Culture is hardly a buzzword anymore. Yet while certain companies have always prided themselves on how they promote their corporate values and engage employees, it wasn't really until the 2000s tech boom that the notion of culture as a performance driver really gained momentum. Of course, not every company has the means to provide perks like wheatgrass smoothies and organic office cafeterias that Silicon Valley titans made famous, but each business needs pursue a positive culture to ensure success.
Performance management goes hand in hand with culture; one fuels the other. Especially when pursuing continuous performance management (CPM) does this relationship become even more pronounced. Without an environment that encourages and empowers employees to succeed, businesses may become frustrated by an inability to translate a static culture into performance and management gains.
You don't necessarily need to provide nap pods to bring about the type of modern culture that facilitates CPM, but there are a few changes human resources decision-makers should consider making if they haven't already:
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Allow flexible schedules, work arrangements
The old 9-to-5 structure is fading as flexible schedules and work arrangements help companies address the needs and wants of modern employees. It's just a fact of reality at this point that employees aren't tethered to their desks: A Gallup poll found 43 percent of the American workforce said they had worked remotely for at least some time in 2016, up from 39 percent in 2012. What's more, nearly one-third (31 percent) said they spent at least 80 percent of their work time remote.The shift toward flexible arrangements has built considerable momentum on the back of technology breakthroughs. Advances like video conferencing and the cloud have made it easier than ever for employees to get their work done to a high quality and on their own time.
While there are clear limits to how far a company can allow flexible arrangements to go, and certain good-faith promises the employee needs to keep up, it's almost required in these times to have a work-from-home policy on the books. Corporations and HR leaders are becoming ever-more conscious of the fact societal changes have influenced the workplace in lasting ways, as family (parental leave) and practical considerations continually shape the way in which Americans work.
Communicate unlike ever before
However, incorporating flexible work arrangements into your culture can go only so far in producing performance gains. Companies also need to support their efforts by revamping the way they conduct employee outreach, feedback and general interactions with a like-minded eye toward modern cultural expectations. If you have an employee who works states away and at different hours, there's a great need for consistent communication. Without it, the employee may feel left out, and the company may experience difficulties in getting desired results. CPM emphasizes having an open dialogue, and keeping up with valuable workers miles away and maybe even hours ahead is crucial to ensuring businesses benefit from instilling a culture of continuous performance management.
Recognize employees more frequently
While the millennial generation may be chided for a purported collective attitude that wants attention for accomplishments, companies can realize big benefits from pursuing more employee recognition. Not only does it act as a way of elevating morale and building culture, but it can also be a form of feedback, the kind CPM is built on. Recognition doesn't have to be a big thing (like a party), but it is certainly a big thing for an employee to receive even a small shout out. Having a culture that encourages frequent sharing of wins or peer recognition motivates others to achieve and drive a virtuous cycle of engagement and performance management.
Companies looking to establish such a culture of recognition have increasingly turned to internal networks as a way to build a workforce community. Like social media, but for work, these tools make it easy to facilitate the stream of feedback CPM needs to work.
Company cultures are always evolving with the times, and the current one factors heavily into how HR leaders approach performance management. Technology and generational shifts have fundamentally changed how workers work and how managers manage. As a response, more companies have used continuous performance management to address the needs a 21st century workforce has. For businesses interested in learning more about CPM and what solutions are needed to facilitate such a strategy, contact BetterWorks today.