In 2022 Performance Management Must Be Agile


Performance Management has undergone a paradigm shift in the wake of a disruptive market. Traditionally, leaders used to believe in the theory of hiring ‘A’ employees (A being the highly skilled employees), while sidelining the ‘B’ employees. However, the modern approach comes in a juxtapose. The reality says that B players have the capability of becoming the A players if you treat them in a manner that makes them feel responsible yet appreciative. Our message is – 2022 is the year for redefining performance management through agility and human connection. 


In this fast-paced world, the landscape of performance management is evolving due to the rapid growth of business and new demands in the market. Owing to this, it has become more than necessary for businesses to adopt new strategies if they do not want to be left behind by their competitors. Performance management is one such factor that is becoming agile due to the changes in the market and business. 

An agile performance management framework is an approach that helps to boost the performance of the employees, nurture their development, and ensure that these two objectives are aligned under team and organizational goals. Over the last few decades, more and more reputable companies have bid adieu to traditional performance management and have favored a more agile framework. 

As opposed to the traditional performance management system, the agile framework ensures that employee engagement is improved and the organization achieves success. This is because the agile performance management framework is timely, precise, and extremely success-oriented. Once the respective Objectives and Key Results (OKR) are set, the agile performance management framework is pivotal to regular check-ins that take place on a weekly or monthly basis. 

An agile performance management framework helps the organization to overcome these flaws: 

• Through frequent check-ins, you give employees the feedback they crave and need to improve. 

• The two-way communicational check-ins swiftly nudge employees in the ideal direction. 

• Performance reviews no longer require the leaders to bear annual appraisals that are related to the expired feedback saved from the start of the year only for justifying a rating. 

What are the benefits of an Agile performance management system?

The benefits of the agile performance management framework are transformational in nature. Your organization significantly boosts employee engagement, profitability, workforce productivity, and the enterprise agility required to outmaneuver your competitors. 

• Your organization becomes more adaptable 

When agile performance management is implemented correctly, it makes it easier for your employees to recognize the career development prospects that provide mutual benefits to individual and organizational goals. Factors that are a threat to your organization’s competitiveness and adaptability are quickly spotted, analyzed, and dealt with. 

• Responsiveness to feedback

The traditional annual feedback system resulted in limiting interactions between the staff and management. Such types of feedback were generally vague feedback and were related to something that happened in the past. With an agile performance management framework, feedback is prompt and future-focused, and agile teams are quicker to incorporate it.

• More engaged employees

In modern times, employees desire more autonomy, purpose, a clear route to skills mastery, and regular feedback. Meeting such critical expectations initially proved to be a challenging task, however, an agile performance management framework came into the picture and made things easier. It enables your organization to develop the skills of the employees and increase employee engagement. 

• A high-performance culture 

Owing to relevant and continuous feedback, your employees will have a clear understanding of what is expected from them, where they are going wrong, and how well they have been performing. Similarly, managers such as you will be identified as coaches/mentors and not task managers. This promotes a powerful positive shift in the culture of the organization. 

• Clarity on business priorities

Unlike the traditional performance management method that was built around hard-to-monitor vague goals, OKRs will help your organization to track the progress by focusing on the objectives and key results behind each goal. These goals serve as a compass for each check-in and ensure alignment between the goals of your employees and the organization. Agility is most powerful when teams are clear on the overarching goals of the company.

 Owing to such tremendous and future-oriented benefits, the majority of modern companies, managers, and employees are openly embracing an agile performance management system now. Managers and organizations are increasingly getting dissatisfied with their traditional performance management framework. So, this is why it has become essential to know about the ways to establish an agile performance management system. 

How to build an agile performance management framework? 

As a manager looking to implement an agile performance management framework in your organization, the following steps are highly crucial for you: 

#1 Support from leadership

It is the leaders of the organization who are the best people for demonstrating the need for an updated and future-oriented framework. They play a significant part in molding the organizational culture, helping the employees understand why your organization is adopting the approach of agile performance management and how it will benefit them as well. Support from the top management is also important as it conveys to your employees how they are important to the team and encourages more ownership over organizational objectives.

#2 Form a collaborative work environment 

A collaborative work environment forms the basis of an agile performance management system. It is important and beneficial for the employees to collaborate beyond the organizational boundaries and cross-functional teams. This enables all-around development feedback from numerous sources like their teammates, leaders, and managers. The more collaborative your work environment is, the more easily the teams will be able to work towards the common organizational goal.

#3 Provide training to your employees

You have to make sure that your employees know what it takes to provide and receive feedback. Rather than dreading the conversation related to performance, they should have a clear understanding of how feedback adds to their long-term development. Group discussions, eLearning, on-the-job learning, and mentoring are some of the highly effective and popular types of training. 

#4 Promote feedback and flexible goal-setting 

When there is a change in the objectives of the organization, employees and teams also have to realign their goals with them. Therefore, it is extremely important to have a flexible goal-setting approach that enables employees to have constant feedback discussions. This flexibility will help them give them the support they require to adapt to new organizational goals successfully. A flexible approach will enable both the organization and employees to tackle any changes and challenges easily. 

#5 Employ a performance management software

As described earlier, an agile workplace needs faster, more regular, technology-driven feedback and communication. Organizations achieve this by using agile performance management software.  With the help of user-friendly performance management software, employees are able to give and receive real-time feedback and collaborate with agility to achieve organizational goals. An agile employee performance management software also helps everyone in tracking their progress along with feedback. 

Are you thinking of making your organization transition to an agile performance management system? Well, you are on the right path then. Each day several organizations are taking the route of the agile performance management approach and are successfully achieving their goals due to this change. Your organization can do exactly that. 

You are one click away from transforming your performance management approach and taking your organization towards the success it deserves!

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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