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How Performance Management Tools Are Bringing Change to Feedback Culture In Organizations?

27 February, 2021
4 mins

Performance management tools have never been so important as they are today. The increase in volatility, uncertainty, and ambiguity have triggered fundamental changes in overall employee performance as well as the company environment. Today, no matter how hard we try, annual performance management is still viewed as something that is subjective, demotivating, and a time-consuming procedure.



The sudden increase in disconnect from one another has enabled agility and the gap between performance management processes and company goals has aggravated the desire for change. On the contrary, if companies tend to overlook such prevailing issues then this disconnect is only going to grow leading to losses. People are increasingly seeking enriched roles that encourage more responsibilities, new HR models along with new-age skills as well as collaborative means through which employees are in sync with performance management systems and feedback culture.

The complete ownership of feedback culture is now being shifted to employees whereas the performance dialogues may be treated as conversational rather than something that is based on metrics. This has triggered a positive work culture that primarily focuses on the overall improvement of the employee thereby enabling them to be aware of company goals and their valuable contribution in making things happen.

A clear example of such a model can now be seen in leading organizations like Deloitte where annual ratings have been eliminated and performance-based conversations have been reduced to few simple questions. The focus is now on employee-manager feedback every week, which works well with the company’s performance paradigm of identifying, observing, and fueling performance for its future growth. A feedback culture and performance management system, which enables timely and ongoing feedback are seen to lay down the cornerstone of success. Recognizing its impact, such feedback loops are slowly and gradually being adopted by other organizations as well.

How performance management tools are enabling short-term focus?

In this ever-changing business landscape, both long-term, as well as short-term focus, are equally important. Short-term wins often give birth to a short-term performance outlook. These short-term goals must be carefully shaped to ensure that they are in line with company goals and its prime objectives thereby allowing better results.  

One great way to ensure that short-term goals work for managers and team members is to set up mutually agreed goals. Once done, this would need to be followed up by periodic reviews and feedback sessions. Each session needs to be recorded and signed off to ensure complete transparency and to eliminate any ambiguity if any arises.

The need for people development and coaching for healthy feedback work culture

The ever-changing nature of work has stimulated the need for shouldering equal responsibilities, taking up bigger business tasks, and for collaborative workflows. With employees now facing the daunting task of how they can align their performance with business goals, the focus would be not only to meet business objectives but to also encourage and nurture employee aspirations.

This paves the need for a talented pool of individuals who can coach employees on positive feedback sessions and professional learning. Certain key features like behavioral enhancement opportunities are seen to enhance productivity levels. Emphasis on learning and development can also help create better employee collaboration. Managers at certain levels are already using personality indexes to identify employee strengths and customize training and development skills for them.

With mix and match of work changes, there is a growing need for a learning environment. With new people joining the workforce on a time-to-time basis, linking performance management to development needs is known to enhance the employer value proposition. 

Desired need for qualitative Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Change is the name of the game! In this rapidly changing business environment, with rapid changes in the nature of the job, there is a need for a regular feedback system. This has further necessitated a focus on qualitative KPI systems. This enables managers to have regular positive conversations with their direct team members.

During the conversation, key development areas and gaps if any can also be identified. It is then up to the HR and business manager to recognize key quality performance measures. Such demands for KPIs have paved the way for opportunity areas for HR services to come up with solutions that can help map career development areas for team members.

With more and more organizations doing away with traditional ways of measuring performances like ratings and gradings, companies will now have to adopt a new strategy or rethink their performance management systems. They would need to align such systems with their business goals. This may mean evaluating key areas like compensation structures, benefit allowances, and bridging gaps so that employees can fulfill business objectives.

Through effective mentoring and coaching and aligning values to that of the organization, businesses and HR goals can only be fulfilled. Companies need to keep track of progress through performance management tools and build on best practices. Discarding ratings and rankings would mean that companies would need to work on qualitative feedback systems to ensure each employee receives adequate information about their performance and are shown the way ahead. 

A well-defined and meaningful performance management systems are the result of strong fundamentals supported by state-of-the-art technology. Agile and feedback-driven performance management systems are seen to pave a brighter future ahead. 

By using the right technology and automated tools, companies can only drive business goals, review performance, and offer the right kind of coaching and mentoring support. Gaps can be easily plugged in and accurate as well as constructive decisions can be taken. Continuous feedback-based engagement should be based on transparency and openness, which would be a win-win situation both for the employee and employer.