Back in the days of school and college, students progress was tracked with the help of annual report cards and exams. Once they step outside the world of education and enter that of a professional corporate setup, they are still evaluated and scored. The truth is that no matter what phase of life you enter, you are always analyzed and scored.
In a professional work environment, employees are mostly evaluated on an annual or biannual basis, but the past year that was overridden with the fear of the pandemic has called for a much-needed change in terms of performance management. So, when one comes across terms such as agile goal setting and agile team performance evaluation, one often asks the question “what is agile performance management?”.
In broader terms, agile performance management is an in-depth process of overseeing and mapping the performance of all team members throughout the year as opposed to doing it annually or biannually. This kind of goal settings and appraisals in the agile world calls for more collaboration, communication that involves regular feedback and coaching.
- The shift to agile performance: As an organization, if you have decided to switch to agile goal settings, here is what you will have to do. Firstly, you will have to inform the entire team about the switch and tell them how agile performance reviews will be different from the annual ones. It is understandable that since it is a new process, you will also have to train your management team on how to go about agile team performance evaluation. In short, you need to have the entire team on the same page so that they understand how short-term goal settings and agile performance mapping will benefit them in the long run.
- Communication is key: No change can be made overnight, and it is also true that the moment there is something new introduced, there will always be some restriction. The only way to ease people to a transition is by keeping the communication channels open to address their questions and concerns. When you decide to take the leap from annual performance reviews to agile, it is crucial that you cascade the information with complete honesty and transparency.
- Dedicated time to review and coach: Just like it is impossible to bring about change overnight, it is equally tedious to bring about results overnight as well. When you switch from regular performance management to goal settings and appraisals in the agile world, give it time. This means that in this setup you will have to give more time to coach and train all your peers. More attention is given to map the progress step by step rather than focusing just on the yearly learning curve chart. Through the agile team performance evaluation, the right behavior and competencies will be harbored and encouraged.
- Focusing on the ‘why’ & ‘how’: Rather than concentrating on just the end results, this mapping system will allow you to answer the more critical questions of why and how. More than often it happens that the senior management team is told to work towards achieving certain results, and this often hampers the actual learning and growth of employees. In the agile system of mapping progress, more attention is given to short-term results and understanding why they are important and how they can be introduced.
- Continuous feedback culture should be promoted: Most organizations and teams believe that performance management needs to take place only at the time of annual appraisals. This often stunts the growth of the team members which results in the arrested growth of the organization as well. Redefining performance from annual to agile goals means steady feedback and training that help keep the entire team on the same page. This also leads to more motivated team members who will work towards achieving the corporate goals.