Performance Reviews

The Anatomy Of A Modern Performance Management Process

By on May 24, 2019

To many, the modern performance management process may mean fairly straightforward & mundane – that’s what managers do, right? Unfortunately, most supervisors seem to have missed the memo on that one. According to Forbes, almost 80% of knowledge workers in the United States are not managed well. They do not feel encouraged, supported, or motivated to do a good job.

A major component behind flawed performance management is annual performance reviews. It is high time companies abandon this process, for a simple reason:

Annual Performance Reviews Don’t Work.

The annual performance review is not enough to help your company be at its competitive best. They are insufficient at providing an accurate assessment of employee performance & there is no follow-up. The resulting data is not strong enough to objectively make decisions about the employee’s lifecycle in the organization.

Besides, annual performance reviews do not help your company handle your employees’ different needs. In addition to professional growth, individuals also have their personal goals. They need varying levels of support & guidance throughout the year.

Finally, the annual performance review process is not very engaging. Keep employee check-ins at a shorter and more frequent cadence. Once-a-year reviews cannot inspire or motivate individuals for the long term. Probably a few weeks at best. This encouragement is however possible by increasing the effectiveness of the performance management process.

What is Modern Performance Management?

Performance management is not an annual review or measurement tool. It is a communication process that takes place between supervisors and employees. Modern performance management practices help in clarification of business objectives. You can communicate expectations about employee performance through regular meetings, appraisals, timely feedback and reviews. This ongoing feedback process helps employees leverage their skills & capabilities. Performance management strategies can be defined by using specialized performance management software, which helps in driving performance improvements.

Modern Performance Management Process

Remember, performance management is not one specific tool per se. It is a process and it can take on many different configurations. The best choice is the one that works for your company. However, there are some characteristics that the best modern performance management practices share.

Modern Performance Management Process

Defining Performance Management

Start by establishing employee and business goals and expectations for your employees. This starts with clear and specific job descriptions. Outline every responsibility that the individual will have to undertake. When you hire an employee for any role, they should receive a copy of these requirements. Next, have the manager or supervisor take time to discuss these responsibilities with the new hire. This way, they can explain what those activities would look like in practice. Afterward, establish a clear time frame to meet these goals. Educate them on the importance of these initiatives through frequent conversations and how they may affect or create an impact on the overall team progress.

Develop Talent and Abilities

Once you have set expectations for your employees, look at what makes each person unique. Everyone has a varying degree of talent and abilities. Ideally, you want the people you hire to be able to fulfill those duties with as little effort as possible. For instance, you wouldn’t hire someone who has problems making eye contact to be a greeter in a store.

Provide regular assessments

That said, even the most perfect hires still need guidance. You can help your employees develop those talents further. Set up a support system where individuals can freely seek help from their colleagues as well as managers whenever required. Succession planning is also necessary to maintain continuity. This is especially beneficial to ensure every team member has an equal opportunity to improve and perform well.

Set Goals and Expectations

Assessments should happen regularly. You do not need formal write-ups every time, but you should keep a record of your coaching activities. This will help you see where your team is lacking and notice if there is a trend.

Employees benefit when you provide regular assessments. Their hard work and efforts to consistently improve themselves are visible to managers. Regular coaching sessions also give them the chance to discuss how they can be effective.

Recognize Good Work

Regular assessments also give you the chance to recognize good work consistently. Many people are motivated and encouraged by a simple “well done.” The more your managers do that, the better. So, an effective performance management process allows and encourages managers to recognize good work.

Recognizing good work goes beyond verbal acknowledgment. Reward top performers and let the rest know how everyone who performs well will also be eligible for such rewards. Introduce a rolling trophy that changes hands every few weeks. Everyone has an equal chance of winning it, provided they put in the required efforts. They can be extra motivating because they are so public.

Career Development

As you assess employee performance and discuss ways to improve, remember career development. Employee engagement and performance tend to go through the roof when you provide the means for an employee to become a better version of themselves. You can use that tendency to your advantage.

One of the biggest things employees want is the chance to move up and develop their skills. A good performance management process makes that happen. It identifies when those workers are ready to step up. The right process can also earmark those with the potential for bigger things. In turn, you can use your coaching sessions to help these people develop their skill sets and move up.

Best Practices/Tips for Modern Performance Management

Performance management is a two-way street where the onus of success lies on both the managers and the individuals under them. While it is the employees who get their performance reviewed, managers need to understand how this process must be carried out tactfully. Some pointers that can help managers to promote enhanced employee performance are:

  • Setting attainable and meaningful expectations and explaining what is expected of the team member(s)
  • Being collaborative helps in keeping the team members motivated towards achieving the goals of the organization
  • Ensuring employees have all necessary tools and software
  • Continual assessment and communication of developments through timely feedbacks
  • Providing coaching and mentoring opportunities to optimise the strengths of employees and strengthen their weaknesses
  • Recognising high performers as soon as possible, via mails or group calls, instead of waiting for a ‘formal’ occasion to announce it

Why do you need an effective performance management process?

There is power in numbers, plain and simple. The need for performance management stems from a variation of this – where leaders of an organization align the goals of their employees, along with resources and systems in order to achieve the strategic objectives set. An effective performance management program can also provide an early warning of potential problems, so that managers can make necessary adjustments like coaching their team members (or investing in new resources) too. Performance discussions with individual team members can highlight the successes and pain points, and managers can steer employee contribution in a direction that remedies the issues faced.

Benefits of Modern Performance Management

Benefits of Modern Performance Management

If it sounds like setting up an efficient performance management process requires extra effort, it does. Although the benefits are well worth these efforts, let’s go over each one in turn.

  • Documentation: Performance management processes aid in documenting employee performance. They keep track of employee development and coaching.
  • Employee Decisions: Performance management also helps you make informed decisions about employee goals based on objective information and without any biases.
  • Consistency: When done correctly, performance management is extremely consistent as well. It provides a simpler way to create an evaluation process for workers. The performance management systems are fair, and ensure your workers get the same treatment in each coaching session.
  • Training: Performance management can inform training as well. Some of your workers may need extra help in particular functions for improving performance. Regular reviews will let you spot those issues.
  • Motivation: Plus, when you use performance management techniques, it clarifies employee motivation. Performance discussion helps fewer employees disengage from their duties.
  • Productivity: They know exactly what they need to do to be successful. Productivity tends to increase as employee contribution increases, while building team morale as well.


Performance management can help your company transform its operations. With regular coaching and assessments, your employees will perform better. Productivity will also be higher. In order to bring positive changes in the organization, it is necessary to focus on the performance management revolution instead of maintaining the status quo.

Adding performance management is a win-win, so what are you waiting for? Start applying performance management concepts in your business today. UpRaise can help you organize and streamline your efforts.

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