Agile Performance Management

Agile Performance Management (APM) is Replacing Traditional Performance Management: Here’s Why.

Company performance is a CEO problem — not HR’s.

6 Reasons why Traditional Performance Management is getting ripped and replaced.

  1. Agile Performance Management There is a higher priority on the evaluation rather than the actual growth and development of the team member.
  1. Feedback on performance is forgettable and too far between sessions. Managers can’t remember what they agreed upon in their 1:1 last week let alone the quarterly, semi-annual, or annual traditional performance review.
  1. Unless in sales, forced distribution rankings are incredibly subjective — particularly if you’re only giving feedback quarterly at best. This leaves “horn” and “halo” effects when ranking an employee.
  1. There are better uses of time in order to show tangible benefits for each employee.
  1. Antiquated, clunky (not user friendly) and silo-ed systems are a forced process on the manager. This prevents any sort of adoption because of all the different silos.
  1. Doesn’t work. The intent of traditional performance reviews are to support performance, employee engagement, and enhance retention. It fails in all of these.

Read More: 4 Reasons Why Traditional Performance Management is Still Adopted


“The bottom line is that you don’t need to do every part of Agile Performance Management, nor do you need to do it all at once” – Carl Rhodes, HCI Chief Executive Officer

To start looking at implementing an Agile Performance Management strategy, a professional needs to look at 6 key areas.

Agile performance management

1) Effective, continuous feedback: by far and away the most important element of APM. If this doesn’t happen, everything else crumbles. Communication is the key to any healthy relationship. The relationships between your managers and their direct reports are the life blood of your company’s success. Managers must communicate regularly and individually with their direct reports frequently in order to most importantly build a quality relationship but also evaluate goals, manage performance, and develop the necessary skills to succeed.

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2) Agile Goal Setting:  markets, companies, and teams move faster than quarterly or bi-annual progress reports. Managers who leverage consistent, effective feedback will maintain realistic and challenging goals that have expectations of shifting around. Mutually defined goals inspired from the direct report’s ambition and the manager’s performance expectations are the two sides of tightly sewn stitch.

3) Coaching for Performance: Questions including “How am I doing?” and “What can I be doing to do a better job?” should always be clear. Effective, continuous feedback around performance conversations provide a clear playing field, level-set expectations, and rarely leave any rancorous surprises. Framing conversations around the direct report’s performance puts their best interest first — which lead to the company’s best interest.

4) Skill-based development: one of the key drivers of retention is mastery. Having a structure for managers to easily identify and chart development around transferable skills. Skill-based development is a mixture of company required skills to advance, mixed with long-term career skills reflecting the larger vision of the direct report. Every great professional knows their strengths and weaknesses.

5) Social Recognition and Rewards: When providing clear and meaningful recognition and rewards, motivation picks up significantly.

6) Seamless Integration into Existing Workflows + Applications: Agile Performance Management is about empowering the manager, not burdening them. It’s the job of HR and the manager to map their Agile Performance Management strategy into the existing workflow of solutions necessary and already purchased to get the job done.

These 6 elements of Agile Performance Management are the back bone of a successful Agile Performance Management strategy. Run with them!

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