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Performance management

Betterworks Research Highlights the Need for Performance Management Focus

Adoption of These Technology Types Accelerates as Companies Strive to Link Purpose, Goals, and Strategy

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The technologies that support employee experience are wide-ranging and in various stages of adoption as companies sort out their strategies for attracting and retaining employees. Managing employees’ goals and performance is a factor that is growing in importance as people seek to connect employee purpose and goals to strategy.

According to research recently conducted by Betterworks, a provider of performance management and employee engagement solutions, many employees have a high level of frustration about their careers and development, and 46% of employees say they are looking or plan to look for new jobs in the next year. Some of this is tied to inadequate performance and feedback processes. More specifically:

  • Less than half of employees surveyed said they discuss career and growth with managers more than once a quarter.
  • Two-thirds of employees say they do not get 1:1 check-ins with a direct manager to get feedback and coaching on work and progress toward goals more than twice a year. One in 10 employees say they rarely or never receive this kind of feedback.
  • Six in 10 employees said they lack a helpful tool to document career aspirations and determine the skills needed to reach them.
  • Only 20% of managers who use feedback and goal setting in the same software they use for payroll and benefits say that a such broad solution is able to always meet the needs of their team. Similarly, only 16% believe their human capital management (HCM) system is always capable of supporting employee feedback and goal management.

Dash Research caught up with members of the Betterworks team to get a deeper view into the research, and their take on the growing importance of performance management. Harini Sridaran, Head of Product Marketing, shared that the strategy of implementing continuous performance programs has been around for quite some time, but it has been growing in adoption as companies seek to provide their employees with a clearer sense of purpose. Says Sridaran, “The move away from legacy performance management tools and processes, towards something that is more lightweight, ongoing, and focused on professional and personal growth is shifting the mindset of feedback from being a somewhat punitive interaction to one that is supporting employees in reaching their goals and career growth. Employees who have agency and purpose will be more engaged and satisfied with their work environment.”  

Performance management is accelerating quickly away from the one-and-done approach, and the global pandemic has given a bump to the adoption of these continuous feedback solutions. The shift to remote and hybrid work arrangements has made it even more challenging for employees to feel aligned to company culture and goals. Betterworks’ solutions focus on helping to provide continuous feedback, ongoing conversations, and recognition.

“Employee engagement is the overall outcome we are hoping our customers can achieve with our solutions. Helping employees to feel motivated and aligned to their company’s objectives. But we also want it to be easy – our solutions allow employees to update goals right in the workflow that they already have,” says Sridaran.

Betterworks shared a case study involving digital infrastructure provider Vertiv. When the company spun off from Emerson, as is often the case when transitions such as these happen, there were challenges aligning employee goals to company strategy. A lack of shared vision and culture resulted in low employee morale and a poor employee net promoter score (eNPS). Vertiv had no effective performance management solution in place. Betterworks was implemented and was able to be localized across 20+ countries and languages. Vertiv launched 40+ guides to support conversations and performance enablement, which resulted in more than 95% adoption in the performance management program. Other Betterworks customers of note include Intuit, Rivian, University of Phoenix, and Colgate-Palmolive.

Neither Sridaran nor Betterworks CMO John Schneider feel that this is a temporary “bubble” in performance management interest. Says Schneider, “There has been such tremendous change in how employers are working with employees, and what the relationship looks like between employee-employer has permanently evolved. And this will not just be the large companies of the world, it’s going to be the mainstream market.”

Schneider pointed out that managers have been asked to do a lot lately and the traditional manager role is transforming into a being coach. Add to that the fact that people are hybrid, and teams are being formed and dismantled quickly. Managers must be more agile and if given tools to do check-ins more easily and often with employees and in a more meaningful way, both managers and their employees will be set up success and more importantly, deeper engagement.

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