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Why choose agile performance management over traditional methods?

Forward-thinking companies are fast replacing traditional performance management methods with agile performance management, resulting in greater efficiency, happier staff and higher quality. But what is agile performance management, and why should businesses be choosing it?

What is traditional performance management

Performance management refers to the activities managers take to monitor employee performance. Traditional performance management measures an employees’ performance in the workplace over an entire year, typically during a meeting called an ‘annual performance review’. During this review, the employees’ performance is assessed and measured, and a positive output of such a meeting may typically result in an increase in salary, a bonus or a promotion.

What is agile performance management?

According to Upraise, agile performance management is “a collaborative, continuous feedback and development practice that is steadily replacing performance management”. This form of performance management typically requires using a piece of performance management software with necessary associated plugins, so that managers can track the completion of projects in real time, communicate with their employees about successes, failures, challenges and time-sensitive issues, (whether their employees are working in the office, at home or on the road), and can see overall efficiency and productivity of a team and individuals.

So why choose agile performance management over traditional methods? 

The reason businesses should choose agile performance management over traditional methods is that the agile method addresses the problems traditional methods inevitably suffer from.

For example, under the traditional method of performance management, an employees’ performance is only reviewed once a year, making it hard for employees and their managers to recall evidence of the good things an employee has done.

Secondly, once-yearly reviews leave employees to continue to struggle all year, with no intervention early on to improve or do better. As a result, poor performers don’t get the opportunity to become high flyers as their challenges are not resolved at any point before their reviews.

Finally, traditional reviews can leave employees feeling disgruntled as they feel immense pressure to communicate an entire year’s worth of success into a single hour long meeting, and those who aren’t confident communicators risk giving the impression they have not performed very well.

On the other hand, agile performance management is a much more reliable way for businesses to measure their employees’ performance. For instance, regular reviews, communication and intervention means that employees know their hard work is being noticed on an on-going basis throughout the year, and poor performers have multiple opportunities to work on their weaknesses.

Secondly, it means that performance goals can be written properly, being flexible to accommodate for changes in the nature of the business, clients or the work that needs to be undertaken, rather than being fixed rigidly only to be unachieved or irrelevant. It also gives a strong feeling of collaboration between employees and their managers, as opposed to sense of being dictated to.

Finally, agile performance reinforces the idea that performance reviews are supposed to be about growth rather than delivery, resulting in happier, more fulfilled employees. Ultimately, agile performance management is about supportive leadership – something employees value in every business.

So, choose agile performance management methods over a traditional once-yearly review: you’ll be glad you did.

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