Table of Contents
In the past year, business leaders had to learn how to manage a newly flexible, change-proof workforce. The key? A continuous performance management process- or, as we like to say, a “continuous employee success” process- that’s hands-on, dynamic, and drives employee engagement.
What is an employee success process?
Employee success is the way in which an organization identifies, measures, and supports employee, team, and organizational thriving, and aligns it with organizational goals and objectives.
In their article “Performance Management and Employee Engagement,” Alan Saks and Jamie Gruman state that a performance management process is the “Achilles’ heel” of a business. This process alone has the ability to either strengthen or weaken the state of employee effectiveness.
This means, if you compare your organization to a machine, your employee success practices are is the oil that keeps everything running smoothly. It’s an uninterrupted, consistent practice that includes goal-setting, evaluation, coaching, feedback and recognition.
Employee Success ensures your organization — and everyone in it — thrives.
Without a structured employee success system, day-to-day effort lacks meaning and productivity deteriorates. With it, people feel valued, engaged, and inspired to deliver their best work, day in and day out.
Why is the employee success process continuous?
Gallup reports that by prioritizing employee engagement, organizations can see 22% higher profitability. That’s why human resources professionals have been tasked with creating employee engagement strategies for decades.
And the key to continuous employee engagement? Continuous employee success practices. Here’s why:
1. With continuous employee success, feedback gets delivered in real-time — when it counts
When you give employees feedback on their efforts only annually or quarterly, your talking points by necessity have to cover actions and behaviors that are months old. At that point, it’s far too late for the person to effectively address any issues you raise. Instead, make employee success conversations continuous with regular weekly Sync-Ups for a more dynamic, effective process.
(Nervous about 1-on-1 Sync-Ups? Brush up with our Ultimate Guide to Effective 1-on-1s for Managers.)
2. Continuous employee success conversations removes the fear of the traditional annual review
“Carrying an issue without resolution is like carrying debt,” the Harvard Business Review says of difficult-but-important conversations. “The longer you wait, the more interest you’ll pay in anxiety and dread.” This is the same psychological function at play in performance review anxiety, which plagues employees at organizations of all sizes. When you make employee success practices continuous by having conversations year-round, you remove that sense of a looming, all-important conversation.
Learn more in our article:
How to Assess Your Performance Management Strategy
3. Continuous employee success is key to creating a culture of growth — aka a feedback culture
As we explain in our guide, How to Create a Feedback Culture, when you make continuous success-based conversations a way of life, feedback stops being scary. And when feedback stops being scary, the magic happens: It becomes easier to listen to. And, in turn, easier to give, receive, and grow from.
Technology has made it easier to make your employee success practices continuous. Processes that used to be complex and time consuming — like creating and distributing surveys, or documenting and tracking progress on goals, or recognizing and rewarding exemplary behavior — are now simple. By outsourcing data collection and analysis to technology, leaders are freed up to focus on their people’s needs.
Which is great for business. Read on to learn why.
Benefits of putting continuous employee performance conversations into practice
Let’s start with some numbers.
Gallup reports the cost of inadequate management (and concurrently, low productivity) in the U.S. costs between $960 billion and $1.2 trillion each year. But, when feedback is continuous and goals are well-developed and well-managed, high-performing teams experience an average of:
- 40% less employee turnover
- 37% reduction in absenteeism
- 48% fewer staff safety incidents
This translates into higher profitability (22%) and productivity (21%) for organizations of well-managed, high-performing teams than their counterparts.
Or, look at it another way: According to ATIIM, each disengaged person costs a typical U.S. company an average of $1,250 per year.
That’s quite an investment. Are you making the most of it?
We’ll show you how.
6 key parts of continuous employee success
1. Regular Sync-Ups
Ongoing employee success conversations are the heart of an effective review process. These are best implemented weekly or bi-weekly in the form of 1-to-1 Sync-Ups between an employee and their manager. The topic of conversation centers around the person’s well-being, project updates, and any barriers or needs the person is experiencing in regard to their work.
