If you have landed on this article, looking for what model suits your organization, then you are most likely dissatisfied with the current performance management system in your organization. Is your system too old-fashioned? Does it match your organizational culture? And, shouldn’t that culture be overhauled anyway? You know something has to change, but you don’t know what yet.
It is not a piece of cake to find a suitable solution. You cannot achieve this solution with a software system alone; it requires behavioral change. Software is a means, not an end. You have to make your goals concrete to arrive at a working system in which employees feel safe to change, and are allowed to develop.
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The current system
The traditional cycle often insufficiently supports the development of employees. There is no direct link between personal development goals and organizational goals. Besides, the traditional assessment method takes a lot of time.
A Forrester Consulting survey, which polled more than 600 performance decision-makers from 14 different countries, shows that 60% of respondents are concerned that they are lagging in performance management. It appears that the traditional way of assessing must make way for more continuous and involved methods. Another 46% believe that improvements in performance management contribute positively to employee retention.
The research shows that the organizations that overhaul their performance processes are reaping the benefits. Of the companies that invested in their performance management system in the past two years, 60% reported experiencing better employee engagement and 53% higher productivity.
Develop or assess
There are several things to take into account. Is your goal to develop employees or is it to make assessment central? Before you choose what suits your organization well, it is important to know whether you intend to link the assessment forms to the assessment. This is not always the best decision for a genuine development culture. In order to make feedback development-oriented, the mindset will also have to be on development and not on assessment. Make a clear choice here before continuing.
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How big is the change?
Check how much feedback is currently being given and how big the change will be to the method you may have in mind. Wanting to switch to a new model is one thing, but more is needed to actually realize behavioral change. If the current amount of feedback is very low, it is wise to not take a grand approach because your organization may find behavioral change difficult. You can always take the step to a higher frequency, but give employees space to adjust to the new system.
Feedback regardless of organization chart
In the new model, you must be not only open to feedback between employees, but also to feedback from manager or customer to employee and back. In your (new) development culture, you want every employee to have the right to give feedback to another person in the organization, regardless of where this person stands in the organization chart. With this overall picture, your development is stimulated.
In your new method, managers no longer have to be the starting point. Use it as an instrument in which the development of the employee is central. Leadership is coaching. It is about stimulating the motivation to let the employee look for personal development goals that are related to the formulated organizational goals.
The role of the employee is no longer wait-and-see, but now revolves around self-direction. Let the employee tune his professional contribution to what is needed.
Read more: Online feedback during COVID-19 times
Components of performance management
Now that you have outlined the current situation and weighed out the options, it is time to consider which components belong in your performance management system. Of course there is a lot more, but this is at least something to start with!
360 degree feedback
With 360 degree feedback, you create an overall picture for an employee. In this way, employees get a well-rounded picture of their performance, instead of just receiving top-down feedback. 360 degree feedback prevents a one-sided view, while the different angles provide a more reliable image.
Successes should be celebrated. Recognition is an important part of your performance management system, and giving a compliment is a good example of this. In this way, employees build meaningful relationships with each other. Not only let someone know what they are not doing well, but also what is going well. Positive feedback stimulates and aids in development.
Goals provide clarity. When you have a clear vision, taking the right action becomes an easier task. People can think about the meaning of their work and how it connects to the bigger picture. Make setting goals an integral part of your performance management system for employees to achieve more.
Continue to pursue goals
In addition to setting goals, it is also essential for the system that employees can work continuously on their goals. In the performance management system, you must be able to set goals, but also be able to follow up on them, add results, and finally complete them. To ensure clarity and transparency, goals should also be negotiable within teams. Help each other!
The last component is the self-reflection. How are you planning to organize reflections in your system? Will you do it as a manager, or will employees take control by themselves? It is crucial that after all feedback, goal setting, and compliments, the employee can look back on their performance and reflect.