Productivity

Performance Management Trends that will Shape Your Team in 2021

Avatar of Natasha Palance Natasha Palance | Aug 30, 2020
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The future is closer than it seems. Emerging trends in performance management systems are transforming the way organizations manage employee efficiency. Take a look at how you and your team can stay ahead of the curve in performance management.

Without a talented and dedicated team, any business is merely a great idea. While this seems obvious, traditional ways of focusing on employee performance don't always stimulate growth and productivity in the ways that you would hope. Recent developments in this area, particularly in a post-COVID world, have illuminated new ways of ensuring success in your overall employee performance management.

Team work at smart desk

While the traditional appraisal process is not necessarily a thing of the past, performance management systems are ​undergoing major revisions​. Many organizations are using the term ‘performance management’ to describe a newly emerging work system replacement that improves functionality--even for remote teams. 

There is no longer a need for performance appraisals, employee reviews, or employee evaluations. With new performance management system metrics and techniques, the future of work accountability is being transformed.

The new world of work is here and it’s shaping the professional world in many ways. Read on to let these emerging trends guide you towards the new, modern professional world. While these trends cannot guarantee success, they can provide a fresh perspective to help you move forward. It’ll pay off to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate future advancements.

What is a performance management system?

People standing at smart desk

Performance management is the process of cultivating a work environment in which your team is enabled to perform to the best of their abilities. It is a broad-based work system that begins when the need for a job is recognized and ends when the employee that fulfills this role leaves your organization. The system encompasses all interactions with your employees and allows each interaction to serve as an opportunity for learning and operational improvement.

With an efficient performance management system in place at your organization, you can simultaneously reinforce desired behaviors and manage the performance of your employees with ease. Refining and redirecting your attention can make all the difference.

Emerging trends in performance management

Performance Management Trends

Performance programs include everything from feedback cycles and engagement surveys to performance reviews. As technology and careers continue to evolve, new techniques are being introduced to ensure efficiency.

The frequency of feedback is being increased. Employees have shown to be ​higher performers when working within an environment where they can check-in more regularly with higher-ups. Employees find that more frequent feedback not only helps them improve performance but makes them more eager to continue to do so. 

Performance coaching is another trend that is gaining popularity. Something as simple as a name change from "evaluation" to "coaching" can shift the focus from being concerned about reviews to finding ways to improve efficiency.

While annual performance reviews will lose their importance, the need for ​Inspiration and motivation performance is critical for sustainable improvements. Trends find that there is a clear positive correlation between higher levels of motivation and timely feedback. 

That is why many companies are opting to eliminate performance reviews and replace them with effective continuous feedback systems. Online communication systems like Weekdone provide employees with weekly insight on their performance.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and algorithms are also entering the picture to make performance review data more meaningful. While AI might seem impersonal and counterintuitive, technology allows you as an employer to have greater insights into your employees. 

A sound algorithm can tell you a great deal about employee work habits without being intrusive or invading privacy. It will also improve the quality and collection efficiency of performance data. Moreover, ​up to 37% of businesses have implemented AI in some form. 

Amazon, for example, has ​more than 200,000 robots working in warehouses. A McKinsey Global Institute ​study anticipates that up to 70% of businesses will have adopted at least one form of AI technology by 2030. This will mean significant changes to everything from international affairs to cybersecurity. Therefore, it’s important to start implementing AI technology in strategic ways.

As the workplace evolves into the digital world, automation will take precedence in managerial tasks. The number of managers could drastically decrease as companies opt for digital replacements for what was previously considered managerial tasks. This digital trend may prove the same for departments that handle databases and financial-related work. Many HR tasks and processes have already begun to switch to utilizing their technological counterparts.

Teams should also anticipate a huge shift in demographic trends. As more millennials enter the workforce, companies need to adapt to anticipated generational differences. According to ​the Pew Research Center and the ​U.S. Census Bureau​, millennials are the nation’s largest adult generation. ​

Soon, millennials will become the largest percentage of the U.S. workforce—meaning more millennials will be within leadership positions. This also means changes including that of physical spaces, such as experimental offices and collaborative floor plans, greater emphasis on a healthy work-life balance, as well as the incorporation of flexible hours and workplace wellness initiatives.

A looming generational shift

On top of this cultural shift, the country’s youngest generation, Gen Z, will be taking over the workforce. Gen Z is an ​estimated 27% of the U.S. population​, and are considered to be more open-minded, transformative, and influential than millennials. As the most diverse generation to date, the Gen Z population is anticipated to ​grow larger than the millennial population. Even this past year, Gen Z-relative workplace trends have begun to accumulate. 

There has been a greater emphasis on employee experience for many companies, where practices and work processes are refined to suit the needs of their employees. Unlike previous generations, Gen Z professionals look for compensations in addition to a range of employee benefits to stay loyal to a company. Therefore, it is estimated that a greater emphasis will be placed on the employee experience in the next decade.

Team work

As teams continue to adapt to the continuously unfolding COVID19 situation, a new trend is emerging where a greater emphasis is placed on real-time feedback. Navigating new remote teams has been a huge adjustment for many. In response, personalized interactions have become a top priority. It can be challenging to provide feedback remotely, so many companies are taking proactive steps to ensure that the right message is communicated.

With a greater emphasis on clarity and face-to-face screentime, teams are opting to speak by phone or video conferencing to personalize their feedback and reduce the chances of miscommunication.

Conclusion

In the face of a global crisis, communication is more important than ever. To mitigate any loss in productivity, it’s essential to integrate the right assessment tools and communication methods to ensure sustainable success for your team. 

Performance management trends indicate that the future of workplace communication will focus on empowerment and meaningful interactions. And, the benefits of these emerging trends will prove to be expansive as the country shifts in response to the pandemic.


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WRITTEN BYNatasha Palance

A NY-based journalist with an MA in International Affairs. Has worked with global brands and nonprofits, as well as UNESCO-accredited NGOs.

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