“One of the biggest obstacles to high performance in organizations comes from unclear expectations and accountability.” -Ken Blanchard, American Author
In the past, managers would schedule sit down meetings with their employees quarterly or even yearly to discuss and review their performance. In many organizations, this was due to the fact that managers protested frequent performance reviews stating that they are too time-consuming.[i] However, as different roles are becoming increasingly complex and responsibilities heighten, the idea that yearly performance reviews are sufficient has become antiquated. In fact, 76% of HR leaders in a Deloitte survey have reinvented performance management to be more continuous.[ii] When the high level of decision-making, judgment, and responsibility of organizational roles is taken into consideration, it is clear that continuous performance reviews are imperative.[iii]
Despite the fact that 79% of executives rate performance management as a high priority, statistics have shown that employees are still unhappy with the way their performance is measured and managed. Interestingly, only 21% of employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work and 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development.[iv]
As we dive into a new year, your organization may be re-evaluating the way it manages employee performance. As you develop your new performance management strategy, be sure to keep an eye out for the following trends in 2019.
Learning & Development
In the past, performance management reviews featured discussions regarding high achievements and also, points of improvement for employees.[v] However, it is easy to forget to actually offer opportunities for employees to learn and grow. 87% of millennials and 69% of other generations rate professional growth and development opportunities as an important characteristic of their job. However, only 39% strongly agree that they have learned something new in the past 30 days.[vi] This shows that regardless of demographic, all employees care about professional development. Invest in helping your employees grow, develop, and learn, and watch their performance skyrocket.
Stress is a significant factor that can affect an employee’s performance.[vii] According to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say that they need help in learning how to manage stress and 42% say their coworkers need such help.[viii] One benefit of frequent performance management reviews is that managers and employees are able to create a relationship of trust where they are comfortable discussing issues such as stress management.
One of the most interesting trends that are predicted to emerge in 2019 will be the personalization of roles within organizations. Employees and their managers would have the opportunity to customize the employee’s role. The idea that you must stick specifically to an assigned job description is becoming old hat. Instead, organizations are beginning to work to the strengths of their employees. This allows for a much more creative approach to organizational roles and allows managers to work with their team to customize positions that fit their skill set and passions. In a personalized role, performance reviews are of utmost importance to ensure that necessary responsibilities and tasks are still being completed.[ix]
Frequent performance management is as important as ever. Performance management creates a level of transparency that is crucial to the success of any organization. It can improve engagement, increase levels of performance, and provide clarity and communication between upper management and employees.