Performance reviews for the Human Age

Millennials, globalisation, and the age of technology have significantly changed the workplace, and with it have forced a re-evaluation in the manner in which performance appraisals are conducted.

ManpowerGroup South Africa shares that many of the world’s largest businesses are moving away from using forced ranking and replacing them with approaches that include frequent check-ins, touch points, and coaching for employees.

ManpowerGroup South Africa’s managing director, Lyndy van den Barselaar, explains that career conversations can help employees nurture skill sets that align with their personal goals and those of the business, so everyone wins.

Forced ranking is defined as a controversial workforce management tool that uses intense yearly evaluations to identify a company's best and worst performing employees, using person-to-person comparisons. In theory, each ranking is expected to improve the quality of the workforce.

Accenture – one of the largest companies in the world – announced in 2015 that it was abandoning annual performance reviews for its 330 000 employees because the process was “too heavy and too costly” and produced “not great” outcomes. A growing number of major corporations, estimated at 6 percent of the Fortune 500, are now rejecting the traditional approach to performance management.

“Now more than ever, meaningful and ongoing career conversations are key to career success. When managers become skilled in conducting honest and open conversations with employees about their career development, employee engagement and productivity improve,” explains van den Barselaar.

As more corporations begin to reject traditional approaches to performance management, more leaders are having positive, meaningful conversations with employees to create an engaged workforce that commits to continual improvement, personal and organisational growth.

Talent Assessment in The Human Age

How and why did organisations decide to make this switch? The answer lies in the interplay among several dynamic forces: millennials, globalisation, the age of technology, and ever-evolving business needs.

ManpowerGroup research shows the dramatic effect these workforce trends are having in our ‘Human Age’ in which talent is the key economic differentiator. The shift from forced ranking towards a more inclusive approach fits well with the requirements of today’s talent-driven, technology-enabled, globalised world of business. Employees who are most in demand have more choice than ever, so treating them as valued team members is critical. Managing performance in the Human Age is complex.

How do you connect the model of on-going “employee conversations” with new business realities, while maintaining a culture of meritocracy? Past business models assumed loyal employees and customers, mastery of a business category, and predictable company capabilities. Today’s chaotic environment demands innovative thinking, agility and adaptability, and the potential to learn.

Organisations are trying hard to create a contemporary structure for performance management discussions that will develop high-performing employees. Using The P3 Model To Drive Career Conversations Right Management's report – Most Likely to Lead – provides organisations with a practical, relevant method to identify, develop, and scorecard the leaders of tomorrow.

The P3 Leader Model (People: Purpose: Performance) has been specifically designed to respond to today's uncertain and dynamic world of work. Organisations can use it to identify coachable capabilities within employees of all ages and tenures, as nurturing these capabilities within the workforce will accelerate the organisation’s ability to reach desired business outcomes.

Performance management questions based on the P3 model go beyond the usual, “So, how are you doing?” check-ins to create more meaningful, impactful conversations that stimulate thought and action.

Examples based on the model include: “Are you facing any situations where you’re wondering what the right thing is to do?”

“How can we connect the project you’re proposing to the mission and vision of the company?”

“Who can we tap in our global network to collaborate with you and ensure you reach the goal you’ve set?” Van den Barselaar concludes,

“In the Human Age, performance conversations have to be smart, meaningful and impactful.”

The P3 model, based on extensive research on the biggest challenges facing global business leaders today, can be a guide to retaining and engaging top talent.

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