How to Introduce Modern Performance Management to your Organization

Team working together around laptop

Traditionally, organizational performance management meant setting goals in January and then reviewing them in December to see what was accomplished and where the mark was missed.

Modern performance management is a continuous feedback cycle — as a leader, you are able to constantly give feedback, review goals and update them accordingly. Here is how to introduce modern performance management to your organization.

The Importance of the Feedback Cycle

From an employer’s perspective, the feedback cycle provides key insights into how well your organization is doing, as well as how your employees are performing. It allows for benchmarking when appropriate because it provides employers with the ability to catch issues early and solve them before they develop into problems. It also builds trust and strengthens employer-employee relationships by creating an environment where employees feel heard and appreciated.

From an employee’s perspective, receiving continuous feedback allows employees to adapt to changes, as well as improve performance when required. According to the Harvard Business Review, this occurs because employees are faced with the opportunity to shift from accountability to learning. In fact, they found that a much more effective way of reinforcing good employee behaviour was to provide instant feedback, align work with employee’s personal goals, as well as reward employees with small bonuses when appropriate.

Forbes states that traditional yearly appraisals are despised by both parties due to their formal and strict nature, making employees uncomfortable and less open to receiving criticism. The feedback cycle is a more natural approach for both parties, bringing a more personal feel to the conversation of improvement.

Designing a Modern Performance Management Process

In order to design a strong modern performance management process, it is crucial to check in with your employees regularly and see how they are doing. This means having more frequent conversations, and creating an environment that prioritizes two-way communication.

Emphasis on agility is a necessity in modern performance management. It increases speed and efficiency, allows employees to tap into their innovation by encouraging collective decision-making, as well as allows employees to fail and learn from their mistakes in a safe and welcoming environment. The goal is to build a work culture that focuses on collaboration and knowledge-sharing, and one that steps away from a culture based on a top-down formal approach.

Remember that although change is difficult, it does not mean it is bad. In fact, change allows us to grow and evolve which in turns helps pave the way to greater success. Organizations must be open to accept the shift away from traditional performance appraisals, and promote teamwork and improvement. Market leaders like Adobe, Microsoft and General Electric have already incorporated the feedback cycle, and have seen nothing but desirable results.
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