the expectation is set from the beginning, established managers will step up to meet that challenge.”
Get the right tools
“Continuous performance management doesn’t mean abandoning the concept of evaluation,” continued Dr. Thomas. “Instead, it provides more data to paint a more accurate picture which is invaluable for both manager and employee. For example, the Check-ins feature in PiiQ allows both the manager and employee to schedule a feedback session, so it’s empowering for both parties.”
In PiiQ Performance, a solution designed for businesses under 100 employees, employees or managers can initiate check-ins, which triggers an email to start a discussion on any topic, be it goals, development, challenges in the workplace, you name it. Feedback and notes captured during check-ins can be easily linked to the performance review, if desired, helping to reduce the “recency effect” when it comes time for the performance review.
Having the right tools is key to ensuring a company-wide culture change. Make it as easy as possible for managers and employees to adopt a culture of feedback by empowering them every step of the way. Nothing puts a damper on change faster than a clunky, manual process.
Get the tools your company needs to automate the process of feedback and build a culture of continuous feedback.
“Changing your company culture and getting leadership buy-in for an automation tool may seem like a mountain to climb, but the results are far worth it,” stated Dr. Thomas.