Chapter 7

How To Make The Transition

Download eBook (PDF)
Click on the button below to download our digital version of this ebook (PDF).
Download Now

Through the course of this eBook, we’ve estab­lished why annu­al appraisals don’t work, explored the con­cept of Con­tin­u­ous Per­for­mance Man­age­ment as a prac­ti­cal alter­na­tive, addressed some of the com­mon con­cerns with mov­ing away from appraisals and under­stood why soft­ware is a vital com­po­nent of effec­tive Con­tin­u­ous Per­for­mance Man­age­ment. In this final part of our eBook, we’ll look at how to suc­cess­ful­ly make the tran­si­tion from tra­di­tion­al annu­al appraisals to Con­tin­u­ous Per­for­mance Man­age­ment through 7 prac­ti­cal steps.

Step 1. Start now, don’t wait for the cul­ture to change

It may be tempt­ing to wait until you have under­tak­en a cul­ture change pro­gramme before mov­ing away from annu­al appraisals. How­ev­er, with research show­ing that 95% of man­agers are dis­sat­is­fied with their organisation’s exist­ing per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem, why con­tin­ue doing some­thing that just isn’t work­ing? As the HR Direc­tor of Adobe com­ment­ed on their tran­si­tion to Check-ins, this is a jour­ney and not a des­ti­na­tion”, so the soon­er you start tak­ing action, the fur­ther and faster you will progress on that journey.

Step 2. Find out who is already hav­ing reg­u­lar per­for­mance discussions

You might feel that imple­ment­ing Con­tin­u­ous Per­for­mance Man­age­ment will require a sig­nif­i­cant shift in atti­tude from your man­agers. Whilst this will no doubt be the case for some of your man­agers, vir­tu­al­ly every organ­i­sa­tion has cer­tain man­agers who are already hav­ing reg­u­lar one-to-ones with their team mem­bers and are good at giv­ing feed­back. So find out who these peo­ple are with­in your organ­i­sa­tion, con­sult with them on your new approach, involve them in rolling out the new process­es and get them to cham­pi­on your cause.

Step 3. Engage your senior leadership

To make con­tin­u­ous per­for­mance man­age­ment a suc­cess, you will need to get buy-in from top man­age­ment and have them to lead by exam­ple. Whilst most senior lead­ers dis­like doing annu­al appraisals, they may be ner­vous about the impli­ca­tions of stop­ping them, par­tic­u­lar­ly if you are plan­ning to get rid of rat­ings as well. They are like­ly to have ques­tions about how you will iden­ti­fy high and low per­form­ers and how pay and pro­mo­tion deci­sions will be han­dled. So make sure you sup­port your case for con­tin­u­ous per­for­mance man­age­ment with research-based evi­dence and have answers to these ques­tions read­i­ly avail­able. This eBook should pro­vide most of the infor­ma­tion you need. To help you fur­ther, you might wish to:

Step 4. Sell the ben­e­fits to your staff

If man­agers and their team mem­bers are going to active­ly engage in hav­ing reg­u­lar Check-ins and giv­ing fre­quent feed­back, you’ll need to ensure that they under­stand what’s in it for me?”. For man­agers, the ben­e­fits include hav­ing a bet­ter per­form­ing, more pro­duc­tive and moti­vat­ed team, reduced staff turnover, abil­i­ty to del­e­gate more and spend­ing less time fix­ing mis­takes. Make it clear that it will ulti­mate­ly save them time.

Some organ­i­sa­tions who have made Con­tin­u­ous Per­for­mance Man­age­ment a suc­cess have put the onus on team mem­bers to ensure that their Check-ins hap­pen, rather than on man­agers. There­fore you’ll need to sell the ben­e­fits to team mem­bers too. Empha­sise that they will have more own­er­ship over their work, they will get more time­ly feed­back and more one-to-one time and sup­port from their man­ag­er. But they will need to be proac­tive to get these benefits.

There is plen­ty of research evi­dence through­out this eBook that you can draw on when sell­ing the ben­e­fits to staff. How­ev­er, it’s even more pow­er­ful to draw on suc­cess­es from with­in your own organ­i­sa­tion. So where you have found teams that have already been hav­ing reg­u­lar one-to-ones and giv­ing feed­back on an infor­mal basis (see step 2 above), make sure you share these suc­cess sto­ries and com­mu­ni­cate the ben­e­fits that they have achieved.

