At BetterWorks, we believe goals are driving a new approach to performance management. We also believe that if a company’s goal management system does not positively impact team engagement, then it’s time to update that system. Our e-book, “How Goals are Driving a New Approach to Performance Management,” cites research from Forrester, which reveals 58 percent of companies believe their performance management process is weak at driving engagement and high performance. Here are some potential warning signs that your process is falling behind:
- An emphasis on S.M.A.R.T. goals rather than OKRs. OKRs drive aspiration, while S.M.A.R.T. goals limit teams and individuals to goals that are simply attainable.
- The process relies on scheduled reviews that happen quarterly or yearly
- Goals are tracked, shared and measured using outdated tools like Word, PowerPoint and Excel, rather than open, collaborative software
- There is a lack of accountability or alignment on top company objectives
With the right tools and perspective, companies can remove the term “performance management” from their vocabulary altogether and begin the next phase of growth by using goals to drive team engagement.
Scrap Annual Reviews
Do you remember what your workday was like before you had a cellphone? We do, and we feel the same way about the annual review process as we do about the times when clients could only reach us through our desk phones. Major companies like Accenture and Adobe are catching on to the shortcomings of annual reviews. Additionally, The Washington Post pointed out that even GE – a company known for its management practices – is changing its review process altogether. The annual review process limits company-wide agility and leads to low levels of employee satisfaction.
Instead, we think business leaders should move from annual cycle feedback to “just-in-time feedback.” By “just-in-time feedback,” we mean there should be a frequent, ongoing conversation about goals. These conversations breed engagement, because they encourage employees to aspire for greatness and produce their best work consistently throughout the year. Additionally, regular feedback improves motivation and helps employees feel recognized.
Goals Belong to Everyone
The best goals are aspirational and affect everyone. No matter their level, employees and managers should be able to see exactly how their achievements relate to larger business goals and how reaching their individual targets will benefit their team as a whole. That’s why we think software that aggregates and tracks clear, connected goals that ladder up to broader company goals is the best at creating team engagement.