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Staying Motivated: The Power of Continuous Performance Management in the Education Sector

Staying Motivated: The Power of Continuous Performance Management in the Education Sector

by OneAdvanced PR, Author

CPM: A Brief History

Performance management has been around for as long as athletes have trained for competition – a practice dating back thousands of years. In modern terms, performance management is thought to have sprung up during the industrial revolution, when large organisations developed measures to analyse employee performance.

Towards the end of the 1980s, managers began to realise that the ‘annual appraisal’ model common in the previous decades gave a less-than-complete picture of performance. Having a workforce that was motivated and happy was seen as conducive to organisational success; this could be achieved through constructive criticism and the setting of goal-oriented tasks.

In the 2010s, corporate entities began to implement a type of performance management that was regular and consistent in its aims, provided achievable objectives to work towards, and encouraged feedback from all levels of the organisation. This became known as Continuous Performance Management (CPM), and was adopted by Adobe Inc in 2012, with other household names following suit, including Microsoft and IBM.

Fast-forward to 2024, and the CPM model is used in a wide range of organisations in both private and public sectors. It is quickly becoming a must-have for schools, colleges, independent training providers and higher education establishments – bodies vulnerable to high turnover and low employee wellbeing.

The Modern CPM Model

CPM has been honed to the point where it is now built to incorporate new and emergent technologies, including machine learning and AI. Modern CPM platforms are accessible on any mobile device – a useful feature for those in education, who frequently work away from the classroom.

Where traditional CPM models relied on Excel spreadsheets with large datasets to handle, the modern CPM platform makes data easily accessible and exportable. This new platform puts all data needs in one place, with charts and infographics making comparisons much easier than before.

The modern CPM solution facilitates better collaboration. Traditionally, CPM was carried out by a single senior manager or HR leader, often leading to disjointed workflows and incomplete employee data. Today’s CPM allows for multiple user input, and meaningful collaboration that can be carried out remotely.

Motivation Matters

One of the roles of CPM is to improve employee wellbeing, a pertinent issue in the education sector. A 2023 National Education Union (NEU) survey found that 41% of teachers in England and Wales plan to leave their current position within the next 5 years. Over a third of teachers said they feel stressed 80% of the time, while two thirds of support staff reported to feeling stressed 60% of the time.

In a 2022 Association of Colleges (AoC) survey, 96% of respondents said that staff shortages are creating pressure on existing staff. This unmanageable workload is compounded further by the stress and extra work created by Ofsted inspection, a finding confirmed in a 2019 study by Ofsted themselves.

The same study found that in schools, only 47% of teachers and teaching assistants felt they are supported by colleagues and line managers when faced with excessive workload. In further education, 57% of teachers and teaching assistants said that their line manager frequently gives praise and recognition, while only 36% said their line manager often or always supports them with their wellbeing.

Other contributors to poor wellbeing cited in the above surveys include low pay and frequent changes to government policy. And while technology can’t force a pay increase or make Ofsted disappear, it can alleviate the burden of repetitive tasks, and offer a platform for improving the motivation and wellbeing of staff.

What Does it Mean to be Motivated?

As with any other group of employees, teachers and education staff need to feel that the work they do is recognised and appreciated. They need constructive criticism and praise, and to feel they are working towards a common goal, with reasonable targets and expectations.

On a practical level, paperwork should be kept to a minimum. Technology must be up to date and fit for purpose – the right tools for the job. When new technological applications and systems are put into place, these should be intuitive and timesaving.

Meaningful feedback needs to be given at regular intervals. This feedback should happen in real time, giving staff members immediate recognition. The annual or termly appraisal needs to be replaced with adult conversations that take place consistently throughout the year.

Moving Forward with Performance and Talent

At Advanced, we use Performance and Talent throughout our organisation. Our next-gen CPM solution keeps employees on-task through regular praise and feedback. Crucially, this feedback can come from any employee, so if you’ve recently completed a training task with a colleague from another department, for example, you can let them know they’ve done a great job right away.

This recognition creates an instant boost to morale. It also provides an automated archive of performance for HR – ideal when creating references for those seeking employment. When assessing staff members for promotion, senior leaders can access the Talent Snapshot feature, an overview of suitability for progression.

Through the Performance and Talent dashboard, users can set objectives, either individually or collaboratively. These objectives can be reworked as the academic year evolves, and give staff clear and achievable targets to meet. Objectives can be further set to align with the values of the organisation.

The dashboard also gives the user the ability to quickly create pulse surveys, which increase employee engagement and provide meaningful feedback from a meeting or event. And, since Performance and Talent is 100% cloud based, these surveys can be put together and accessed by staff at any time, and from any computer, tablet, or mobile device.

Being in the cloud means we’re future-ready. It means we can add exciting new features for our customers, without the need the need to purchase new versions of our software, or download any applications. We’ve even incorporated AI into Performance and Talent, with a feature that allows for the easy creation of feedback for those who may find writing difficult – just one of the ways we’re moving forward.

Discover the latest trends in education and technology in our Education Trends Report, 2023/2024.

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