Ongoing performance management is touted as the next big thing in the world of business and human resources. It’s the strategy used by leading companies across the globe, including Google, Deloitte and Accenture. These and other organizations are ditching annual reviews and ratings systems for frequent feedback sessions without ranks or grades. But how much of the conversation surrounding ongoing performance management is hype, and how much is true?
The Center for Effective Organizations surveyed over 200 different businesses to see just how such companies and their employees react to new performance management techniques. Specifically, the Center studied how organizations use ongoing performance feedback, rating-free reviews and crowd-sourced feedback. It found that the majority of organizations – 237 out of 244, or 97 percent – used ongoing feedback as the groundwork for their revitalized performance management strategy.
It’s not hard to imagine why – when compared to the other three, ongoing performance management has the fastest impact and is most easily observed by employees. By switching from an annual review to frequent check-ins, businesses make it evident they’re looking for a way to improve employee development. What’s more, they can take steps to improve and reward performance in real time rather than waiting for a meeting scheduled once every year. In fact, this real-time aspect was one of the primary reasons the companies surveyed switched to cutting-edge performance management strategies.
Why Ongoing Performance Management Works
The trend of switching from older performance development™ methods to modern management techniques is apparent, but is it working? In short, yes. Survey respondents said using ongoing feedback and other methods enabled them to better provide useful observations and improve employees’ skills and performance. This is perhaps the biggest benefit of modern performance management styles. By holding regular conversations with individuals and eliminating the anxiety-inducing performance ratings, employees can easily accept and apply the feedback they receive. They and their managers become more engrossed in their development, and the recurring check-ins and progress evaluations lead to greater productivity overall.
There are many real-life examples of how ongoing performance management produces great results. One of the most recent is at SAP, an international software company. According to Human Resources Director Magazine, SAP’s recently launched performance management strategy, known as SAP Talk, leads to high-quality conversations among 90 percent of the first employees to adopt it. SAP Talk began in Australia in May 2016, and the company hopes to bring the method worldwide in 2017.
In just a few short years, ongoing performance management spread rapidly across the business landscape. Still, this brief period is just enough time for companies to see improvement and grow satisfied with the strategy’s results.