Built on a foundation of weekly or bi-weekly Sync-Ups, employee success conversations then become much more meaningful. In fact, people who receive real-time feedback, through consistent performance conversations, are more than 400% as likely to state that their evaluations led them to do better work and improve their skill set than those in workplaces lacking a feedback culture.
2. Quarterly Check-Ins
Performance reviews – or quarterly Check-Ins, serve as standardized evaluations of a person’s progress toward long-term goals and objectives, including working style, standards for success, workplace behavior, and areas of growth. As a result, success – based Check-Ins provide data for potential improvement or career growth to both employees and their managers.
By moving employee success appraisals from an annual to a quarterly (or even monthly) rotation, organizations are 1.5 times more likely to say these reviews actually reflect their people’s performance. That means no surprises at the end of the year, but a steady drip of coaching and celebrating wins.
Want to learn more? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Performance Reviews.
3. Recognition & Rewards
Just as important as reviewing employee effort and achievement is responding to it. When receiving feedback and recognition, 80% of employees say they feel motivated to do better work.
Fortunately, in this day and age, technology can help streamline the recognition element of employee success practices, too. By making it easy to give frequent recognition for the whole team to see, Recognition & Reward platforms like WorkTango create a culture of appreciation and a more connected, highly- successful workforce.
Learn more in our article: The Power of Recognition and Rewards.
4. Goal setting and tracking
The importance of goal setting dates back to 1968, when goal-setting leader Edward Locke explained its importance: over 90% of the time, setting measurable, aspirational goals leads to higher performance than setting easy-to-meet, ambiguous goals. If you’re reading this, you’re probably familiar with SMART goals and OKRs. But are you using them to your team’s advantage?
To make goals the driving force behind your employee engagement efforts, first ensure each and every team member’s goals are aligned with the organization’s. Then, fold goal management into each of the other elements of your continuous employee success practice.
Learn more in our guide: How to Use Conversations, Feedback and Recognition with OKRs and Goals.
Traditionally, feedback has been top-down. In other words, a leader or manager providing success-related feedback to someone who reports to them. However, that approach doesn’t provide a full picture of an organization’s well-being. All, leaders need feedback too.
With employee surveys, leaders from the front lines to the C-suite can see a snapshot of their team’s sentiments. Compare their individual strengths with other departments, as well as the organization at large, and identify where there’s room for improvement.
Learn more about giving feedback in our guide, Employee Feedback 101: Tips, Tricks, and Examples.
Traditionally, incentives cover a wide range of perks, benefits, and rewards. In the context of continuous employee success and an integrated rewards program, incentives are additional rewards given to people who take part in actions that positively impact your organization.
In the WorkTango platform, you can create custom Incentives, allowing people to earn points for performance and productivity behaviors like creating and completing goals, requesting feedback, participating in health and wellness activities, safety trainings, suggesting improvements for an old process, whatever your company deems a priority. It’s a way of celebrating the small wins to ensure the big wins keep coming. Or… even more oil for your well-oiled machine.
Learn more about our continuous employee success platform offerings:
What to look for in employee success technology
Ready to turn your employee success practices into a competitive advantage? Here’s how:
- Solution fit. Ensure the technology provider understands your unique needs, and is equipped to meet them.
- Innovative tools and resources. What does this software offer, and which features will most impact your team?
- Integrations and support. Don’t get caught with more problems than you had before. Make sure the platform you choose is easy to integrate with your existing technology, and comes with an excellent support system.
With cutting-edge technology, you’re ready to propel your workplace forward. With a strategic employee success management process, you can rest assured because you’ll be empowering advanced employee engagement, productivity, and business results for years to come.
Supporting employee success with WorkTango
We hope this article helped you understand the power that continuous employee success practices can have for your company. And if you like what you hear, maybe it’s time for us to talk.
At WorkTango, we’re revolutionizing how the world’s most forward-thinking companies engage and inspire their people. We offer the only holistic Employee Experience Platform built for the modern workplace that enables meaningful recognition and rewards, offers actionable insights through employee surveys, and supports alignment through goal setting and feedback.
WorkTango is built for the workplace we all want to be a part of – where priorities become clear, achievements are celebrated, and employees have a voice. To learn more, check out our platform overview video, or schedule a demo.