The New Face of Performance Management

4 minutes read
For a Better World of Work Podcast
How do you define people-based performance management? If you ask a selection of HR professionals in the field - they are likely to have different answers. This could be because of the challenges HR practitioners face regarding this topic today – or it could indicate the slow movement of development and change in this regard. It could also because the word ‘performance’ has many different meanings and covers multiple sectors, from finance to soft skills and more.

In the Top Employers Institute 2018 HR Trends Report, this is a hot topic. The report says that ‘Performance Management continues to be one of the most structured people practices among our Top Employers’. This rings true, as secondary to payroll, this is where the expertise of the HR community lie.

The good news is that a revolution in Performance Management is underway. What was once a traditional HR ritual is now being challenged and this movement is set to influence other HR actions. The reason that this ritual impacts other areas of HR, including compensation, promotion, mobility and training.

There are three key factors that are challenged the Performance Management sphere:

  • Evaluation
  • Timing
  • Credibility


Evaluation remains extremely important and is a permanent fixture in HR. From CRM tools to ERPs and social media as well as internal and external surveys – immediate feedback can be spontaneously given from employees of every level and in every department. The question is – why are some only evaluating performance management at the end of every year?


Timing is key in order to appraise and adjust accordingly in a realistic manner. End of year reviews should be transformed in to continuous reviews that are set long term in order to consolidate collate employee data. This avoids the employee having to relay months of information to their manager, as something re-writing the ‘story’ can damage the credibility of the evaluation.

The time where linking Performance Management with compensation and promotion is now a process of the past. For advanced employers who continue to deal with a volatile, uncertain and sometimes ambiguous environment, this is a future-proof best practice. Continuous, reviewed evaluation helps managers and employees look to the future and build a career path based on a strong foundation.


Credibility will come from the respect given to this process. As we interact so much in the workplace with many different people and projects – why does this signify that the manager must be the final decision maker in this process? This question challenges the traditional structure of the ‘manager is boss’ mentality, therefore transforming this role into a coach or leader of sorts.

Take the trusty Uber ride for example. Once your ride is complete – you can evaluate your driver and give them a score – and they can do the same for you. Advanced employers gather all available information in order to create a positive, well rounded discussion between the employee and their coach based on a number of factors that have been considered.

Revamping the way in we approach Performance Management is all about asking the right questions to your employees: is it credible, timely, does it encourage sharing and is it future-proof?

Looking back into past HR processes, you work, get paid for said work, reach and achieve a target, receive a bonus, receive various benefits and profit shares and therefore add value to the company you work for.


Saying this, the expectations of this somewhat archaic approach is now being questioned. Do employees now get recognition for going that extra mile in other ways: CSR activities, engagement, value behaviours, collaboration and innovation. It’s not so much about giving out more money, but also about receiving recognition – and this can be done through the Performance Management process. With the new and improved Performance Management – activities and soft skills are considered.

Now is the time to reconsider the balance between expectations and recognition in Performance Management.

Interested in hearing more about the revamping of performance management? Listen to our podcast with Top Employers Institute’s HR Expert Benoit Montet:

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The New Face of Performance Management

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