A Quick Guide to Continuous Performance Management

According to a Gallup study, just 20% of professionals believe that their performance appraisal is effective. This is damning, especially as it’s not the only study confirming this fact. The old style of doing performance reviews once a year just doesn’t work.

For any manager, creating a supportive and welcoming workplace is a priority. But this noble intention has not been translated into real results. Is there any way to fix this?

In this article, we delve deeper into continuous performance management and how to make sure that continuous communication percolates across all departments and levels.

What is continuous performance management?

Continuous performance management is an ongoing performance review process conducted throughout the year.

It is a relatively new concept that analyses the employees’ daily performance, work ethic, how they are evolving at the workplace, and other key work factors.

Being a holistic process, continuous feedback performance management lets organizations discover the right talent and plan their growth.

How does continuous performance management work?

Clear and regular communication between team members and managers fosters a healthy and open relationship.

But how does it work? Let’s take a closer look at continuous performance management and why it is the perfect tool to keep your team engaged and happier at work.

Consistency in approach

Consistent feedback shapes the employees’ performance with regular check-ins, touch-points, and two-way manager discussions.

Annual performance appraisal meetings are no longer on the agenda. Feedback becomes an organic process that doesn’t need a specific date or time.

General Electric was one of the earliest proponents of this path-breaking strategy. They even introduced an app to allow seamless communication between managers and teams.

Encourages all-round feedback

Unlike conventional employee appraisal, continuous performance management doesn’t rely on top-down input alone. Instead, it’s a two-way communication that promotes a healthy work culture.

Continuous communication encourages 360-degree feedback from all directions, including from colleagues, peers, and cross-functional project team members. Team members are encouraged to share feedback on their manager’s performance and suggest ideas for improvements.

Teams work as one and egos are brushed under the carpet. The objective is to improve individual and team performance and achieve company goals. Managers are also able to identify top-performing staff and reward them appropriately.

Prioritizes employee development

The personal development of employees is an integral part of continuous performance management. This aspect often takes the back seat in traditional performance reviews, but it is the key driving factor in continuous performance management.

When the company puts personal employee development first, employees start taking more ownership. They find a sense of purpose and approach their work with renewed vigor. The result? It’s a win-win situation for everyone, with happier, engaged employees and improved work outcomes.

If you develop a strong personal bond between employees and their work, you will reap rich dividends through their strong performance.

Make it independent and reflective

In continuous performance management, the employee’s performance improvement and personal development are the core elements at play.

In traditional performance appraisals, managers drive the appraisal discussion, with the conversation pretty much one-sided. Eliminate this approach with the collaborative continuous performance strategy.

Let team members reflect on their performance and identify their strengths and weaknesses on their own. Self-analyses work best to close the gaps and bring out the best in your employees.

Why should performance management be continuous?

Thought leaders have been stout advocates of the fact that managers should be involved in team performance every single day, not just once a year. 95% of managers agree

An annual appraisal process doesn’t help anyone. Just one day out of the 365 in a year isn’t enough for anyone looking to receive or provide constructive feedback. Here are four reasons why performance management should be continuous.

Removes the slow-moving feedback cycle

Performance reviews happening once or twice a year stretch the feedback cycle. This slow-moving process doesn’t always address employee concerns.

Replaces an ineffective process

Packing the entire year’s evaluation and feedback into a single discussion fails to do justice to employees. Participants also tend to miss out on crucial points which should have been discussed.

More practical than yearly appraisals

Yearly appraisals are broken. Delivering regular inputs is imperative if you want to bring positive changes to your team members’ performance. An organization should ensure that personal growth becomes the focal point of an employee’s working life.

Improves job performance

When the performance review process occurs within one month, the entire organization becomes too focused on review season. The environment becomes stressful, anxious, and edgy for everyone and daily performance is impacted.

Employees make a wholehearted effort to please their respective managers instead of focusing on their daily responsibilities. In today’s fast-paced business environment, challenges, obstacles, and pressure evolve every day with the ever-changing work dynamics.

To counter these challenges, every organization needs a realistic performance review mechanism that takes stock of daily performance.

Examples of continuous performance management

Many companies have introduced a continuous performance review process to optimize employee performance.

Let’s discuss some examples of performance management where notable organizations made a successful transition.

Adobe

Adobe first implemented organization-wide continuous performance management by ditching the annual performance process in 2012. They incorporated regular check-ins and frequent feedback between team members and their managers.

Adobe faced lots of resistance initially, but their decision stayed put. Eventually, performance across the board improved exponentially and voluntary employee turnover decreased by 30%.

Cargill

The famous US food producer and distributor Cargill also did a 360-degree revamp of their age-old annual performance review process in 2012.

They launched continuous performance management and got rid of outdated yearly performance review forms, resources, and rating systems. Top management was encouraged to have frequent work-related discussions with managers and their team members.

The focus shifted from getting the work done to working on employees’ personal development and building healthy relationships. Cargill employees embraced the change, indicated that they felt valued and motivated, and their performance saw a massive uptick.

How to create a continuous performance management strategy with Wrike

Once your company implements a robust and flexible performance management framework, all employees will benefit from the transparent review system.

Wrike’s automatic scheduling ensures that every probation, check-in, and review meeting happens at the right time. Our easily customizable templates give you complete control over how you want to deliver your reviews, so you can drive the conversation effortlessly across the company.

Empower your team to take ownership and stay connected while optimizing their work performance. Use Wrike’s continuous performance management solutions to encourage healthy communication, strengthen interpersonal relationships, and promote a transparent work culture.

Get started with a two-week free trial to establish a continuous performance management system with Wrike and reap the benefits indefinitely.

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