3 key trends in performance appraisal

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In a recent meeting, John and I were asked what we saw as the key trends in 360 degree feedback / performance appraisal.   We came up with two ‘off-the-cuff’ and I would add a third below.

The first is a desire for continuous feedback to be included within the performance management cycle.  Often attached to millenials brought up on social media and feedback sites such as tripadvisor this is our most common current discussion point.  Perhaps not too separate from the age old mantra that discussing performance is ongoing rather than an annual event the challenge for Bowland and others is to reflect this drive in a considered manner that improves feedback as well as making it more frequent.

The second is 360 feedback being integrated into the appraisal process.  Many, if not all, of our clients now include some element of “feedback from others” into the appraisal cycle.  We see this driven by team structures that no longer have the line manager able to review/comment on all performance and a desire to bring the “how” of behavioural feedback into the standard “what” of performance objectives.  At Bowland we have long had the technical capability to support this.  The interesting area for us over the coming years is retaining a developmental 360 as a distinct exercise from an appraisal from a range of sources.  The two conversations tend to be different and the process should be.

The third and final trend we are seeing is a welcome focus on the conversation.  Our meaningful conversations model that looks to assist all managers deliver on the purpose of their conversations while building up trust within the relationship has reflected this focus.  Clients are seeing with absolute clarity that whatever the process, however frequent it may be, the best managers hold the best conversations with their team.  Accordingly we should focus on supporting that meaningful conversation as much as on the process that leads to it.





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