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Discussing the use of innovative performance management strategies to empower your workforce

03/06/2024 minute read Hamzah Hafesji

Getting to know our customers and their challenges 

Understanding the hurdles faced by our customers and their industries is of upmost importance to all of us at OneAdvanced. If we don't understand these challenges, how can we possibly craft the right solutions to meet the needs of our customers? That’s why we recently teamed up with Engage Media to take part in an exclusive focus group where we were joined by a small number of customers and representatives from other organisations, all keen to discuss the power of performance management in their business and explore how digital tools can transform people management in the modern-day workforce. 
The conversation took place behind closed doors so all attendees will remain anonymous, but this article we will summarise our key findings from the focus group. 

Performance management: The role technology plays  

Technology is transforming people management in the modern workforce by streamlining HR processes, enabling data-driven decision-making, and enhancing the employee experience. It improves communication, reduces costs, and supports all levels of workforce management including remote working, therefore alleviating administrative burnout, and making it easier for HR managers to focus on more strategic initiatives. Additionally, technology facilitates continuous learning and development through e-learning platforms.  

These advancements empower HR professionals to manage their workforce more effectively and strategically, ultimately benefiting both the organisation and its employees. During our focus group our hosts from OneAdvanced explained how we break performance management down into two parts:

  • Performance enablement - Creating conditions that help employees thrive for example, goal setting, constructive feedback, and frequent, quality conversations with your manager.  
  • Performance measurement - A process that many HR and leadership teams focus on through an annual appraisal, for instance.   

We tend to see great success in our customers organisations, as well as our own, when a combination of these two approaches is used together. There is often much higher employee satisfaction with enhanced, regular communication as they feel more supported and therefore far more engaged, this goes hand in hand with higher productivity rates and retention. Therefore also allowing leaders to measure performance when driving critical decisions, such as how to partition pay and plan for future talent needs.  

Overcoming obstacles  

Introducing new people management strategies can sometimes be an uphill battle, HR and performance management related initiatives traditionally tend to make people ‘switch off’. Research from Deloitte's analysts informs us that 82% of organisations believe performance management is simply not worth the effort or prioritisation. Managers say it eats up too much time; employees think it's not always fair or constructive. But when you strike the right balance between performance enablement and measurement, OneAdvanced actually finds that top performers set their goals 1.2 times more and are far more confident in their interactions with their managers.  

Here are some more interesting nuggets from our research: 

  • Those who leave an organisation dissatisfied are twice as likely not to have set any performance related goals or received feedback. 
  • Employees who engage in continuous feedback and goal setting, and have quality conversations, are more likely to stick around and perform well. 
  • Digital tools are becoming the norm in the world of business. But still, many customers are using paper or hybrid systems which shows there is still room for growth. 
  • With Millennials and Gen Z making up a growing proportion of the workforce (expected to be 58% in the coming years), it is important that businesses modernise and cater to the new generation of the workforce in order to have engaged and productive employees. This new wave of employees have different expectations, they want more freedom around traditional ways of working and expect their work lives to complement their personal lives. 

The easy way  

We had an interesting conversation during the focus group that discussed the idea that people will always look for the easiest way. So, in terms of an organisation’s communication platforms or internal processes, it should be simplistic. Businesses should consider shifting away from using multiple digital platforms like WhatsApp, Teams, or Google Docs. It is also challenging balancing separate performance management systems on top of all of those, and we found that many of our attendees were also having this issue with their existing people management solutions or engagement with them. 

Solutions like Talent Guard were being used for performance management, but the general conclusion from the group was there is a preference for everything to be in one place – talent development reviews, regular chats between employees and managers, you name it.  

The real kicker is getting everyone engaged onto the same platform and achieving consistency in performance metrics across individuals. Some traditional metrics can seem unfair when they are generically set across an organisation and do not account for differing roles within the company, such as office workers and desk-free workers, who will have very different performance goals. That's why continuous performance management is so crucial. Having regular feedback and setting goals will enable managers to provide employee with substantial information about their performance over the course of the entire year, and ensure that performance ratings are constructive, unbiassed and support sustainable employee growth.  

Some advice that was shared amongst the group: when you're embarking on a performance management transformation journey, start by defining what talent means in your organisation. Then share this definition widely among employees and managers, encourage conversations, set goals, and record them in a unified digital system. Such as the platforms that we offer at OneAdvanced. 

A win, win solution  

To wrap up our discussion we declared that employee experience and organisational learning often go hand-in-hand with high performance. Technology can help keep track of feedback and conversations that lead to building valuable solutions. With the right knowledge, we can anticipate constant improvement, development, and learning. In the end, a positive employee experience is not only great for your people, but it's a win for the organisation's bottom line too. 
If you would like to learn more about modern tools and solutions that can transform your workforce management visit our People Management Hub.