Traditional Performance Management is under siege by the burgeoning and dynamic field of Agile Performance Management (APM). The most advanced, yet industry accepted evolution of Performance Management is generating a groundswell of content and buzz ranging from industry leaders to innovative, progress practitioners.

The need for more data on ineffective Traditional Performance Management practices and results is superfluous. Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends to the plethora of studies and surveys from certified Human Resource organizations have proven time and time again the status quo is ineffective and the new Agile Performance Management movement is replacing antiquated methodologies.

In an airport-bar-and-martini type of conversation, Agile Performance Management is what Performance Management should be.

Traditional Performance Management should be a good use of time.

Employees (and the company) should know how they’re developing.

Feedback should be continuous.

Proactive note taking should provide documented examples of the good and the bad.

Employee engagement and retention should be high.

Goals should be clear, attainable and frequently evaluated.

All of this should map flawlessly into the existing workflow of the manager.

This is what Performance Management should be!

But it is not…

Then Why is Traditional Performance Management Still Adopted?

Data point after data point and study after study prove we are wasting time, energy, and resources on an ineffective management mandate, yet companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless company hours implementing and executing an ineffective process.  

  1. It’s what has always been done. Traditional performance management dates back to the late 1800’s. The beginning of the industrialized revolution viewed employees more like laborers (think of the game “Lemmings.”) Performance, back then, could be accurately measured by the employee output. For example, hours worked, number of goods produced, etc.
  1. “We have to have something” For all the practitioners out there who are leading the company’s performance management initiatives, many view it as mandate from the CEO to have something in place. Having something in place is better than having nothing.
  1. Few (good) alternatives exist that “check the box.” It’s true. If Performance Management is required and the CEO is mandating it, then something needs to be purchased. However, once an HR practitioner purchases an ineffective Traditional Performance Management system, the hard work has just begun. Getting department buy-in, rolling out across the company, and gaining product adoption is a full time job.
  1. “It’s definitely a priority, but we need to get these initiatives done first.” Deep down in the soul of many HR practitioners, Performance Management is a fun, proactive part of the their role. However, making sure the company doesn’t get sued, or that hiring is up to speed, or that everyone gets paid and has the appropriate benefits just takes priority.

It takes a courageous and innovative leader to combat these reasons for maintaining the status quo.

WideAngle is the leading Agile Performance Management Platform used by hundreds of companies to increase development and productivity across divisions, companies, and management.