7 minute read – Last updated: January 28, 2020

Webinar Recap: How to Drive a Positive Employee Experience with Continuous Performance Management

Missed our webinar? Read our recap or watch the recording.

This week, our Director of Customer Success, Elizabeth Stewart, partnered with HR.com, to present a webinar titled: How to Drive a Positive Employee Experience with Continuous Performance Management.

We addressed three key ideas:

  • How to inspire people: Help employees walk out of performance conversations feeling challenged & motivated to achieve their goals.
  • How to involve employees: Learn what it means to facilitate performance reviews, and involve employees in creating the performance management process.
  • How to include everyone: Performance management should be designed to be inclusive, fair, or to promote belonging.

In short, this webinar covered performance management fundamentals that impact employee experience for every organization to learn from. If you’d like to read on or watch the full webinar recording here.

Inspire people to pursue meaningful work and connect to the company purpose

For decades, studies have claimed that employees expect more than a paycheque for their work. Without growth and meaningful work connected to a greater purpose, higher compensation doesn’t create a more positive employee experience. Today, this claim continues to hold true as Science for Work and other research institutions have found little to no correlation between job satisfaction and compensation.

Unfortunately, organizations may still be hindering the pursuit of meaningful work by attempting to connect employee growth and compensation in performance review conversations. So besides separating growth conversations and compensation talks, what can leaders do to inspire people to pursue meaningful work and connect with the organization’s purpose?

To start, incorporate more robust growth and development feedback mechanisms in your performance management system. This could mean having 1-on-1s with the intent of providing career support and discussing growth opportunities that are connected to tangible work.

Leaders can also support their people by encouraging them to set stretch goals that are linked to the purpose of the organization. This way, their day-to-day work is always connected to the big picture. For instance, aligning an individual project to the impact it could have on the company’s revenue goals helps connect tangible work to company impact.

Along the way, don’t forget to give feedback and recognize efforts in regular 1-on-1s to encourage development and inspire great work, respectively. 

Involve your people in building processes every step of the way to enhance ownership

When employees are involved in the feedback process to set goals or contribute to building a new performance management structure, it creates a greater sense of ownership in seeing through a successful outcome. Creating this sense of ownership is hugely important because owners feel involved, motivated and benefit from improved effort and results, while renters are passive. 

Unfortunately, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, only about one-third of employees feel like owners, the other two-thirds of employees are what we consider “renters”. That’s why it’s more important than ever to involve employees to create ownership, after all, you never see anyone wash a rental car.

While building employee ownership is an ongoing challenge, there are ways to build-in chances for employees to share their thoughts so they feel heard at every touchpoint. 

For instance, leaders can co-facilitate goal-setting to let people own their work and provide coaching for direction and strategic support. Doing so allows individuals to own their goals and choose stretch projects to showcase their abilities, which in turn enhances ownership and awareness over how success is measured. 

Another key component of individual ownership is feeling heard. 

One way to go about this is to have processes in place for employees to track progress on goals and projects and obtain feedback. For some organizations, this could mean having software in place to input goals and request feedback from peers as a single source of truth. When all performance data is being tracked and reviewed regularly in one place, employees will ultimately trust their involvement is seen/heard and experience greater autonomy.

Create fairness by leveraging transparency and reducing bias

The last key element to creating a positive employee experience is creating fairness in the workplace. This can be done by leveraging transparency so that employees are always included and aware of what is happening in the organization–no secrets. As the modern workplace evolves, more organizations are choosing to become more transparent and doing so by leveraging technology to make performance management activities more transparent to all employees. 

Such technologies could include data-driven performance reviews that pull employee inputted performance data and feedback throughout the year. In this way, employees experience the transparency of the process throughout the year and the structure helps enhance perceived fairness grow overtime. 

Once a structured review process is in place, there is still a need to ensure employees are being included regularly. It is up to the organization to decide on methods in which to mitigate core issues that include recency bias or untimely feedback from annual reviews that don’t capture real-time tangible results. In this context, organizations can consider facilitating semi-annual or quarterly reviews to suit their needs.

Kickstart 2020 with the best employee experience

Build a strong performance management process that inspires, involves and includes your people. 

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