Why Continuous Feedback is Important to Ace Performance Management?

Humans have the innate craving for gratification in the form of recognition. For instance, when a 5-year-old kid rides a tricycle for the first time on her own, she immediately looks at her parents and waits for them to recognize it. We expect the same subconsciously in every action we do. It is no different in our professional and social lives too.   

The HR personnel realized it and brought in the annual rating system, where the feedback is delivered at the end of the year. This practice was well received by companies when the baby boomers and gen Y dominated the workforce. Because the workforce expected only job security and good payroll, and employers did not give too much importance to employee engagement.   

Now, the scenario has completely changed with the inundation of the tech-savvy millennial workforce and the development of technological and business worlds. The millennial workforce works not only for pay but also for career growth and learning opportunities. If employers do not find a way to keep their employees engaged, the employee attrition rate will increase drastically. Recent studies reveal that around 70% of employees are disengaged.   

In order to keep the employees engaged, the companies have begun to endorse the continuous feedback mechanism in their performance management system. An article in Harvard Business Review asserts that the continuous feedback system trend has started in 2002 when Colorcon abandoned its traditional annual feedback system and adopted the continuous feedback process. The supervisors gave instant feedback tying it with the individual goals that are aligned with organizational goals.  

Continuous Feedback Gives Role Clarity and Increases Productivity  

Employees who have a sense of direction and purpose engage better and work well than the employees who do not have. The employees know where they stand and try to improve their performance to achieve goals. The one-on-one meetings to deliver continuous feedback help the employees to discuss their individual goals with their managers. When there is role clarity, the direction is clear, and the employees move in the direction without any distraction.  

Feedback for Coaching and Growth Decreases Employee Turnover  

Managers due to heavy work find it hard to maintain an effective employee engagement process. They hardly remember the achievements of employees during the annual appraisal process. This attitude demotivates the employees, which in turn, decreases productivity and increases employee turnover. Vague feedback by managers can confuse the employees further. Recognition and rewards are important to retain an employee.  

In continuous feedback, the managers share feedback with their employees instantly. Therefore, employees will be committed to their work. The managers also find it easy to share feedback instantly as it is not time-consuming and a waste of effort. A survey by McKinsey reveals that 74% of employees whose managers give effective instant feedback say that they have a good performance management system.   

Continuous Feedback with 360 Degree Mechanism Helps Employees to Grow  

A study suggests that almost all employees expect feedback instantly, and about a third of US companies have adopted continuous feedback. Continuous feedback promotes collaboration and employee engagement and also makes the employees feel valued and confident. A cherished employee will show his fulfillment in his/ her work.   

If the manager favors nepotism, the whole process will be ruined. To avoid biased feedback, 360 degree feedback should be implemented. Feedback from peers, managers, subordinates, and external stakeholders, help the employees to learn their actual worth and learn their strengths and weaknesses. Thus, continuous feedback is an inevitable part of the performance management system. 

Software that supports a continuous feedback system allows the manager and employees to keep track of their performance and enables the company to take data-backed strategic decisions.