How to Modernize the Annual Performance Review

Current State

Most organizations believe their workforce is able to meet business objectives, with 87% of organizations indicating the ability is good, strong or elite. Nearly 60% indicate strong or elite ability to meet those objectives.



Half of organizations believe they are effective at improving individual and workforce performance in ways that improve business results. (Source: Enabling Elite Performance Study)

So, there’s room to grow. This is particularly important in high-performing cultures where the gap between good and great is likely narrow. Efforts to realize improvement must take on near-flawless impact to improve results in a meaningful way.










One of the reasons companies may be stuck is the continued use of long-standing measures of success that may not be reflective of the modern, digital-first, experience-based economy.

These approaches may not leave room to reflect the unstable nature of work in the 21st century and at the very least should be reviewed to ensure they are reflective of the current reality in the business.


Critical Questions

  • Is our performance management process more focused on the past or the future?
  • How can we make better use of data and technology in this effort?
  • How can we reduce the bias inherent in performance evaluations?
  • How can we be sure our leaders are having the right conversations with our workforce?
  • How can we get a better picture of an employee’s future value to the organization?


Brandon Hall Group POV

Let Go of the Past

The nature of work and expectations on the workforce are evolving daily. Therefore, your approach to performance management, performance support and development must also evolve. Turn your attention to clear expectations, measuring performance against those expectations as frequently as your business allows and agreeing together with your employees on what the expectations are for the next cycle. That cycle must be shorter than a year and be focused on skills and growth that are directly tied to the business metrics that the employee is responsible for. Conversations about future goals and roles should be rooted in employee desire first and organizational need second.

Leverage AI and Automation

To ensure the organization is moving forward in its workforce planning and development efforts, leveraging AI and automation tools is critical. Aggregating meaningful data from business operations and employee input and skills data against broader market intelligence is key to keeping a forward focus. AI can accomplish this in near real-time with the right tools and the right preparation.

Hold Performance Conversations Frequently

Trends in remote work and digital-first interactions are unlikely to reverse course. Therefore, leaders must talk to their people continuously about how they are performing, how they are feeling about their work and — most importantly — what they need to continue learning to ensure ongoing positive impact to business results. Investing in developing this skillset with leaders in a digital age, providing them with digital tools that support the actual conversation and holding them accountable for demonstrating the behavior are good places to start.

Drive Development

Integrating performance with future growth can be powerful. Providing the vision of this combination will engage and drive both employees and leaders alike. Encouraging ongoing feedback along with personalized interaction is the formula to follow. Ensure that feedback is collected from multiple sources who are positioned to provide relevant and meaningful information. Review both performance and development progress on a routine basis to ensure consistency.

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Matt Pittman



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Matt Pittman

Matt Pittman brings nearly 30 years of experience developing people and teams in a variety of settings and organizations. As an HR Practitioner, he has sat in nearly every seat including Learning and Leadership Development, Talent Management and Succession Planning, Talent Acquisition and as a Human Resources Business Partner. A significant part of those roles involved building out functions in organizations and driving large scale change efforts. As a Principal Analyst, Matt leverages this in-depth experience and expertise to provide clients and providers with breakthrough insights and ideas to drive their business forward.

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