The world is changing.

The way we run businesses is transforming, and company cultures are evolving. So, isn’t it about time for organisations to update the way they manage performance and development too?

Traditional methods like annual reviews no longer resonate with a modern workforce. Many forward-thinking leaders are looking to replace them with more effective tools that utilise continuous performance frameworks.

Are you among them?

These solutions change the way companies handle appraisals, engagement, and culture, shifting the focus to a more agile person-centred approach.

Below, we’ll share what continuous performance is, why it’s preferable to more traditional performance tools, and how it can add value to your team.

What Is Continuous Performance Management?

Continuous performance management describes a more modern, agile approach to tracking and motivating employee performance. Rather than a static, once or twice yearly review, continuous performance embraces ongoing measurement, evolving objectives and key results (OKRs), continuous conversations, feedback and recognition (CFR).

This style of performance management is more flexible and personal, allowing organisations to evaluate and improve employee performance in a more holistic way.

Why Replace Traditional Performance Reviews?

Although the old-style annual appraisal has been in use for decades, very few people – managers and employers alike –enjoy the process or find it particularly compelling.

The evidence is more than just anecdotal: many studies have confirmed that annual reviews are ineffective. For example, a study recently revealed that only 20% of professionals believe their performance appraisal framework is working well.

There are a number of issues with the old-style annual reviews. For one, the length of time between conversations and feedback is far too long and doesn’t provide much scope for continuous improvement or ongoing development.

The reviews themselves are time-consuming and often stressful for all involved. All too often, the process feels like a “tick the HR boxes” activity rather than a valuable tool for authentic growth and development.

Boost Engagement In Your Team

Continuous performance frameworks are proving to be highly effective at boosting engagement. Another study found that employees who have had conversations about their goals and successes with their managers in the last six months are 2.8 times more likely to be engaged. And employees who receive daily feedback from a manager are three times more likely to be engaged.

Because of this engagement and increased employee satisfaction and empowerment, employees are more likely to remain with the company.

A culture of connectedness and trust is nurtured, increasing productivity and building the employer brand. And of course, there are financial benefits as a result. Research has shown that more than 50% of companies where goals are reviewed at least monthly are in the top quartile in terms of financial performance.

What Does A Continuous Performance Framework Look Like?

Continuous performance management is no cookie-cutter solution – and therein lies the appeal. Every organisation can utilise it in the way that fits their culture best.

Having said that, there are key aspects of continuous performance frameworks that help make them effective, including:

  • Frequent check-ins between managers and employees
  • 360-degree feedback from peers, mentors, and teammates as well as managers
  • A strong, strategic employee recognition program
  • The personal development of employees is prioritised
  • Priority goal-setting enables employees to set short and long-term goals aligning their focus to the organisation’s business objectives

The Key Concepts Of Continuous Performance Frameworks

When it comes to discussing continuous performance frameworks, there are two key concepts to consider:

  • Objective and Key Results (OKR), and
  • Conversations, Feedback, and Recognition (CFR)

These concepts are a different way of approaching more traditional KPIs. They are a more people-focused way to improve performance and achieve great outcomes.

OKRs are a collaborative goal-setting framework. They incorporate shorter review cycles than traditional methods and involve qualitative and quantitative aspects.

CFRs work alongside OKRs to create the continuous performance framework, providing a constant flow of communication to assist teams in reaching their objectives.

Conversations are authentic, richly textured exchanges between managers and contributors, aimed at driving performance. Feedback is bidirectional among peers to evaluate progress and guide future improvement. And recognition should be both top-down and peer-to-peer, and show appreciation to deserving individuals for contributions of all sizes.

Is It Time For A Continuous Performance Approach?

So, is it time to consider a continuous performance approach at your organisation?

If you’re looking for a more agile way to get the best out of your people, a continuous performance approach is the natural next step. But it can feel overwhelming to switch from the old review style to the new framework.

mentokc can help you navigate the journey and make the transition a smooth one. Contact us today to find out more.

Let’s chat