Top Priorities in Improving Performance Management

Brandon Hall Group™ research shows that the top priorities in improving performance management over the next two years include:

  • Frequency and quality of manager-employee check-ins
  • Linking competencies and skills to the performance management process
  • Goal setting
  • Building a performance culture that extends beyond individuals to all types of teams

Traditional Performance Assessments

Traditional performance assessments are often based on just a few milestones or specific projects that are not necessarily reflective of overall performance or potential. An employee’s performance is dynamic. There are highs and lows, and strengths and development areas that must be addressed regularly during check-ins, feedback and coaching sessions. Performance management technology can facilitate many aspects of performance management, but only 34% of organizations see it as helpful or very helpful, according to our research. This means their technology needs an upgrade or they are not fully using the capabilities.

To transform performance management into a process with real business impact, organizations should consider:

  • How can we better link performance management with team objectives, business goals, employee career growth, succession planning and learning opportunities?
  • How can we reduce the bias inherent in performance evaluations, so accuracy and value improve?
  • How can technology be better leveraged to improve the business value of performance management and development?

Betterworks as the Answer

Performance management has been a drain on organizations for decades. There have been countless theories and strategies to transform it, but the real problem has always been that managers have been asked to do too much with too little. Betterworks has many strengths, but its biggest differentiator is giving managers the tools they need to collaborate with employees in ways that drive performance, engagement and business results.

The key to Betterworks’ success is understanding that managers must be effective before they can help their team members be more effective. The platform provides managers with scalable, contextual support and guidance through tips, templates and metrics to enhance coaching, build high-performing teams, identify biases, integrate learning and empower managers to excel in developing talent and driving performance.

Use of AI

Betterworks understands — better than most employers do — that managers often are overwhelmed. Many oversee teams of 10 or more employees, making it hard to give them meaningful feedback and coaching. Betterworks works with fast-growing companies, with managers being hired and promoted at a rapid pace, usually without the training and support they need. Therefore, a good portion of Betterworks’ considerable investment in AI has focused on how to help managers do better.

The company is finalizing the launch of generative AI tools to help managers save time and write more actionable and less biased feedback. The tools, which can be automatically promoted on screen, will help managers ask the right questions, set the right goals and much more. There is a detailed GenAI roadmap that is focused on specific design principles and ample beta testing. Many more innovations will be coming in the months ahead.

Performance Enablement in the Flow of Work

Another big differentiator: Customers can leverage the performance enablement functionality within their daily workflow through solutions such as Gmail, Slack and Teams. This is critical. Performance enablement can become part of the daily routine, rather than a separate process that is often seen as pulling managers and employees away from their work. This drives frequent use of the solution and the interactions feed into Betterworks’ analytics and AI functions.

The analytics have been greatly enhanced by Betterworks’ partnership with leading people analytics provider Visier. The company’s analytics engine unlocks insights from the great data Betterworks generates around goals, conversations, feedback, calibrations and reviews, enabling a new offering called Betterworks Advanced Analytics.

While Betterworks featured pretty good operational metrics before, it now can answer more strategic questions — the kind the C-Suite needs. For example: Do we have the best performers working on our most important initiatives? Are there correlations between the frequency of performance conversations or goal revisions and performance?

Exceeding Capabilities of HCM Suites

We also like Betterworks’ approach to the market. They primarily target progressive, rapidly expanding companies seeking a more advanced and agile performance enablement solution. Many of these enterprises initially explore the capability of their HCM suite to handle performance management needs. However, they often encounter limitations such as subpar user experiences, low adoption rates and challenges in customizing the platform to align with their unique performance management processes Several of Betterworks’ new customers are actually taking performance data from Betterworks and feeding it into their big suite to fuel their compensation management.

Not to be overlooked among all the other innovations is the integration with Udemy and LinkedIn Learning, which allows goals and coaching conversations to be linked to specific learning opportunities.

The bottom line: Betterworks enables progressive organizations to transform a fundamentally flawed process into a strategic asset within the flow of work. If you truly want to enable and develop performance, give this solution serious consideration.

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Claude Werder



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Claude Werder

Claude J. Werder Senior Vice President and Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group Claude Werder runs Brandon Hall Group’s Talent Management, Leadership Development and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) practices. His specific areas of focus include how organizations must transform culturally and strategically to meet the needs of the emerging workforce and workplace. Claude develops insights and solutions on employee experience, leadership, coaching, talent development, assessments, culture, DE&I, and other topics to help members and clients make talent development a competitive business advantage now and in the evolving future of work. Before joining Brandon Hall Group in 2012, Claude was an HR consultant and also spent more than 25 years as an executive and people leader for media and news organizations. This included a decade as the producer of the HR Technology Conference and Expo. He helped transform it from a small event to the world’s largest HR technology conference. Claude is a judge for the global Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards and Excellence in Technology Awards, contributes to the company’s HCM certification programs, and produces the firm’s annual HCM Excellence Conference. He is also a certified executive and leadership coach. He lives in Boynton Beach, FL.