“You could argue companies are not really companies any more, they’re networks of people,” according to Josh Bersin, Principal and Founder at Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and recognized HR thought leader. “The way we set goals, and manage, evaluate, compensate employees has to reflect the fact that we’re operating in a network of teams working on projects, not just job functions and roles.”

Recently, BetterWorks hosted a webinar with Bersin, where he offered unique perspective on today’s performance management leading practices, and how top companies are making changes to better support employees. You can listen to the full webinar recording here or read through seven key takeaways from the list we’ve put together:

  1. Organizational dysfunction keeps business leaders up at night. According to Bersin, one of the biggest things keeping people up at night is the belief their company is not organized correctly to succeed, compete and innovate. They fear they can’t iterate or move fast enough. This is driven by how disruptive business has become—many organizations lack the technology and leading practices to support their networks of employees.
  2. Outdated performance feedback processes are like “drive by shootings.” Bersin iterated how often he hears about mishaps of poor performance management processes. When reviews are only happening at the end of the year, they don’t make people feel good or inspire them to do more. As a pivot towards people-centric performance management begins, many leaders are revamping their goals and feedback processes to focus more on employees. 
  3. Be ok with trying new things. Bersin says we should design iteratively through continuous conversations with employees. Both GE and IBM, together representing almost a million employees, have redesigned their performance management process through hackathons, experiments, tests and iterative design. Get comfortable trying new things until you find one that works. Asking your employees for feedback is, ironically, a good place to start.
  4. Don’t think of performance management as an intervention. Just a few years ago, it took Deloitte employees over a million hours annually to participate in the company’s own performance management process. Organizations have to make things simple—performance management should enhance processes, not intervene and stop employees in their tracks. If performance management doesn’t improve performance, you have to stop and ask yourself why you’re doing it in the first place.
  5. Your leadership team should be focused on empowering managers and employees. The highest performing companies tend to have a leadership team that stays focused on helping employees get better and their jobs. They think about the people and invest in them. Philosophical conversations around what it will take to drive people performance forward, and what company values and systems should are powering your workforce, should be a regular occurrence.
  6. Employees who meet their goals typically make more money than those who don’t. With leading performance management practices, employees will regularly set and achieve goals, providing a much better way for managers to evaluate performance when it comes to rewards and compensation.
  7. Increase enterprise listening with goal data. Bersin named “enterprise listening” as a key component of the performance management evolution. Businesses that are leveraging data around goals and performance, and even pulse surveys, are able to make smarter decisions. Performance management of today is beginning to look much more like a goal setting and coaching process informed by continuous feedback than a once-a-year, top-down drive-by shooting.

On August 16th, Josh Bersin will join us for a second webinar, to discuss ways to move from traditional to transitional to leading performance management, and how employee development plays a major role. You can join us by registering for the webinar here.