119: Goals Gone Wild: The New Performance Management | with Kris Duggan of BetterWorks

by Joe Sherwood on September 1, 2015

betterworks-enterpriseResearch shows no one is happy with annual performance reviews—not executives, not managers, and not individual contributors. Even HR teams responsible for performance management aren’t convinced annual reviews provide value. According to Kris Duggan of BetterWorks, that’s because traditional performance management processes and systems no longer accurately reflect the way we work. (They never did, many would argue.)

Kris Duggan is CEO of BetterWorks. Previously, he was founder of Badgeville. BetterWorks began with the simple, but deeply held goal of helping people feel like they are winning at work. Their enterprise goals platform, based on “Goal Science” thinking, is designed to engage, empower, and cross-functionally align workers. BetterWorks drives high-performing companies to become operationally excellent, and provide powerful insights about how work gets done.

Highlights from Jesse’s conversation with Kris:

  • Today’s workforce, especially millennials, want feedback more often.
  • For organizations to become high performing (and stay that way), leaders must move from holding feedback until the end of the year to a model of more continuous improvement.
  • Managers need data that helps them provide that frequent feedback within the context of what employees are currently working on.
  • High-performing organizations take advantage of goal management to encourage cross-functional alignment and team contributions. They create the openness, engagement, and collective thinking that drives innovation and greater business success.
  • There are five key pillars to goal management:
    • Connected. Goals are aligned vertically, cross-functionally, and with your company’s mission.
    • Supported. Employees regularly engage with peers’ goals by providing relevant praise and feedback.
    • Adaptable. Individuals refine goals and focus goals as priorities shift to get the right work done.
    • Progress-Based. Employees update goals frequently so small wins are continually captured.
    • Aspirational. Individuals remain motivated and challenged through meaningful stretch goals.

Highlights from the Guide to Performance Management Software 2015, published by Bersin by Deloitte experts:

  • Goal-setting and revising, managing and coaching, development planning, and rewarding and recognizing are the ongoing activities that comprise effective performance management.
  • Performance management is not something that high-impact organizations ‘do,’ but is instead a way that work gets done.”
  • Overall the big trend is this: almost everything we’ve done traditionally in HR has to be adjusted (or re-engineered). The younger, more mobile, more agile workforce and workplace we now live in demands new approaches.

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