The Change from Performance Reviews to Performance Management

  • On September 23, 2021

Many companies are adapting to a new style of staff management known as “performance management,” a continuous process of helping employees continually raise the bar regarding their performance. The employee and manager work together to set and document goals, which often align with specific metrics or company objectives.

Studies indicate employers that practice performance management should set a few major goals for each employee to accomplish per year. In addition, to be effective, the goals that a worker and manager develop together should be created with the SMART framework in mind, ensuring the goals are:

  • Specific, clear and understandable
  • Measurable, verifiable and results-oriented
  • Attainable, yet sufficiently challenging
  • Relevant to the mission of the department or organization
  • Time-bound, with a schedule and specific milestones

Performance management also requires employees and their supervisors to communicate regularly throughout the year to update each other on the progress towards set goals and readjust timelines and other details as needed. This process of sharing ongoing, constructive feedback keeps workers and managers on the same page while reducing misunderstandings and any confusion about expected outcomes. It also helps prevent small problems from turning into obstacles. Continuous feedback can improve employee engagement and motivation, as well, which can lead to boosted productivity and retention.

The traditional process a firm might practice, commonly known as performance reviews, still occurs as part of performance management. But these meetings are more frequent, usually more informal, and designed to focus on the progress an employee has made toward set goals. Usually, organizations will pick one or the other since each has a different overall outcome with different paths of achievement. Companies are finding that performance management is more effective when compared to its traditional counterpart.

If your company believes a performance management approach isn’t right for them, rethinking your performance review process would be beneficial. If you’re evaluating staff performance only once or twice a year, you’re missing out on opportunities to guide and motivate employees, as well as build an even more productive work relationship with them. Also, your team members likely want to hear from you regularly about where and how they’re excelling or should strive to improve. It’s better to assume they want regular reminders that they’re an important and valued part of your organization, especially if they have been or are still working remotely and they need that more than you realize. It’s not beneficial for you, your employees or the goals of the organization to wait for months or a year to learn what they’re doing well, or areas where they might be missing the mark. Waiting too long to provide feedback and encouragement to your team members could lead to you losing them, too. 

Another reason your organization may want to reevaluate its performance management process is that the business may be operating differently than it has in the past. Like many organizations, the company may no longer have clear annual cycles; instead, it is driven by short-term projects and time-sensitive initiatives. So rather than setting yearly goals, it would be more worthwhile to come up with milestones of achievement throughout the year. Creating a continuous feedback process doesn’t just benefit your employees, it can save you time once everyone adapts to the new process. 

If you decide to hold more frequent performance reviews, some strategies to be successful should include making it a discussion, focus on the future, addressing upskilling, and creating a separate time for salary discussions. Employees can find performance reviews, no matter how informal, intimidating. This creates the need for meetings to occur as two-way conversations. And, be sure to listen for hints regarding the level of workplace happiness and satisfaction. Instead of dwelling on past successes or failures in a performance review, focus on the company’s upcoming needs and how the employee fits into that big picture. During more frequent performance review meetings, you can help employees more clearly see areas for professional growth, such as the need to enhance specific skills or learn new ones. Upskilling is especially important today as technology continues to rapidly change the nature of work, and is also beneficial for recruiting and retaining younger employees. Lastly, many companies base financial rewards on formal evaluations. That doesn’t need to change, although you may want to consider separating that conversation from the feedback process. Performance evaluations are a time to acknowledge employees’ strengths and discuss strategies for positive change and growth.

Even if you don’t go all-in on adopting an entirely new performance management approach, there is value in rethinking the old-fashioned performance review. Staff Solve continues to provide high-quality candidates and jobs in diverse markets for over 27 years. Let us take the stress off you so you can focus on your business by finding the perfect applicant for the position. If you are looking for employment, please visit our job seeker page. If you would like more information about the services we offer employers, visit our employer page or contact us today.

0 comments on The Change from Performance Reviews to Performance Management

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *