New performance management trends & boosting productivity at work

Stuart Hearn — №31 with Grace Marshall

If you asked any employer what their ideal workplace would look like, straight off the bat they’d describe a hive of activity, motivated staff performing at the top of their game and a positive vibe. This is exactly what new performance management trends are focusing on achieving. How are new trends in performance management boosting employee productivity and creating a positive work environment? Here are three of the key strategies that are being used:

Align SMART goals with the company’s vision

The SMART acronym is used to ensure that goals are clear and achievable for employees. New trends have emphasised the importance of aligning these goals with the company’s overarching objectives and vision. Aligned SMART objectives motivate employees by ensuring that they feel that they are progressing in their role and contributing towards the company as a whole. Smart goals are broken down into the following:

Specific: Goals should be clear and unambiguous.

Measurable: The goal states what success looks like in terms of quality and quantity.
Achievable: Goals should be attainable, though still stretching.
Relevant: All goals work towards the company’s overall aims.
Time-bound: There is a specific date for completion, including milestones for long running goals.

Provide ongoing coaching and feedback

For decades companies have been using the infamous ‘rank and yank’ system during annual performance reviews, and focusing on assessments and ratings. Now that’s changing. Big companies like General Electric, Microsoft and Deloitte are scrapping the old system and focusing on in-the-moment feedback from managers and coaching. According to Harvard Business Review, 70% of employee learning and development happens on the job, which is why coaching is such an effective management tool.

Performance reviews that look to the future

While continuous feedback and coaching are needed to support employees throughout their working time, it’s still important that managers hold periodic performance reviews, but they need to be done right. Thanks to in-the-moment feedback, there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises in performance reviews. Instead of fixating on past mistakes, performance review meetings should focus on the future. They will discuss new strategies that are needed to streamline work and set goals for the next quarter.

Photo: Flickr / mripp CC BY 2.0

Stuart hearn

Stuart Hearn

Stuart is a performance management specialist who has been working in the HR sector for more than 20 years. He is the CEO of Clear Review, a performance management system for small and medium sized businesses.

Stuart's company website Follow Stuart on Twitter