Continuous performance management (CPM) has gotten a lot of attention recently — most of it positive. As more human resource executives direct investment toward instilling CPM principles and processes, the performance management trend has gained steam across all companies and industries. However, despite all the positive news CPM has generated, unflattering takes have cropped up as well.
Yet those negative perspectives aren't any reason to hold back from investigating CPM, especially if they're not necessarily fact-based. Indeed, here are 3 myths about CPM that need to be busted:
CPM sacrifices the long term for the near term
One misconception that tends to get attention is that CPM doesn't allow managers to focus on long-term plans. The thinking behind it goes that when you're continuously managing and checking in, the only thing that matters is what's happening in the moment; so while, sure, CPM may have use in the now, it doesn't help facilitate productive long-term planning.
Yet what this myth gets wrong is that CPM isn't just an either/or proposition – it gives managers the best of both worlds. It's easy to see where this thought process is right (CPM does emphasize frequent check-ins) and where it gets it all wrong (that somehow those near-term actions preclude any long-term planning). If anything, focusing on actionable items in the short term supports progress toward long-term objectives.
Even if something is years down the road, the organization is always moving toward it, and CPM ensures every phase building up to it goes smoothly.
Too much feedback can be a bad thing
Even if a business considers implementing CPM, it could be hesitant because it thinks employees may not be all that receptive. The reasoning is that employees are busy enough, and overcommunication could annoy them or otherwise slow down productivity. Firms may also fear that managers may take feedback too far.
But it there's one thing any employee wants it's more feedback. And as it stands, most firms are ill-equipped to supply that demand if they rely on yearend reviews. Feedback can take any number of flexible forms, which CPM promotes, and can play a large role in motivation and morale. Far from micromanaging, CPM enables managers and employees to more closely collaborate and facilitate valuable feedback.
Eliminating the yearend review would be catastrophic
There's no denying CPM places more emphasis on regular check-ins and feedback over yearend reviews, but this myth distorts CPM principles in reality. Using a continuous performance management strategy doesn't mean automatically stopping yearend reviews. If a company so wishes to keep them, it can leverage CPM to support reviews so that employees aren't left wanting communication over the rest of the year.
CPM doesn't have to be a rigid structure, one of its draws is its ability to conform to an organization's exact needs. What such a performance management strategy can do is allow those companies to complement end-of-the-year appraisals with more normalized assessments. Having a singular source of feedback over 12 months can be tough for employees, so having more frequent guidance can make that yearend review even more impactful.
Pushing past these myths and misconceptions is key to understanding how CPM can benefit your organization. The truth is CPM can be whatever you want it to be, but in order for it to work, adopters need systems to support continuous feedback and performance management. BetterWorks has a suite of solutions that companies can use to track objectives and optimize workflows. Contact us today for more information or a product demo.