Well gone are the days of performance management being a once a year assessment and a rating exercise using a crappy tick in the box form. Well, maybe that still exists, but it's not really conducive to the expectations of the bulk of the current workforce, and it's certainly not the expectation of the next wave of talent who are the future of work. So performance, or probably more specifically, continuous enablement of better performance is, and rightly should be less about process and more about the employee experience.
Why is employee experience and especially the performance experience so important? How does the HR team think about shifting from traditional performance management to a much more engaging experience? That's the key question. Well, the key answer is to be more human, I think creating an environment where it's easy and motivating and inspirational for a team member to interact with their coach or their people leader, their direct manager, and to work with their peers even in a digital work from home hybrid environment, which is the norm these days, being more human is so important when we're separated by technology and by geography.
Why a Continuous Approach?
I just like to think about it with my old sports psychology hat on. In sport, it's very, very rare if it even exists for an athlete to get to the end of the season and then sit down with their coach and have to critically assess their whole year's performance every game, every training session, everything in between at the end of the season and critically assess that entire year by ticking a bunch of boxes. That just doesn't happen. Then to have their coach or the captain or whoever go ahead and take those same boxes about them and then potentially get two different results and immediately be placed in this confrontational situation, where your belief about yourself and your own performance and your skill is out of whack with your coach around you who may ultimately be responsible for how much recognition you get going into that next season just doesn't work in sport doesn't work in business. And what works better is continuous feedback, regular coaching, encouragement, lots of training, lots of drills, feed-forward where you keep adjusting what target you're going after, based on the field in which you play or competition that you're up against and regularly high-fiving and celebrating when you score. That's a great experience.
If you're in HR, think about how to create a performance environment where people can be more human, help people to be intrinsically motivated to be at their best and do great work, and if you're a people manager, you've got to ask questions like what motivates you? And ideally, if you can make work fun, with intent, well, that's a great performance experience.
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