At the start of every engagement, each customer asks us to tell them the secret to successfully rolling-out their desired continuous performance management program. After helping to roll out hundreds of successful programs, we’ve identified the 3 most critical best practices for a successful roll out.

Walk Before You Run

A person new to running will first race a 5K before entering a marathon; and an organization rolling out their continuous performance management program for the first time also needs to practice and build the new muscles necessary for a successful, long-running program. Our most successful roll outs are paced, allowing time for the organization to fully adopt and engage with each component of the program over time.  

To secure the needed adoption, the program needs to feel intuitive and lightweight to your managers and teams. For instance, we recommend keeping it simple at the outset — in the first roll out, simply ask employees to enter their goals however they like — just to build the “muscle”. It’s most critical that they feel successful as they start the process, and over time you can help them to continuously improve how the goals are written.

Communicate Simply and Clearly

Keep communications about the program simple and clear. Be sure to include quotes from senior leaders and highlight ‘what’s in it for me’ for both managers and employees. In addition to written communications, you may also think about tactics such as monthly office hours or brown bag lunches. These can become a forum for you both to share updates with your stakeholders, and for them to provide feedback and input into the program design. Branding your performance management program can be a great way to generate needed engagement.

Leading from the Top

Executive sponsorship plays an important role in ensuring the initiative has the needed visibility and support and can be useful in addressing any roadblocks the program team may encounter. A good executive sponsor models the example that the other leaders in the organization should follow. This includes using the product themselves, incorporating into their regular communications both up and down the organization, and working with other key stakeholders needed for the long-term success of the program.  

Many executive sponsors chair a performance management steering committee that meets regularly to review progress and celebrate results.

Every BetterWorks customer has access to our online library of best practices and our collective expertise of every one of our customers. If it’s time for your organization to make the move to continuous performance management, I’d like to invite you to see a customized demo.