Unveiling the HighGround Performance Management Data Study - HighGround

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Unveiling the HighGround Performance Management Data Study

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New strategies to improve employee performance and engagement are evolving just as quickly as they are being discovered. The reality is that there is no is “silver bullet” for every organization or even every manager. The most successful companies keep their organizational culture front and center and implement processes that complement it.

One of the process transformations with the widest appeal is moving from annual performance reviews to frequent performance conversations. In fact, we recently shared how companies like Goldman Sachs, Patagonia, Gap and Adobe have all made ongoing coaching conversations the centerpiece of their new approaches to employee development.

We knew that employees and managers have different preferences and mindsets when it comes to performance-related conversations. To help understand these differences and commonalities, HighGround recently conducted a survey meant to take the pulse of current feelings around performance conversations.

After more than 1,000 responses were collected and analyzed, we’re happy to present you with our findings in the full report, Beyond the Annual Review: The Transformative State of Performance Conversations.

Want a sneak peek? Here are seven things we learned from the survey findings.

Performance conversations…

Are frequent.

Just over half of managers hold at least weekly check-ins. And age makes a difference. Of those managers, almost 60% are Millennials compared to only 39% Baby Boomers.

Are focused on development.

The majority of development discussions address employees’ personal performance goals (70 percent), followed closely by questions and performance issues.

Aren’t always two-way.

Only 43% of managers use these meetings to ask, “How can I be a better manager to you?”

Are helpful for managers.

Among those holding at least weekly conversations, three out of four managers feel they help them better track their employees’ progress. Only half of managers feel that way about annual reviews.

Are short.

One-third of conversations are between five and 10 minutes. And 83% are less than 30 minutes.

Aren’t nerve-wrecking.

Half of employees say they feel neutral in the lead-up to a performance conversation. Maybe because these conversations are happening more frequently, employees are feeling less dread beforehand?

Are best done in person.

In fact, 78% of managers and 69% of employees prefer it. And, in this case, the person’s age doesn’t affect their preferences, as both Millennials and Baby Boomers choose this communication avenue equally.

Find out more about performance conversations, the preferences of Millennials and the strategies around goals in our newest report, Beyond the Annual Review: The Transformative State of Performance Conversations .