(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at SilkRoad, the world’s leader in Talent Activation, which transforms traditional talent management and employee engagement technology into a continuum of experiences for activating employees along their journeys—from start to finish. Check out their new eBook, “Seeking Agility in Performance Management”, which reports on the survey results from over 200 HR leaders in this important area. Enjoy the post!)
Today’s workers expect change. Specifically, they expect to have the ability to change their goals as business needs change. They also expect to make changes using technology. And that technology solution should mirror the experience they have in their personal lives – it should be intuitive, flexible, relevant, and current.
When it comes to the current component, not only should technology be up-to-date but it needs to provide current feedback. For example, when I deposit a check using my banking app, it tells me immediately that the transaction was successful. Same when I purchase something using my tablet. The modern workforce wants that type of feedback about their performance.
Regular performance feedback isn’t a Millennial thing. Every employee wants to know where they stand. Performance feedback should never be a surprise.
Agile Performance Management Fits the Modern Workplace
Agile Performance Management takes the best of our traditional performance management process and combines it with the needs of today. It provides a structure that managers and employees want so the process remains fair. It also includes the documentation aspect necessary to support job changes and promotions.
It takes traditional performance management one step further by making the process technology driven, which allows for the real-time feedback conversations that employees want to move to the forefront. Bob Kelleher, president of The Employee Engagement Group, explained why the real-time feedback piece is so important. “Waiting once a year (for a performance review) doesn’t work. It’s time to move to real-time pay for performance, with frequent touch points between the manager and employee.”
4 Key Elements of Agile Performance Management
As we move into 2017, it’s the right time to introduce agile performance management. There are four key elements to bringing agile in line with current performance management processes.
- Regular performance conversations. Most organizations have some mechanism in place requiring managers and employees to meet once or twice a year. With agile performance management, employees and managers meet more often. The timeliness of performance feedback helps the employee perform at a higher level.
- Peer-based feedback. In addition to increased manager feedback, employees learn how to provide each other with performance feedback. This can be just as valuable – if not more so – than manager feedback. Employees collaborate with colleagues every day and need positive working relationships with their peers.
- Focus on current and future projects. More frequent performance conversations mean less time is spent rehashing old behavior. Employees and managers already know what happened in the past. The conversations are spent on future performance, talking about how to accomplish goals.
- Training at every level. Every employee becomes skilled in delivering performance-related feedback. This helps employees take ownership of their career development.
The nice part about implementing agile performance management into the organization is the ability to phase-in these key elements. Phased implementations can be very successful and Agile Performance Management allows the flexibility to introduce the entire process or each piece separately.
Agile Performance Management Leads to Talent Activation
Organizations must create processes that result in having the best talent in the right positions. Those processes need to include creating an environment where employees feel empowered to ask for feedback and the training/development they need to be successful. When employees are engaged with their work, their performance improves and organizations begin to set the pace rather than react to the pace of the market.
We all understand the opportunity cost of not being agile. Think of companies like Uber, Airbnb, and the new Amazon app-based grocery stores. These companies shouldn’t have been able to disrupt the way that they did had “legacy” brands kept up with or innovated within their respective spaces. Increased agility enables organizations to increase the speed at which they conduct business and innovate, which improves the bottom-line.
If you want to learn more about Agile Performance Management, visit the SilkRoad website and request a demo. You can also download their latest white paper, “Transforming to Agile Performance: Big Benefits, Practical Roadmap.”
P.S. I know it’s last minute, but I hope you can join me and SilkRoad for a webinar tomorrow (December 14) at 2p Eastern on “Aligning Performance Management with Business Strategy.” If you can’t make it, go ahead and register to get a copy of the archive.1