At Betterworks, we believe that developing and nurturing a motivated workforce is one of the single most important things any organization can do to secure and maintain a competitive advantage. Despite this, fewer than one-third of employees report feeling engaged at work. There are many factors contributing to this extremely costly problem, but a primary offender is the outdated processes and technologies that most enterprises still rely on to manage employee performance and develop their workforce.

To provide forward-thinking HR and business leaders insights into the workforce performance management practices and trends that are so critical in today’s competitive environment, Betterworks recently conducted our second-annual State of Performance Management Survey.  We surveyed nearly 800 professionals in enterprises with 500+ employees, from both HR and people management roles, to find out what is (and isn’t) working with their performance management programs. Today, we’re proud to share the first report based on this research, which focuses on how more frequent conversations improve the business impact from performance reviews, and significantly reduce the challenges associated with outdated annual reviews.

“Effective performance management practices are necessary to achieve desired business outcomes, and this year’s Survey revealed continued and growing frustration with outdated, annual performance reviews that fail to deliver value to the organization,” said Doug Dennerline, the chief executive officer at Betterworks. “Today’s leaders are no longer questioning why they need to revamp these processes, but rather how to get started.”

The Survey found that both HR professionals and people managers agree that annual reviews are not delivering on critical business outcomes. Respondents identified the top problems with them as causing tension and anxiety for employees and managers, being too subjective, lacking quality feedback, and failing to actually improve employee performance.

The positive news is that the survey respondents who have adopted a Continuous Performance Management process reported significantly lower incidences of key challenges associated with annual reviews, such as:  

  • Reviews being too subjective — reduced by 34%
  • Reviews failing to improve performance — reduced by 32%
  • Managers not providing quality feedback — reduced by 39%
  • Review process doesn’t help retain top talent — reduced by 27%

The survey also found that HR leaders are increasingly turning toward technology to support their managers in having more frequent performance and development conversations, without creating undue administrative overhead.

  • 87% of HR leaders say that managers would benefit from technology that would help them solicit and manage feedback
  • 84% say that technology helps them have the relevant conversations they need to be having with their employees
  • 82% say that technology reminds managers to have relevant conversations about performance and development with employees on a regular basis

Over the coming months, Betterworks will release additional Survey findings organized around critical business objectives including helping HR improve managers’ performance, identifying opportunities for HR teams to make a larger impact on business leadership and revealing the most important elements for driving a culture of coaching and feedback. In addition to these resources, attendees of our Betterworks Motivate Days events will also gain exclusive access to additional insights, tools, and reports.Get your free copy of the first report from Betterworks’ 2018 State of Continuous Performance Management Survey for more insights around building a performance management process that actually works.