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2020 Performance Management Report: How Do You Measure Up?

In a recent ATD webinar discussing the findings of their soon-to-be-released research report, Performance Management: Driving Organizational and Personal Growth, sponsored by Schoox, the performance management processes of 532 talent development professionals were captured and translated into insightful ways organizations can improve their performance management strategies.

Performance management encompasses many different facets—feedback, performance management training, evaluation frequency, how to address performance outcomes, and so on—but it begins with goal setting. How do other organizations approach goal setting? And which approaches are more successful than others? Here is a quick look at the key findings.

Most Common Metric Used to Evaluate Performance

Almost all the study respondents—94% of organizations—used performance goals to evaluate their workforce around topics that include completing tasks, projects, or other deliverables for which they were responsible as part of their role.

Individual(s) Most Likely to Provide Goal Setting Input

  • Managers (94%)
  • Employees themselves (62%)
  • Senior leadership (42%)
  • HR function (20%)
  • Talent development (8%)

Although only 8% of talent development professionals had input into setting goals, organizations that reported high levels of effectiveness in all areas of performance management were substantially more likely to include talent development in the goal-setting process.

Extent of Employee and Company Goal Alignment

The research study infers that it would be a good practice to align employees’ performance goals with overall business goals. The results indicated that having a strong alignment between the two was significantly linked to top-performing organizations. More than half of the organizations (59%) aligned employees’ goals with the overall organizational strategy to a high or very high extent, showing that this is a fairly common practice among them. Approximately one third (31%) of respondents align employee and organizational goals to a moderate extent, and only 9% aligned them to a small extent or not at all. 

It is important, however, to keep in mind that, depending on the complexity of your business, aligning workforce goals to corporate goals may not be easy, or even the right thing to do. For example, the performance goals of front-line staff may not make sense to align with very top-level corporate goals, in which case, being aligned with departmental goals can serve as a better option.

Other Methods Used to Evaluate Employee Performance

Performance goals may be the most common metric used to evaluate employee performance, but it is not the only metric. In fact, 79% of the organizations in the study measured their employees based on how they demonstrate certain traits or company values, for example, learning, collaboration, excellence, etc. Most respondents measured their staff based on their success in gaining new skills, knowledge, or qualifications, as well as successfully demonstrating proficiency in areas beyond their current level of expertise.

Key Takeaways

  • Consider having talent development provide input into setting employees’ goals
  • Build strong alignment between employees’ goals and organizational (or at least departmental) goals
  • Expand evaluation metrics to include employees’ qualities, values, knowledge, and skills 

For a more comprehensive look into the report findings, watch the free webcast, Highlights from ATD’s Performance Management Research.


Webcast: Highlights from ATD’s Performance Management Research Report

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