The traditional system of annual performance reviews may have once been effective, but it’s clear that conventional performance evaluation practices have long been outdated. Only 5% of HR leaders believe that annual reviews are effective, and forward-thinking businesses have already found new ways of monitoring employee performance, regardless of whether they’re located in a traditional office setting or working out of a coworking space.

Continuous performance management is no longer an isolated trend, but rather one of the most promising answers to the problems raised by annual reviews. CPM provides a new type of evaluation that takes into account new trends in the workforce that have changed the way employees and managers approach performance.

Why Are Annual Reviews Outdated?

A number of factors have contributed to the creation of the modern workforce, and today’s workplace is very different from the one that allowed annual reviews to become a standard practice. There are now more than double the number of telecommuting employees than there were in 2005, and that trend will likely continue over time.
The relationship between employees and managers has also changed as workers are generally no longer satisfied by a simple source of income. The modern employee wants to play a larger role in his or her company and isn’t satisfied with the traditional top-down perspective embodied by an annual performance review.

How Does Continuous Performance Management Work?

Continuous performance management involves a much more hands-on approach than the traditional review system, so it requires a coordinated effort between employees and managers. It may take both sides some time to get used to the new feedback dynamic and feel comfortable with the process.

Rather than giving all feedback at the end of the year, managers should schedule regular one-on-one meetings with each employee that include discussions regarding individual performance. This allows managers to be more involved in each employee’s approach and gives them a chance to discuss performance issues before they become more serious.

The Benefits of Continuous Evaluation

CPM also enables employees to make small, incremental changes to their performance rather than being forced to take in large amounts of information all at once. They can also give other employees positive or constructive feedback on a day-to-day basis, making everyone more active in the performance evaluation process.

In an annual review, much of the information presented is outdated or no longer actionable. Continuous performance management makes opportunities for growth available every few weeks and allows them to be presented as soon as they become relevant. Roughly 90% of employees would prefer to have this feedback given in real-time.

Annual performance reviews may have once been an effective system, but that work environment is now a thing of the past. Continuous performance management is the best way for both large and small businesses to adapt their evaluation practices to the needs of the modern workplace.