Employee development has come a long way. The days when managers used annual performance reviews as the foundation for performance management are over. Instead, managers and employees rely on frequent check-ins and coaching conversations to create a better performance management framework that improves engagement by helping employees achieve their goals.
Check-ins: The New Cornerstone of Employee Development
When it comes to employee development, managers and employees agree that a collaborative and frequent check-in approach is more effective than traditional annual performance reviews.
Changing attitudes toward performance management are the result of new understandings about employee engagement. In the past, engagement was viewed as the driver of improved performance. But it’s actually the other way around – employees are more engaged when they feel like they are performing to the best of their ability.
Frequent check-ins help employees improve performance by providing opportunities for continuous feedback. In today’s workplace, check-ins offer several important opportunities, including:
- Two-Way Feedback – Check-in conversations provide opportunities for two-way feedback between employees and managers. While employees have an opportunity to discuss their performance and goals, managers get an assessment of their leadership performance and the effectiveness of workplace processes.
- Agile Goal-Setting – Agile goal-setting is the hallmark of successful employee development, but it’s not possible in an annual performance review framework. Check-ins provide ideal opportunities for employees to adapt their goals to the changing needs of the organization, in conversation with their managers.
- Peer Feedback – Peer-to-peer (P2P) feedback can be useful for frequent check-ins. The insights of fellow employees provide managers a more complete perspective and help make continuous performance management a more integral part of the organization’s culture.
The frequency of check-in conversations varies based on the needs and preferences of employees. A recent HighGround performance management study, “Beyond the Annual Review: The Transformative State of Performance Conversations,” found that most managers (51%) hold weekly check-ins with employees, while others hold check-ins on a monthly or even daily basis.
The Role of Performance Management Tools in Employee Development
Performance management tools play a critical role in the employee development process. But it’s important to recognize that technology should never replace interactions between employees and managers. Instead, advanced performance management platforms provide the technological infrastructure to support continuous development.
HighGround’s study showed that both managers (78%) and employees (69%) overwhelmingly prefer in-person check-ins over written reports, email and other forms of electronic communication. The preference for face-to-face interaction doesn’t change significantly with age – roughly the same percentage of Millennial managers and employees prefer in-person check-ins as older generations of workers.
Rather than serving as a substitute for in-person check-ins, performance management technology provides a platform for agile goal-setting and equips managers with a more complete view of employee progress. Leading platforms also give HR teams the ability to capture employee feedback, peer assessments and other insights in real-time, creating a technological foundation for a continuous feedback culture.
Better Employee Development Begins With HighGround
HighGround is the leader in providing the necessary technology for companies to create high-performing, highly engaged cultures built on a continuous feedback approach. To learn more, contact us today and discover how our cloud-based performance management platform can revolutionize your organization’s approach to employee development.