Let's talk Performance Management. Agile Performance Management that is. As technology enables the transformation of business, Performance Management is an aspect of HR and company process that needs to undergo a significant evolution. In the context of Performance Management, combining the best elements of the traditional approach with newer methods like crowdsourcing and social feedback create a much more agile and fully rounded process, enabling better results and higher levels of productivity. In the Agile context, the two most important features are a development focus and regular check-ins. It’s critical to realise that these two important features are part of a wider group of improvements in the area of Performance Management. This shift from the older, more traditional style of Performance Management recognises that:
- A more skilled and capable workforce can perform at a higher level.
- Just like on an elite sporting team, regular feedback, communication and coaching is needed to create high levels of performance.
In Agile Performance Management, the aim is to reduce the feedback gap as much as possible. Regular, real-time feedback about positive performance needs to be timely. As does any negative feedback, however such constructive criticism should be conducted in private. Both are a necessary part of the Agile equation.
Crowdsourcing is a great tool for mining the collective intelligence and experience of others. In its simplest form, it is a process of asking a group of people questions to elicit feedback. It is a particularly useful tool for leaders who don’t work closely with all of their team members on a day to day basis. The reason for this is simple, as a leader you are responsible for coaching and developing your team members. However, what if one of your team has been working remotely on a project for a while and you haven't seen them in the office? How can you talk about what’s going well and what they need to improve when you haven’t seen your employee for a significant period of time. Crowdsourced feedback from key project team members solves this problem and makes it possible to get reviews from colleagues.
However, crowdsourced feedback isn't a replacement for the more traditional methods of managing performance. Like the more social, collaborative aspects of our online lives, these tools can be used to enhance and augment the traditional processes. Crowdsourcing makes it possible to expand the traditional model into a better, more collaborative means of facilitating efficient, effective, fun and fulfilling workplaces.
The table below outlines the differences between the older, more traditional approach to managing performance, and the Agile approach, which incorporates these more collaborative, crowdsourced methods.
However, for any new process to be effective, it must be implemented using a quality change management approach. Many organisations falter when they attempt to implement new ways of doing things because they haven't adequately prepared their employees for change. Key tasks for implementing a more agile Performance Management process in your organisation can be summarised as follows:
What outcome is your organisation seeking by implementing an Agile Performance Management process?
Which components of Agile Performance Management do you want to implement.
Who will implement them?
How will the process work - create a framework.
How will you train your leaders and team members?
Who are the stakeholders at different levels of the organisation?
How can these stakeholders be involved in the implementation process?
Clearly communicate the Agile Performance Management process so that everyone understands.
Explain clearly what the benefits are.
Create action plans for what needs to be done and by whom.
A critical part of the implementation process is that leaders need to be trained how to give feedback, write quality goals and conduct regular check-ins.
A post implementation review is needed to iron out any issues with the new process.
This month's Thought Leadership paper by Avril Henry focuses on the key points for integration of traditional Performance Management, Crowdsourcing and technology solutions to create a successful pathway to managing performance. If you're like many of today's organisations, you're potentially ill equipped to effectively and efficiently track and manage the performance of your employees in an online world. Many businesses still have outdated processes and solutions in place and if that's the case, it's time for your organisation to re-evaluate your Performance Management processes and systems. Make sure to read Avril Henry's latest paper, as well as brushing up on our previous Blog about the future of Performance Management here.
Does your organisation need the right Performance Management Software to implement continuous performance management? Click here to discover more.