Managing and Coaching Performance Conversations - HighGround

Successfully Managing and Coaching Performance Conversations

For years, HR managers relied on a static formula for managing and coaching performance . Managers would sit down with employees once or twice a year to deliver one-sided, top-down feedback focused only on past performance, and offered no insights as to what employees could do to improve.

However, many HR departments today recognize that this approach to performance conversations is antiquated and delivers few benefits. In turn, HR leaders are seeking ways to transform performance management from backward-looking process to a collaborative, engaging and useful exercise.

The New State of Performance Management

Today’s employees and managers are driving a performance management revolution. According to a recent HighGround study, managers are phasing annual performance reviews out in favor of frequent, ongoing coaching conversations with 51 percent saying they hold check-ins with employees at least once a week,

Conversation frequency also leads to more effective discussions. Among managers who hold weekly conversations, 73 percent feel these check-ins help them better track employee progress, compared to 52 percent who hold check-ins on an annual or bi-annual basis.

Performance conversations should facilitate professional growth and development while contributing to a better overall workplace culture. By eliminating infrequent, rigid reviews, HR managers and supervisors help employees gain a more holistic view of their performance – and the steps they need to take to improve in the future.

Taking the Steps Toward More Meaningful Managing and Coaching Performance Conversations

A more strategic approach to managing and coaching performance helps enterprises move past outdated processes and leverage more forward-thinking strategies. Steps HR managers and supervisors can take include:

  • Setting up more frequent check-ins and performance conversations. It’s clear employees glean more value from frequent conversations than annual or bi-annual check-ins. HR managers and supervisors looking to improve annual review processes should work to determine how often to meet with employees to make conversations useful.
  • Encouraging employee-driven goal setting. Goals support a growth mindset and keep employees engaged. Companies should give employees the ability to set agile, attainable goals that align to meet both personal and organizational objectives. Establishing goals needs to be involved collaborative process where employees fully understand expectations.
  • Incorporating peer-to-peer feedback. Employees have come to resent coaching conversations because they often receive only top-down feedback. But organizations that open the door for peer-to-peer (P2P) feedback give employees a new perspective on their performance, allowing them to hear from people they work with the most. P2P feedback also gives employees something to look forward to in their check-ins, with roughly 33 percent admitting they’re excited for coaching conversations with a peer feedback element.

Performance Reviews That Yield Positive Results

HighGround helps you transition from annual, backward-looking performance reviews to real-time, development-focused conversations between employees, managers and peers. Leveraging key factors like employee goal setting, check-ins and real-time feedback, HighGround empowers organizations with the tools and data they need to foster more in-depth, meaningful coaching conversations.

Interested in a more in-depth look at managing and coaching performance conversations? Download our data study, “Beyond the Annual Review: The Transformative State of Performance Conversations,” to gain a closer look at the evolution of corporate performance management.