Performance Management

Effectively Enforce an Ongoing Performance Management Cycle

By on November 2, 2022

For an organization to perform at its optimum, all moving parts must work seamlessly – much like the parts of a well-oiled machine! This includes getting all employees to perform at their best. 

Much has been done to ensure that performance of employees is monitored, recorded, discussed, and managed to get them to work at their best possible. Rewards, training, and salary revisions are usually linked to these performance reviews.

Most of this involves periodic reviews – which have their benefits and challenges. But there’s now a different way of managing employees’ performance – Ongoing Performance Management! 

What is Ongoing Performance Management?

Ongoing Performance Management, also known as Continuous Performance Management, is – as the name suggests – a performance management system involving the continuous evaluation of employee performance.

Here, the performance management process is employee-centric and people-focused. There is a continuous cycle of monitoring and reviewing employee performance, giving employees regular updates and support to help them improve. They receive better guidance and support from their managers or supervisors. This performance management process eventually allows them to manage their performance independently. 

The regularity and transparency of this process increase trust between managers, their teams, and the whole organization.

The Benefits of Ongoing Performance Management 

The Ongoing Performance Management cycle appears time-intensive and tedious compared to other performance management cycles. It involves more monitoring, counseling, and reviewing compared to different performance management cycles.  

But when properly implemented, this performance management system benefits the organization and its employees.

Some of these benefits to the organization are:

Attracting top talent

Your people are your real asset; therefore, getting the right people is at the heart of a company’s success. 76% of hiring managers admit that attracting suitable candidates is their greatest challenge.
From the employee’s perspective, 56% of workers rank a strong workplace culture higher than salaries. Over 75% of workers are interested in the company’s culture before considering applying there.
Employing an Ongoing Performance Management Cycle helps enhance the company’s culture. Employees are confident that their performance is better monitored and will receive relevant and practical feedback to improve job performance. There is openness in communication within the team, and this builds confidence and trust.

Higher productivity

Since employee performance is constantly monitored and reviewed, feedback given to them is recent and relevant. They know when they’re doing things right or have performed exceptionally.
This improves employee morale, keeps them engaged, and invested at work. Of course, engaged employees are more productive.
Research shows that employees ignored by their managers are twice as likely to be disengaged. Almost 50% of employees are actively disengaged when they receive little or no feedback from their managers.

Reduced brain drain

Attracting the best talent is meaningless if the company cannot retain that talent. Implementing an Ongoing Performance Management System is one way of keeping your best talent in-house. Companies that give regular employee feedback see approximately 15% lower turnover rates. 

Decreased workforce costs

With more engaged employees, a continuous feedback process, and a strongly positive relationship between managers and their teams, company culture becomes nurturing and constructive. Lower attrition rates mean less expenditure on re-hiring and training new employees. Productivity remains high, bringing a positive impact on company revenue. 

With the Continuous Performance Management Cycle in place, there are various benefits to employees:

Better performance

As with traditional or cyclical performance management systems, employees don’t have to wait for one cycle to determine how they measure up against the goals set. They’re always aware of the expectations and how they perform vis-à-vis those expectations. This allows swift course correction when needed and results in improved performance.

Continuous guidance and support

This process makes employees feel supported and cared for. The tools, guidance, and immediately actionable feedback allow them to grow in their roles. 

Attractive workplace culture

Work conditions, how you’re treated at work, the perceived value of your contribution at work, and the avenues available for career advancement, training, and educational opportunities – are all factors that make workplace culture attractive for the best talent.
75% of people admitted to not wanting to work for a company with a bad reputation even if they were unemployed!  When companies invested in improving their workplace culture, there was a reduction in turnover by 30%, an almost 15% increase in employee productivity, and employee engagement went up by nearly 10%.

Implementing an Ongoing Performance Management Cycle

If you don’t already have a fixed performance management system, it might be easier to introduce the Ongoing Performance Management Cycle. The switch requires extra effort if you already have a traditional cyclic performance management system. 

Understanding the various steps in implementing the Ongoing Performance Management Cycle can help make a smoother introduction or conversion.

This performance management system can be divided into four main stages:

Steps in implementing the ongoing performance management cycle

1. Preparation

To implement this performance management system in your organization, you must first prepare the landscape. With an existing cyclic performance management system already in place, this will be more difficult because people are familiar with a particular way of doing things. Changing to something different brings up resistance and objections.
If you’ve never had a formal performance management system, the introduction to this one may be more accessible. But there’ll still be a lot of groundwork to prepare everyone for what’s to come and the roles they’ll be expected to play to make it successful.

