What is Continuous Performance Management and how do Organisations Benefit from it?

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min read
April 22, 2024
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The dreaded annual appraisal is good for no one. Managers and employees scrabble around looking for evidence to support statements about things that took place months ago, resulting in a conversation that’s no more than a look in the rear- view mirror. But what’s the alternative? Continuous performance management could be the answer you’re looking for. In this article we explain the concept and how performance management software can support a new approach to ongoing performance management.

What is continuous performance management?

Continuous performance management is a people-centric approach to making sure employees, managers and the organisation get the best from each other. It brings timeliness, agility and flexibility to what has in the past, been a rigid annual formality.

It involves regular check-ins as well as the giving and receiving of feedback on a constant basis. The ongoing monitoring of performance is much better suited to today’s fast-moving and ever-evolving business models. It enables employees to take more ownership of their own development and it allows for quick course corrections.

Why instil a continuous performance management culture?

In a culture where ongoing performance management is embedded, employees feel comfortable giving and receiving constructive feedback in real-time. Transitioning to a culture where this is the norm requires change on a wider scale where employees feel a sense of belonging and psychological safety; one in which performance is a key element of the shared ownership of success.

Companies that embrace this philosophy experience benefits:  

  • A more forward-looking approach to performance that encompasses ambitions, aspirations and plans rather than looking in the rear-view mirror.
  • Quicker course corrections and therefore more frequent opportunities for learning and putting into practice new approaches and skills.
  • More open and effective communication between colleagues at all levels which boosts productivity.
  • Better organisational alignment since employees and managers have the opportunity to constantly review personal and organisational goals in tandem.
  • Continuous improvement across individual, team and organisational performance thanks to the ongoing conversation. Research by Gallup shows that the more often an employee receives feedback, the more engaged they are.

What holds companies back from a continuous performance management approach?

There can be hurdles to adopting a continual, holistic process to performance management, namely systems and manager training. In organisations with clunky legacy systems, it can be difficult to manipulate them to allow for more regular check-ins and feedback. New performance management software may be needed to support the transition.

The training of line managers is just as important as the technology used to underpin the process. Research shows that 82% of newly recruited managers are accidental managers who took up their positions with no formal management or leadership training. These managers in particular will need training and support to adopt a new approach to performance management. As a start, Appraisd has a free library of check-in and continuous feedback performance management templates.


What is the role of per­for­mance man­age­ment software?

Performance management software, such as Appraisd, can underpin the ongoing monitoring of performance organisation-wide. Software can support your HR team, managers and employees by:

  • Prompting and scheduling managers and team members to have regular conversations.
  • Preparing managers to have coaching conversations that focus on future development and aspirations.
  • Providing the structure for 360 feedback to identify areas for improvement from colleagues at all levels at timely, regular intervals.
  • Enabling the setting of clear objectives and goals that can form the basis of regular check-in conversations.
  • Giving access to collated data for managers and HR to check in on how ongoing performance management is being rolled out and embraced.

Case studies on adopting a continuous performance management model  

If you’re ready to consider a continuous performance management approach, read on to find out how some of our clients made it a reality.

How performance management at ILUX improves employee retention

ILUX is a specialist IT outsourcing company. Founded in 2008, it quickly pivoted to become a remote-first organisation. The move prompted a review of performance management and it was clear that a new system was needed to save time, create a fair and consistent approach, and to better support managers.

Appraid is now introduced to employees as part of their induction, so ongoing performance management is instilled from day one. Since employees can take control of their own development, their knowledge and skills will remain within ILUX, as they can see how their careers are evolving within the organisation.

Read the full case study

Rethinking performance reviews to provide continuous feedback

MullenLowe Group is an award-winning marketing communications network. The company was keen to develop a culture of open feedback in which every employee feels empowered and comfortable to give and receive relevant, timely and useful feedback rather than waiting for an annual review.

To provide the structure for ongoing feedback in performance management, MullenLowe Group implemented Appraisd. The switch to a continuous performance management system immediately made the process more positive and dynamic, not dwelling on things from the past they couldn’t change but putting employees in control of their futures.

Read the full case study

Aster Group shifts to continuous performance management

Aster is a housing association providing affordable housing in London and the south east. The annual appraisal was widely recognised not to be effective in the organisation, so there was enthusiasm to replace them with a simple, fluid and ongoing one-to-one process.

The move to Appraisd has been welcomed and embraced as it accommodates virtual 1:1s and facilitates a constant feedback loop, allowing for ongoing performance review in a remote, hybrid, or in-person role. After just three months, data demonstrated that employees had embraced the change and new way of working.

Read the full case study

What does the future hold for performance management?

Businesses need to make course corrections more frequently than ever before and the annual appraisal just doesn’t cut it. Not only does the business need more constant feedback, its employees do too. The more often employees interact with their colleagues and managers, the more engaged they become; and regular constructive performance conversations are an important element.

Could a continuous performance management system add value in your organisation? Explore Appraisd’s resources to find out how we encourage and enable performance cultures.


Check-ins collection

We've collated our check-in templates and learning materials to support those all important conversations.