Strategic Human Capital Insights

From Paper to Digital Platform...Is Your Organization Ready?

Elegant hand holding DIGITAL inscription, digital technology conceptThis is part 2 of our blog series on Human Asset & Performance Management. Click here to read Part 1 of the series.

As organizations look to evaluate performance management processes and shift to a continuous performance review process / system, the questions often asked are, What is a continuous performance review and what has changed to require a fresh approach?”

Are we getting what we need from our current review process? If not, is it time to finally reconcile performance reviews with today’s business and work reality? If business is forward looking, why are our performance review processes backward focused? Continuous performance review is a forward-focused management process, and not an HR process. We must shift our paradigm. Yes, HR is involved, but managers are responsible and accountable for the process.  Gone are the days of saying, “HR is making us do these performance reviews.” You are doing reviews because it’s right for your business and for your employees. 

Yesterday’s Performance Management Process: Assessment

Performance management was done out of HR as a year-end review process focused on pay and promotion. It was a way to rate /assess people and their past performance.

Today’s Continuous Performance Review Process: Development

The continuous performance review process is the responsibility of managers and leaders in functional areas related to personal growth and productivity focused on organizational goals.  It is a way to improve and coach people to achieve business results.  It is a management tool.


A Digital Platform

A present to future-focused continuous performance review process needs a digital platform to capture information and both apply and embed best practices. Jobs are changing much faster than in the past, based on market pressure and demands. A digital platform, that is universally accessible and immediately responsive, is how you manage the employee development process in a fast-paced world.  As leaders, is it your responsibility to ensure that employee skills do not become obsolete but stay aligned with future business needs. Employee development has become a strategic business imperative. Below are the best practices that a robust continuous employee development process, captured by a digital platform that is tracked and measured, include:

Best practices require:

  • More frequent check-in conversations between employees and managers
  • Monthly goals that are ambitious and aspirational
  • More frequent feedback between employee and manager
  • Active coaching and development from managers
  • Development plans and related activities
  • Next assignments and stretch goals

Why change the process? Because continuous learning is now required.

  • Learning is key to success.
  • Top organizations have a learning culture.
  • Training and development is ranked #1 by Millennials. They will leave if they don’t get it.


Why Do We Need a Digital Platform?

A digital platform, with access for both managers and employees, is necessary to monitor and manage the process. With the speed of change happening so quickly, and the strategic need for employee skills to stay current and relevant, how else can you guarantee the process is being aggressively measured and managed? Right now, digital platforms are commonly used to manage all other aspects of our lives so why not employee development?

Does Continuous Performance Review Work?

Is the new process really worth the effort? Yes, there is an evolution to installing this process. It is not only worth the effort but is also today’s business requirement. Here’s the question, “What’s the alternative”? Is it easy? No. There are two pitfalls you need to be aware of:

  • Failing to upskill managers and direct reports
  • Failing to adequately invest in change management efforts


We invite you to download our latest eBook: "Human Asset Management Strategy: A New Approach", which provides a multifunctional operational guide to human capital capacity planning. You can also schedule a complimentary assessment with a member of our team.

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Topics: Human Asset Management

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Joanne Flynn

In 2014, Joanne Flynn founded Phoenix Strategic Performance, a strategic human capital advisory firm. Prior to this, Joanne was Vice President at Goldman Sachs for 10 years responsible for global learning and development. She then led the consulting practice of Phoenix Group International, a consulting firm specializing in global financial service. Joanne is now taking best practices from the people-intensive financial services industry and adapting those best practices to startup and growth businesses. She is a thought leader in the areas of strategic organizational alignment, organizational agility, human capital gap analysis, leadership challenges for the new workplace and transformation leadership.

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