This year challenged organisations for a myriad of reasons. The COVID-19 pandemic continues across the globe leaving in its wake a trail of destruction affecting everyone and everything. Organisations that weathered the crisis reacted quickly – accelerating long term strategic plans to introduce more remote work – seemingly overnight to 100% remote work. The key is not whether the structural changes were made, it’s whether new ways of work are embraced, and culture transformed. One part of the employee experience which many organisations evolved over the last decade is performance management and the crisis brought more attention to why it needs evolution.
A new archetype of employee was created during the pandemic – those deemed essential workers, kept our healthcare systems, food supply chains, and other services operating while the majority stayed at home. The traditional performance management systems no longer seem fit for purpose if a manager at the end of the year tells an essential worker they are underperforming. Yet, they were the ones showing up day in and day out, doing their part to keep our services open.
HR has an opportunity to transform archaic practices which do not create the cultures we have so long aspired. Korn Ferry’s research indicates “performance management as the second highest ranked area of change for the next two years.”  So, if you are responsible for transforming your performance management system, what will it include? What will you design to help your employees reach their full potential and improve organisational performance?
If you’re honest with yourself, the answer is probably not the dreaded annual performance review. That outdated process launched by HR, sent to employees and managers who spend countless hours filling out a form providing evidence to justify performance ratings, all the while anxiety mounts before meeting in person to discuss performance (issues) better addressed in proximity to the time of the event when something could actually be done. Does that sound like a great employee experience for either the employee or the manager?
I’ve got great news for you. By focusing on a culture led employee experience you can transform your performance management system. Here are five features to include in performance management in 2021:
- Agile goal setting
- Feedback and recognition
- Surveys – 360 and Pulse
- Coaching Reports
Over the course of the next five weeks we’ll dive into each feature to give you insights on how to put the employee at the centre of employee experience and create a system that inspires employees to reach their potential and your organisation to improve overall performance on metrics you can actually measure.
 Korn Ferry. (2020). Optimizing Rewards in a Changing World. https://www.kornferry.com/lp/whitepaper-optimizing-rewards