Step 5. Pro­vide train­ing and guidance

Good qual­i­ty per­for­mance con­ver­sa­tions and feed­back rely on the par­tic­i­pants hav­ing the nec­es­sary skills. So re-invest the time you cur­rent­ly spend admin­is­ter­ing annu­al appraisals on train­ing and coach­ing staff on how to have effec­tive one-to-one con­ver­sa­tions, how to give and receive feed­back, how to near-term SMART goals, and the fun­da­men­tals of coach­ing. Should you end up becom­ing a Clear Review cus­tomer, we will pro­vide you with train­ing mate­ri­als that you can use for this at no cost.

Sup­port your train­ing with quick fact sheets, eLearn­ing and short videos – the more inter­est­ing and inter­ac­tive the bet­ter. Our Clear Review per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware comes with inte­grat­ed ani­mat­ed white­board’ videos on the key skills required for Con­tin­u­ous Per­for­mance Management.

Step 6. Com­mu­ni­cate, communicate…and listen

It’s well recog­nised with­in change man­age­ment that you need to com­mu­ni­cate a mes­sage between 3 and 6 times before it is under­stood and inter­nalised. Plus, it will take time for your staff to build the nec­es­sary new habits of giv­ing in-the-moment feed­back and hav­ing reg­u­lar per­for­mance and devel­op­ment conversations.

So sup­port your jour­ney to Con­tin­u­ous Per­for­mance Man­age­ment by build­ing a 12 month com­mu­ni­ca­tion plan that address­es your three main audi­ences: senior lead­ers, man­agers and employ­ees. Use a vari­ety of com­mu­ni­ca­tion meth­ods in your plan such as face-to-face brief­in­gs, videos, webi­na­rs, intranet pages, fact sheets, newslet­ters, posters, desk-drops and road­shows. Don’t make the mis­take of rely­ing just on email. You could even get cre­ative and have some coast­ers or mouse mats made up to remind peo­ple to give and request feed­back reg­u­lar­ly. We recog­nise that not every­one is expe­ri­enced in design­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion plans, so we pro­vide our Clear Review cus­tomers with a full com­mu­ni­ca­tions guide and tem­plate 12 month plan.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion should not all be one-way. Make sure you reg­u­lar­ly seek feed­back from team mem­bers about how they are find­ing the new process using sur­veys, inter­views and focus groups. Reg­u­lar­ly share the suc­cess­es and the ben­e­fits that staff have achieved in order to build momen­tum. Use any con­struc­tive feed­back on the new approach to hone your process­es and your com­mu­ni­ca­tion and train­ing materials.

Step 7. Use Con­tin­u­ous Per­for­mance Man­age­ment software

As we out­lined in Part 6 of this eBook, using pur­pose-built Con­tin­u­ous Per­for­mance Man­age­ment soft­ware will sig­nif­i­cant­ly improve the adop­tion of the new approach as it min­imis­es the admin­is­tra­tion and saves time for every­one involved. Specif­i­cal­ly, it will:

  • Enable employ­ees to update their progress against their objec­tives in real-time, mak­ing one-to-one dis­cus­sions more focused
  • Pro­vide online agen­das for Check-in meet­ings and enable action points to be cap­tured and fol­lowed up on
  • Give HR and senior man­age­ment vis­i­bil­i­ty of how fre­quent­ly one-to-ones are tak­ing place across the organ­i­sa­tion, as well as oth­er key per­for­mance and devel­op­ment data
  • Enable in-the-moment’ feed­back to be giv­en and shared with indi­vid­u­als immediately
  • Auto­mat­i­cal­ly chase up peo­ple who are not hav­ing reg­u­lar one-to-ones, set­ting objec­tives or giv­ing feedback
  • Allow you to cap­ture per­for­mance data or rat­ings from man­agers to feed into your reward and tal­ent man­age­ment decisions

Take the Next Step

This is the end of our eBook and we sin­cere­ly hope that you’ve found it inter­est­ing and use­ful. If you have, don’t stop here. Take the next step towards mak­ing Con­tin­u­ous Per­for­mance Man­age­ment a real­i­ty in your organ­i­sa­tion. Here are two no-oblig­a­tion next steps:

Watch 7 minute Demo of Clear Review
Watch Video Now
Book a Personal Tour of Clear Review Performance Management software