  • Before introducing the Ongoing Performance Management Cycle to the floor, you must create supporting documents. The documents will vary from introducing the system and explaining its benefits to detailing how it will be implemented and what positive changes it’s expected to bring. 
  • With detailed documentation sorted, you’ll need to organize sessions – first with managers. This is a crucial step. Your managers must be convinced of the process to make it successful. Let them know how it will work, and listen carefully to their feedback. They’re in direct contact with their teams and may be able to spot issues and challenges with the implementation before you do.
  • Your next set of sessions will be with your frontline employees. These need to be comprehensive and interactive. If you’re switching over from an older system, explain clearly that continuous monitoring in the new system doesn’t mean constant policing employees because of a lack of trust. Instead, it’s a system meant to help them improve and grow.
    Employees will likely have questions about how the performance management system will affect them. Ensure open lines of communication to address all their concerns. 

2. Implementation

Once everyone has been informed of how the system will work, it’s time to implement it.

  • Allow a trial period for managers and their teams to get used to the new system. Managers must familiarize themselves with new criteria to evaluate their teams, and employees must become accustomed to being monitored and reviewed differently.
  • After a reasonable amount of time for observation and monitoring of their teams, managers should have a formal review outlined under the new process. Being the first review, expect it to be slightly uncomfortable or even difficult. This will even out as people get used to the process.
    This meeting can set the pattern for future sessions – the frequency, duration, format, and other parameters can be discussed. 
  • The performance management process must be aligned with employees’ training and development for improved performance. Managers must take responsibility for conducting the necessary training and ensure these are attended as a matter of course. 

3. Review

This stage forms a critical part of the implementation. Intelligence gathered at this stage will indicate how you should proceed and what changes need to be made.

  • Ask for feedback from both managers and employees. Feedback could be anonymous and include their experience with the system, the challenges they face, the positives, and suggested improvements. 
  • Assess feedback received to check how the process can be improved. When suggested changes are implemented, managers and employees become more amenable to the process, making it more successful. 

4. Rinse and repeat

After a pre-determined duration for the pilot, everyone across the organization must be encouraged to keep the momentum going. Considering the learnings and feedback from the pilot, documentation, SoPs, review forms, meeting formats, etc., may have to be revised. Lines of communication must remain open for a free exchange of ideas. This improves transparency and accountability.  

Best Practices

Following a robust implementation strategy and the best practices detailed here will help you successfully implement an Ongoing Performance Management Cycle.

Best practices to implement an ongoing performance management cycle

Collective goal setting

When goals are set by including OKRs and involving employees, there is more ownership of the process and accountability toward results. Employees know what is expected of them and how their contribution helps organizational goals.

Holistic feedback process

To bring actual value to the organization, a feedback process inviting input from various stakeholders is essential. Employees’ performances are then seen as participation towards the company’s goals.


Implementing a new process can be overwhelming and complicated, especially if it involves a shift from how things have been done for years. Change won’t happen overnight. Make sure that gradual modifications are made so changes are actionable and results are apparent. 

Get help from tech

Various performance management tools are available to make the transition and implementation less painful and more effective. These tools can also help with data collection and quicker analysis, making immediate improvements.

Move from appraisals to development

One of the most significant benefits to organizations is the collaboration and correlation between employee goals and organizational goals. Employees become partners in the company’s success as their performance is developed instead of appraised. 

Some Ongoing Performance Management examples include:

  • 1-to-1 conversations between managers and their teams. These could begin as monthly check-ins when the process is first implemented but could later be held weekly. 
  • 360-degree feedback, including reviews from managers, peers, and team members who report to them, gives employees a more realistic picture of their performance.
  • Periodic performance reviews cannot be done away with. But because of the Ongoing Performance Management practices, they become more focused and meaningful. 
  • Rewards and recognition must be integral to the Ongoing Performance Management system. It shows employees that they are appreciated and raises morale.
  • Align goals with OKRs for a complete picture of how employees’ contributions are valuable and essential for organizational success 

Tools to Manage an Ongoing Performance Management Cycle 

As businesses continue to move forward in our ‘new normal’, they must look for ways to keep up with changing trends and a workforce with different motivations. The Ongoing Performance Management Cycle meets the employees’ need for frequent performance feedback, but it also helps organizations adapt and change quickly.

UpRaise for Employee Success can help enhance performance and team management for your business. It uses OKRs and continuous feedback and accelerates growth by connecting individual achievement with organizational success. 

Ongoing Performance Management is quite a revolutionary process of reviewing and managing employee performance and is here to stay! With the benefits organizations get from implementing this system and the workforce expecting more immediate and relevant feedback, adopting the Ongoing Performance Management Cycle is a no-brainer! 

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