4 Steps to Address Challenges to Continuous Performance Conversations | Gartner

Talent Management

One tenet of modern performance management (PM) is that PM conversations between managers and employees should be ongoing and frequent. And while most subscribe to this philosophy, barriers can prevent and/or reduce the likelihood of these conversations from happening. These obstacles range from lack of time, employees not seeing the value in them, and previous negative experiences. This article shares four key steps to ensure employees get valuable performance feedback from the right sources at the right time. They include: 1) Establish the Value of Performance Conversations by Setting Coaching Expectations. 2) Support Psychological Safety to Mitigate the Risks of Feedback. 3) Connect Employees to Other Sources of Feedback. 4) Give Employees Guidance in Seeking Feedback. Regarding creating psychological safety, page 20 includes one practice SABIC uses with its employees. “SABIC equips employees and managers to discuss topics that may be perceived as risky — such as career goals, performance feedback, wellbeing and development — by building those topics into the performance management system.” The system has a dropdown list of topics employees can select from to build the agenda for the conversation (see Figure 2). The dropdown options were employee-sourced, and their inclusion in the platform reinforces to employees that topics such as wellbeing are normal and open for discussion during performance conversations. The information also gives the manager insights into what the employee wants to discuss, enabling the manager to prepare and improve the discussion’s quality. The author provides other tactics to overcome the four barriers to continuous performance discussions.