Step Up Your Game In 2022 With Agile Performance Management

agile-performance-management

Yearly performance reviews are losing their touch in the present market. Keeping pace with the ever-changing trends requires quick adoption of the newest trends and getting rid of the traditional, unhelpful practices.

With 71% of companies adopting Agile methodology, performance management has to be made ‘agile’ for it to work. The positive impact of implementing agile methodologies has pushed organizations to adopt agile performance management to embrace the full extent of Agile’s benefits.

An agile approach to performance management aims to optimize an organization’s work, helping it reach its full potential to reap profits.

While you may understand and acknowledge the plus points of the approach, your team might resist the change. Their concerns, regarding the approach, must be addressed and satisfactorily answered to make sure the transformation from traditional to agile approach is clean and sleek.

We are here to help you understand the difference between traditional and agile approaches to performance management, their benefits, and how to effectively implement them in the organization.

What Is Agile Performance Management?

This mode of performance management takes on a different approach to evaluating teams’ performance and their success. Instead of going for annual reviews, the approach relies on quarterly or monthly reviews to keep an eye on teams’ performance.

The word ‘Agile’ itself denotes flexibility and adaptability. Agile organizations practice a positive cycle of interaction between stakeholders, employees, and managers. The agile approach creates an environment where:

  • Managers freely coach and collaborate with their employees
  • Positive behaviors are acknowledged and appreciated
  • Good attitudes, actions, and values are publicly recognized
  • Harmonious relationships exist between all the parties

Agile management aims to transform the way organizations work by introducing better collaborative strategies, encouraging regular communication, and providing continuous feedback.

Although goals and aims are a significant part of the performance, the agile approach lays particular emphasis on how to reach those goals. It improves the process at every step of the way, increasing your chances of success.

Agile fills the gaps left unaddressed in traditional performance management, providing a more efficient method of evaluating and improving performance.

We will unpack the differences that separate the traditional approach of performance management in opposition to the Agile approach.

Traditional Performance Management Vs. Agile

agile-ve-traditional-performance

Here are a few pointers that will help you discern the major differences between both approaches:

1. Yearly Vs. Quarterly Reviews:

Traditional performance management limits reviews to once per year, while agile involves regular reviews every quarter or sometimes every month of the year. Year-end reviews, although beneficial to some extent, do not provide an opportunity for course corrections and improvements, which limits your chances of success.

2. Meetings And Check-Ins:

The traditional approach provides very few opportunities to effectively disseminate information and articulate goals set for the year. Usually, a meeting is scheduled at the start of the fiscal year to kick start the business year. The lack of interaction and communication during the year, however, results in gaps in performance which might ultimately lead to losses.

Agile, on the other hand, provides various opportunities for interaction, communication, and collaboration, allowing teams and individuals to stay updated and informed about the process at all times. The regular meetings and check-ins help monitor the performance and whatever issues are identified, they can be weeded out without influencing your progress.

3. Feedback:

Quick improvements in the business process can only be made if and when employees are offered timely feedback on their performance. Delayed feedbacks are not any better than no feedback at all, considering the time efficiency of the review.

If too much time passes between an employee’s action and the feedback, the review will not prove to be fruitful for them. The sudden review might also cost them their focus on the upcoming tasks, sidetracking their progress.

With half of the employees feeling that the review process takes too long, it is no news that performance reviews are becoming increasingly less meaningful.

Also, if feedbacks are held-back for year-end reviews and performance evaluations, then there will definitely be no improvements during the year.

The agile approach, in this aspect, proves to be very beneficial for the employees as well as the company. It encourages regular and timely feedback which can have a significant impact on how the employees work in the next month or the next quarter.

Performance improves regularly not yearly and that can change the game for you and your company.

4. Rigidity Vs. Flexibility:

Another difference that distinguishes one approach from the other is the rigidity of goals. Since traditional performance management sets yearly goals, it leaves no room for changing the goals. These goals might turn obsolete and irrelevant for the company by the time they are accomplished.

Agile, on the other hand, provides a lot of room for improvement by allowing you to adjust the goals according to the situation or the changing trends. It allows you to stay relevant and has a considerable effect on employees’ progress as well.

Now that you know how both the performance management techniques are different, let us evaluate the benefits you can harvest by employing the agile approach in your organization.

What Are the Benefits of Agile Performance Management?

