The Three-Step Secret to Mastering Ongoing Performance Management

Google, Adobe, Microsoft, and other leading companies have all ditched the annual review citing poor ROI. In its place, they use ongoing performance management tactics like continuous feedback loops and OKR goals. The results are impressive: studies show employee engagement jumped 100% after companies transitioned to ongoing performance management. Managers and their teams also exchanged performance-related feedback 83% more often, and the quality of conversations improved by 100%.

You can use ongoing performance management to drive results in your company, too. Here are the three steps for implementing it effectively:

Use Measurable Goals & Objectives

What are your company’s key problem areas? Are your teams disengaged or performing below target? You must first measure what you want to achieve before you can address performance issues. Use your company strategy to inform your future goals.

If customer satisfaction is a problem metric in your organization, your top-level objective could be to increase customer retention to 98%. Using measurable goals and objectives keeps teams aligned with and focused on priorities. Clear, measurable goals also provide benchmarks against which managers can gauge performance. This data-driven performance management approach allows them to provide actionable feedback and coaching. It also holds teams accountable for their success and that of the company.

End the Annual Review Cycle

Annual reviews are ineffective for driving performance. They are subjective, too formal, time-consuming, bad for morale, and short-sighted. Moreover, as GE’s head of HR, Susan Peters said, “the world isn’t really on an annual cycle anymore for anything.” Your performance review system shouldn’t be on an annual cycle, either. Yet, managers must still monitor employee performance. They must coach them using targeted, actionable feedback to drive results.

To develop an ongoing feedback loop, use continuous check-ins instead of annual reviews. These weekly one-on-one meetings are considered the best management practice of all time because they fulfill employees’ basic need to be recognized and acknowledged. Managers also re-clarify expectations to ensure teams are aligned with company priorities. Additionally, both parties exchange feedback and managers use praise and constructive coaching to improve performance.

Measure Performance & Engagement

Lastly, ensure performance and engagement are improving by measuring results consistently. Goals software achieves data-driven performance management with features like dashboards and reporting. Managers can use these tools to gain visibility into everyone’s progress, uncover performance hotspots, and identify top performers.

Employee feedback tools can also be implemented alongside goals software to measure engagement. In fact, Atiim OKR Pulse is the first two-in-one solution to combine goals management with ongoing performance management check-ins. It achieves closed-loop feedback and allows managers to ask questions that measure engagement, pinpoint teams’ needs, and ensure expectations are clear. Coupled with weekly one-on-ones, this approach achieves significant improvement in transparency, communication, and performance.

The transition to continuous performance requires ongoing commitment, but its benefits far outweigh the effort. Once your teams establish a rhythm, the improvement in performance on both an individual and company level will become a natural byproduct.

What else? What are some other critical components of an ongoing performance management framework?

Do you manage a company or teams (either as a CEO, a senior executive, a middle manager or even a front-line manager)? Do you set and track objectives? Does aligning employee performance to business goals matter, and are you responsible for driving results? If so, please check out a live demo of Atiim OKR & Goals Management Software and we’d love to hear what you think about it. Thank you!


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