Performance Management – Who owns it?

Well, I thought HR owned it! I thought the CEO owns it. Guess what? Every manager owns performance management. Why? Because each department acts as a separate business unit. Yep. There is a CEO in every department. Guess what? You own performance management if you are the Senior in the department. Out with the old and in with the new. Well, not actually.

Two types of Performance Management

  1. Traditional Performance Management – in simple terms. It measures the performance of an employee annually. The problem measuring on an annual basis, a manager has no way of tracking the employee’s improvement or recognize if an employee falls below the predetermined data points. It’s also difficult to distinguish performance, unless it prevalent they are truly under performers or high achievers. This is challenging to a manager because there is no scope to development.
  2. Agile Performance Management – has 3 parts — Feedback, Communication, Coaching. Agile focuses on the process and the end goal with continuos  feedback. Goals are flexible. Collaboration among the team. The focus is on growth verses delivery. And, there is no bossy leadership.

Is Performance Management New?

Performance management has been out for years. Typically, it was owned by the CEO. Shortly thereafter it was incorporated into HR responsibilities which deemed ineffective – annual reviews, commonly known as traditional performance management.

Agile Performance Management

Today more businesses are rolling out Agile Performance Management. It is more effective because of its nature of encouraging continuous feedback and development. Some would argue that Agile Performance Management still requires change. If you ask Toyota, they would say it works, more on that later.

Before I jump into the benefits of Agile performance management, imagine you are at this concert.

I hope you like Elle Goulding, if not, jump to these seconds (.07) audience singing, (.45) audience jumping.

Wow! Can you feel the energy? Imagine if they were all standing there motionless? 9 months later, the crowd sent in their reviews.

Sounds Great. Tell me More

The problem with traditional performance management,  it does not take into consideration instant feedback. How would the artist know if the fans enjoyed the music or a specific song? The artist would have no idea what areas of improvement was necessary. However, Agile performance management encourages engagement and continues feedback. The energy, engagement, and enthusiasm the audience is projecting drives better performance from the artist — immediately — possibly ending with an encore!

Technology is moving at a rampant pace. Your approach to performance management should follow. In a study conducted by PWC, Millennials want a flexible approach to work, but very regular feedback and encouragement. Traditional performance management is not the answer. Agile performance management has been reengineered for a fast paced work cultural, that is collaborative, and social.

2 key benefits of incorporating Agile performance management into you company’s strategy:

  1. It has a more developed focused
  2. check-in’s

How? Agile performance management enables the workforce to achieve higher results, encourage collaborative teams, produce better outcomes by getting quicker feedback from leadership and the team.

In Agile performance management, the goal to feedback is ofter and frequent, which results in behavioral modification. As a result, energy, enthusiasm, are felt throughout the department, thus motivating others to perform at higher levels.

By conducting regular check-ins, each team can discuss any possible short comings requiring directional change. Furthermore, it enables leadership to discuss any immediate performance issues at large. Check-ins provide the ability to discuss a change in strategy, similar to agile application development.

Crowdsourcing is an excellent way of getting feedback. Its a process of asking a group of team members questions into to get feedback. This is beneficial when workers work remote away from their managers.

There is a social component to Agile performance management. Social refers, not to social media, but being recognized within and outside of the team for excellent work. Managers and/or peers can recognize a team member for outstanding performance.

Having a strong team requires commitment to completing an assignment, having great talent on the team, and possessing excellent skills. If a team member lacks a specific skill, its easy for management to provide training to bring the team member back up to speed.

In summary, Agile performance management is designed for collaborative environments, with an emphasis on development and forward looking performance, offering frequent check-in’s. Immediate feedback allows for social recognition. Business goals can change based up priorities. Regular feedback provides for better coaching and training. Using crowdsourcing helps manager analyze an employees performance. Agile performance management is to help in forward thinking and planning for the employee.

If you are determined to maximize the performance of each team member, encourage frequent check-in’s and implement monthly one-on-ones. Encourage recognition in finding problems and finding solutions to the problem. Toyota’s strong culture of improvement makes it safe to bring up problems immediately. For example. On the assembly line, Toyota has something called the “andon cord”. If you see a problem, you pull the cord.

Toyota’s “andon cord” is today’s Agile performance management. Fix today what might be forgotten tomorrow.