Article: The year in review: Performance management systems

Performance Management

The year in review: Performance management systems

A look at some recent developments within performance management over the year.
The year in review: Performance management systems

Performance management and assessments have always proved a crucial way to assess employee productivity and create the right basis for employee promotion and appreciation. A robust performance management system plays an important role in helping companies determine the efficacy of their workforce while ensuring employees have a clear idea of the important parameters of assessment. With such an important role, it's of little wonder that 2019 has witnessed many companies experiment with the right way to undertake performance management and technology has had a central role in play in many of such changes.

For companies, getting performance management right has become imperative. With external market conditions becoming more competitive and technology disrupting much of how business once used to happen, having the right performance management system in place means having a clear idea where and how to make employees more productive. It also helps companies address inefficiencies in their workforce and develop the people with the right fit and skills even further.

With this intent in mind, it comes as little surprise how the relevancy of updating the performance management system has become an important HR priority. A Gartner report notes that a vast majority of HR leaders (84%) are working to fix their performance management systems. Also, to making the process more impactful, factors like perception of performance management as bureaucratic, costly and of the low-value processes make it important for HR professionals to revamp performance management to make it more robust.

The year saw a shift of many companies moving away from traditional, often annual ways of addressing performance issues and taking up a rather dynamic approach. The best companies are shifting away from rigid systems toward a more flexible approach that reinforces the critical behaviors that matter every day and aligned individual work with organizational goals. Effective performance management includes providing meaningful, real-time feedback; ensuring that employees have clear expectations; and coaching employees to achieve their maximum performance levels. The following aspects of performance management took center stage this year

Compensation models

Today these is a need to measure performance more accurately. Employees, especially in companies that operate in highly disruptive industries like tech and finance, often work through different projects and cross-functional teams/ Performance management as a result too has become more holistic. 360-degree review, for example, is slowly becoming accepted as a form of performance review and helps make the entire process more adaptive.

Employee experience and development

Employee experience has become an important factor to influence performance management systems. Much like how other aspects of modern-day HR take employee experience into account, performance management systems have begun doing the same. Today employee experience refers to the culture that the employees are a part of through their entire interaction with the company. The process has been made to feel less transactional and cumbersome for employees and helps in enabling employees to improve their overall performance. Managers too are being trained on having performance-based discussions that help address gaps and make employees more productive.

Role of technology

The growing role of HR tech has enabled performance management to be more data-driven and take into account a larger set of data to remove bias. The digital technologies within performance management have made it more real-time and impactful in driving productivity. But with such a rise, there also is the need to build the right ways to leverage tech. With the application of AI and automation increasing, HR professionals will aim to create more robust and meaningful performance reviews, in the coming years.

Succession planning and training gaps

Performance management systems have been tuned to create ways of assessing competency gaps and developing talent. HR professionals can leverage such systems to identify high performing talent and plan leadership succession with greater accuracy. By building systems that are continuous and involve a 360-degree performance review, HR professionals can contribute more strategically to businesses and channelize efforts to retain key talent.

The bedrock many such changes in performance management in recent years has been in the case of improving the effectiveness of such systems in the first place. Usually being a cumbersome process and one that many dreaded, the aim of performance management to make an employee more productive has been an important force of change this year. This shift is important as many companies have begun extending this concept to undertake performance management more continuously. In an attempt to make change performance management from a periodic, transactional, and often tick in the box activity, HR professionals are actively trying to use it to add more value to employee work.

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Topics: Performance Management, #Rewind2019

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