5 Essential Performance Management Strategies

The widely predicted revolution in performance management, which was supposed to essentially eliminate the use of annual performance appraisals and rating scales, has not materialized.

Performance Management Infographic
Want a high-level overview of the changing performance-management landscape? Click the image above to download an exclusive KnowledgeGraphic® to see the changes and assess how your company compares to our respondents. Download Performance Management 2018: Training, Teams, Technology, Transparency.

Instead, a majority of organizations are moving to frequent performance conversations and coaching to supplement formal appraisals, according to Brandon Hall Group’s 2018 Performance-Management Study.
In reviewing and analyzing the research data, we discovered five key strategies to make the performance-management evolution successful and become a contributor to business growth.

In this blog, we outline the Five Essentials of Effective Performance Management , but you can purchase the  full research summary in our store, which also includes exclusive insights and strategies to move forward with optimum performance management in your organization.

  • ESSENTIAL #1: Take Steps to Align Performance Management with Business Objectives. This may seem obvious, but only 35% of organizations said their performance management process is aligned with their organization’s business objectives.
  • ESSENTIAL #2: Ensure Managers Are Equipped to Succeed in The New Era of Continuous Performance Conversations and Coaching. The main driver of change in performance management is providing more feedback to employees so they can continue to develop skills and improve their performance. In the traditional system of annual appraisals with scant interim reviews, managers had little incentive to provide that feedback. But managers cannot be expected to magically become better coaches and mentors or have effective performance conversations simply because the new performance-management paradigm requires it.
  • ESSENTIAL #3: Fully Leverage Performance Management Technology. As performance management evolves, it is almost impossible to do it well without technology. The amount of data, analysis and instantaneous communications required to connect employees with each other and their managers simply cannot be done manually. All talent-management platforms either have a performance management module or the ability to integrate with dedicated performance-management software.
  • ESSENTIAL #4: Expand Performance Management to Teams and Hold Individuals Accountable for their Performance in Teams. Team-focused performance management is the next plateau in PM evolution. As organizations become flatter, more dispersed and more collaborative, cross-functional teams are increasingly used to complete projects and initiatives that transcend departments and geographies. Team performance must be evaluated along with individual contributions within those teams. Furthermore, individual team members should be accountable for their performance within teams.
  • ESSENTIAL #5: Continue to Evolve Your Performance-Management Approach Through Employee Feedback and Measurement. Many organizations clearly perceive a need to revamp their PM processes, otherwise we would not see the large-scale changes taking place. Overall, less than half of these organizations are gathering opinions and ideas from their employees on exactly what must be improved. The percentages are significantly better, however, among high-performance organizations and those in which performance-management and business objectives are aligned. These organizations understand the importance of feedback as a driver of continuous improvement and found a way to make it happen.

If you couldn’t check off all five boxes, contact [email protected]. We will set you up with a complimentary Brandon Hall Group Member Center trial. You’ll have unlimited access to more research assets — as well as advisory time with the analyst who wrote this report to go through some top strategies of high performing organizations.

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Mike Cooke



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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.