Performance management using the agile approach offers a number of benefits for the employees, managers, and executives. Here are some of the most fruitful results you can obtain with agile:

  • Creates a harmonious workspace where all individuals can freely and openly interact with one another. Managers can coach employees on their shortcomings, in turn, employees can benefit from the feedback and improve their performance.
  • Encourages team building by allowing managers to have an eagle-eye view of the work in progress. Also, allows team members to stay updated and informed of the latest developments.
  • Allows companies to evaluate performance regularly. The feedback received can inform their decisions in the future and reduce the chances of losses or failures.

Research by Deloitte shows that companies with better collaboration and communication reap twice the profits than companies otherwise. Furthermore, companies with quarterly reviews generate 30% higher returns than companies with annual performance management systems. 

The statistics above are proof of Agile’s effectiveness and efficiency in the business world.

On to the big questions, how can you implement the Agile approach in your company?

Steps To Incorporate Agile Performance Management

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The agile approach in performance management is a team effort. It requires input from all individuals, be it the manager, employee, or executive. All the wheels of the organization work in collaboration to improve the flow of work and generate more profit.

Here are steps that can help you incorporate the Agile approach for performance management:

1. Agile Performance Management Tools

Performance management is a tedious process with regular check-ins, real-time interaction, and regular feedback.  The process can be tiresome for the managers as well as employees.

The best solution to this problem is Agile tools for performance management. There are a number of tools in the market that allow you to efficiently manage all the aspects of performance management with ease.

With an increasing number of organizations opting for remote and hybrid modes of working, performance management has raised questions as to how managers can effectively monitor employees’ performance in changing conditions.

Management tools, on the other hand, are the right answer to such questions. They not only allow organizations to keep an eye on employees’ performance but also help with the organization and management of data, internal communication, and meeting management.

2. Schedule Regular Check-Ins

Check-in is usually a one-to-one interaction between an employee and the manager with a particular agenda in mind. Regular check-ins are an effective way of keeping up with employees’ performance and making sure that they are on the right track.

With check-ins, managers can also coach their employees for better performance in the future and also motivate them to keep up their morale.

Since agile relies on quarterly or monthly feedback, managers can gather the data and evaluate their performance for the last quarter or month and then schedule a check-in. they can then offer constructive feedback that can benefit the employee and the company in the long run. The employee can also share any reservations or questions they might have regarding their work.

The two-way interaction will strengthen the relationship between both parties and provide more room for improvement.

3. Provide Necessary Training

Traditional performance management has a completely different outlook, which means if you want to transition into the agile approach, you will have to make significant changes in the way things are done in your organization.

Although the decision is yours, it does not mean that the people working under you will immediately adopt the approach and start implementing it right away. Managers, in particular, have to be trained in how to go about the process.

 Managers have to build an amicable relationship with their employees, one in which employees can openly share their ideas without the fear of getting rejected or judged. Moreover, they also have to be active listeners rather than ‘talkers’.

Once they realize the importance of their role and how to jiggle their way in it, they’ll be able to enhance the productivity and efficiency of their employees by manifolds.

4. Provide Regular Feedback

Regular feedback is at the heart of agile performance monitoring and evaluation. It is the most glaring difference that separates it from the traditional approach to performance management.

Timely feedback is beneficial for everyone in the company. For employees, it is an effective way of identifying the gaps in their performance. They can then evaluate the reasons for the dips in their performance and make adjustments wherever necessary.

Regular feedback can also improve and strengthen the relationship between the employees and the managers. Two-way feedback can help managers realize the drawbacks in the way they do things. As a result, both parties can enhance their performance.

5. Establish Clear Goals and Objectives

Setting clear goals and objectives at the very beginning allows you to efficiently measure your performance against these goals.

With every check-in, you can measure how far or near these goals you are. You can also analyze if you have sidetracked or are losing focus. You can then align your goals with that of the company and make sure that you are on the right track to success.

Also, make sure all the individuals have a firm understanding of the things expected of them. Their goals should align with those of the company.

The Time Is Now!

The world is advancing at a very fast pace, and you wouldn’t want to be left behind. If moving ahead and efficiently accomplishing your goals is your agenda, then it’s time you said goodbye to performance management approaches of the past and adopt the Agile approach for the best results.

Set the gears in motion because it is your time to shine. Best of luck!

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