Performance management: where is the flexibility?

Sponsored by Workleap


What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘performance management’? I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a fundamental aspect of the HR function. But do you grimace a little, knowing that while this should be one of your organization’s strengths, you haven’t quite cracked the code yet?

Well, I can assure you that you are not alone. A surprising number of employers are still struggling to get performance management right. And that’s not just my opinion.

In 2022, 95% of managers told Gallup they were dissatisfied with their organization’s performance review system. That’s huge. And the opinion of employees is not much better. As Josh Bersin noted last year, “It’s astonishing that nearly 70% of employees feel their performance process is a waste of time.”

Agreed astonishing. No employer wants to accept such a status quo. So if you could do anything to improve your performance management practices, what would it be? Join me as I search for helpful answers in today’s #WorkTrends podcast…


If you’re ready to transform performance management within your company, listen to this conversation Julie Jeannotte (JJ), an HR expert and researcher at Work jump.

With more than twenty years of experience as an HR leader and coach, JJ combines a unique blend of passion, empathy and strategic insight to ensure Workleap’s products connect with the people side of business. This requires her to conduct ongoing research so she can keep her finger on the pulse of crucial HR market issues, needs and trends.

Additionally, JJ is an experienced podcaster who currently hosts Workleap’s podcast, Vibe check. I’m very pleased that she is joining us to talk about why performance management needs a refresh, and how agility can help you meet this challenge. Check out these highlights from our conversation…


  • If you want to retain employees, focus on performance management. Many organizations prioritize the motivation of their staff, involvementand long-term retention. But if you haven’t yet looked at the role of performance management, it’s time to make it an action item.
  • Remember, agility is your friend. When you have a choice, always choose agility.
  • With a culture of continuous learning, everyone wins. It takes dedication and work to develop a culture where people feel encouraged and rewarded for continually learning, growing and improving. But it’s totally worth it, no matter how you measure success.


How should we define continuous performance management?

[4:10] The best answer is to contrast it with well-known concepts such as traditional and frequent approaches. Think of traditional as a formal annual review. This contrasts with frequent reviews that take place a few times a year, for example every quarter.

However, true continuous performance management involves regular check-ins where goals, performance and achievements are discussed on an ongoing basis.

This type of dialogue makes expectations visible throughout the year, improving alignment, productivity and engagement.

Frequent one-on-one conversations are essential as they encourage regular feedback exchanges, clear goal setting and progress reviews that emphasize learning and development opportunities.

Overall, it’s a more agile, responsive approach that enables rapid adjustments and improvements and fosters a culture of growth.

What are the biggest challenges for companies using traditional methods and tools?

[6:48] Performance management is the hated beast of managers, HR leaders and employees alike. And that is so sad. Because if you do it right, it is actually the most powerful tool for engaging and aligning your people around common goals.

Plus, it creates the feedback culture we discussed. Today, that helps retain talent and grow your business.

Plus, with constant communication you don’t drop the ball like Google did with recent layoff communications…

[9:03] Yes. Since Workleap focuses on understanding employee dissatisfaction, I’d like to share some related insights from our pulse surveys.

This is real-time data from more than 6,000 companies around the world in 20 industries:

  • More than 75% of employees are not completely satisfied with the frequency of recognition they receive.
  • Only 42% say they receive feedback often enough to improve.
  • And more than 50% believe their performance is not assessed fairly.

So if we’re trying to fix an ongoing relationship between managers and employees, something is fundamentally wrong.

What do managers and leaders need to change for a more agile approach?

[11:19] The role of the manager must shift from boss to coach. That is no small achievement. It’s a complete redesign of the role.

But if managers don’t have the skills, attitude, knowledge and aptitude to do this, the whole system suffers. If developing people is not their passion and priority, we are heading for disaster.

Managers must be able to bring out the best in their employees. They must recognize talent and systematically coach people to utilize their true potential. So all in all, this shift from boss to coach is truly a shift in both mentality and culture…


Would you like to know more about agile performance management, Visit the Workleap website for articles, ebooks, courses and other useful resources.


To dive deeper into these and other #WorkTrends topics, follow us Apple podcastson Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. And while you’re here, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes!

Would you also like to continue this conversation on social media? Follow TalentCulture or use our #WorkTrends hashtag anytime Tweet, LinkedInAnd Instagram. Let’s talk!

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