PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT TRENDS OF 2019
2018 was another year of a major evolution in performance management and, as we predicted in our performance management trends of 2018 article, organisations across all business sectors have continued to move away from traditional annual appraisals, striving for a simpler, more effective performance management system that is ongoing throughout the year.
As we look towards 2019, we have highlighted five performance management trends that organisations will be focusing on over the next year, based on our discussions with industry analysts, HR leaders and academics, as well as our own customers.
Stress and anxiety are debilitating in the workplace and, unfortunately, these issues are a bigger problem than ever. One study found that a third of UK workerssuffer from anxiety, depression or stress. The same survey showed that 40% of employees have either taken time off work or asked for their workload to be reduced due to their mental health.
As Josh Bersin has stated, “Wellbeing is still a big part of HR. It’s not surprising that productivity is suffering when stress levels are high; employees feel overwhelmed and they’re getting less work done. We’re losing approximately £42 billion a year because of stress at work, much of which manifests itself in presenteeism.”
Detecting and addressing mental health issues early on is increasingly key when it comes to keeping employees performing at their best. Forward-thinking companies are waking up to the fact that mental health issues play a serious role in terms of performance and productivity — the issues of wellbeing and employee performance go hand in hand.
Not only are businesses starting to take this seriously, but employees now have expectations in this area and are becoming more vocal — we are holding businesses to account when it comes to wellbeing, and we expect them to put measures in place to promote healthy, clear minds.
As we approach a new decade, care for employee mental health and wellbeing will be one of the biggest performance management trends to watch out for, with employers putting programmes in place relating to financial wellness, mental health wellness, mindfulness and stress management.
This is a well established technique for sports professionals at the top of their game. I was recently at an event where the head of one of the British Olympic squads talked about how scheduling regular time to pause and reflect on feedback and recent performance had helped them achieve continual marginal gains that led them to win multiple Olympic gold medals.
One of the major criticisms of performance appraisals or performance reviews is that they are contrived and not authentic. They are too focused on box ticking and measuring annual objectives and competencies and don’t feel relevant to employees’ day-to-day work lives.
This is changing rapidly and the number one objective that HR professionals are now telling us they want to achieve for their performance management system is for managers and employees to have more meaningful conversations about performance and development.
Embedding a culture of regular, authentic performance conversations is easier said than done, however, we’ve worked with well over 100 organisations over the last two years who have managed to achieve this. From this experience we’ve learned that the most successful organisations have done 5 things:
However, as we move into 2019, analysts including Josh Bersin have predicted that we will see a new trend — the optimisation of productivity and performance, on both an individual and team basis. In other words, now that we have measured engagement, it is time to take action and improve it with the aim of making employees more productive.
AI is already having a big impact in recruitment and learning — there has been a significant innovation in tech within these areas. In 2019, attention will turn to AIwithin performance management.