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2023 Guide on Continuous Feedback Performance Management

November 23, 2021
6 Min Read
Photo by
Tetiana Pavliuchenko

Table of Contents:

What is continuous feedback performance management?

Continuous feedback is a practice in which employees receive ongoing, timely, descriptive, and observational information on how they work. This can be in the form of a 360-degree feedback system, where direct reports and colleagues provide formal feedback on an individual's performance. It can also be through an informal kudos program or the use of feedback software.

Continuous feedback performance management, then, is a management system that centers continuous feedback and makes a constant back-and-forth between reviewer and reviewer part of company culture. This leads to high employee engagement and employee morale. Since providing continuous real-time feedback for an entire mid to large-sized team is a large burden on one manager, continuous feedback performance management is often based on peer-to-peer performance review.

The continuous feedback performance management practice is an important step towards improving workforce productivity by helping managers and employees identify specific areas where individuals excel, as well as areas where they need to improve. It initiates an ongoing conversation on performance goals, employee growth, and goal management that delivers far more results than does traditional performance management.

Continuous feedback performance management can be used for 360-degree feedback, where colleagues and direct reports actively provide input, but continuous feedback performance management software also facilitates the practice in an automated way that makes it easier to manage employee performance. The continuous employee feedback practice is becoming more common to help managers and employees identify specific areas where individuals excel, as well as areas where they need to improve.

Benefits of continuous feedback performance management

Continuous feedback performance management has several benefits for both employees and employers, including:

  • Encourages self-development and continuous improvement, enabling employees to focus on their learning and development.
  • Leads to more effective continuous learning, resulting in continuous improvement at work.
  • Offers employees real-time data on how they are performing, enabling them to take immediate action on areas needing improvement.
  • Helps managers improve employee satisfaction levels by granting employees control over their development plans.
  • Helps companies attract and retain top talent, enabling HR leaders to reach organizational goals.

Best practices for continuous feedback performance management

The continuous performance process typically begins with a manager encouraging employee participation in continuous feedback through surveys, one-on-one meetings, or other means. This frequent feedback is then filtered through a continuous performance-management software platform that captures, processes, and analyzes continuous feedback to produce insights [e.g., descriptive performance analytics]. These continuous performance analytics can range from simple data reporting up to sophisticated data visualization to communicate findings. Managers use continuous feedback performance management software to aggregate continuous feedback results and identify areas of high performance as well as problem areas.

It's important to note that continuous feedback is continuous, not just a one-time event. Since continuous feedback performance management is an ongoing process, it should be used in conjunction with other practices like continuous coaching and continuous development.

Since continuous feedback involves all members of the organization, many organizations are moving toward open continuous feedback software platforms so any employee can contribute regular feedback on any other employee. One example of a peer-to-peer feedback software solution that accomplishes this is the free Slack app Matter, which tends to be preferred by motivated teams who want an easy way to both share, request, and receive constructive feedback.

While conducting a continuous performance feedback program it’s important to keep employee development, employee growth, and employee goals at the forefront to craft a people-centered appraisal process that enhances the employee experience.

Continuous feedback performance management software

Continuous feedback performance management software is also known as continuous performance management or continuous performance appraisal software. These terms are used to denote software that aims to implement a continuous feedback loop in the workplace by defining the process of collecting, analyzing, and delivering continuous feedback to employees in the organization.

This software is intended not only to provide continuous feedback performance management but also continuous improvement and learning opportunities for employees. 

For instance, in Matter, employees can request specific feedback from any member of their team. This constructive feedback, summarized in an easy-to-digest report, allows the recipient to see what areas should be focused on and what steps can be taken to remedy any weak points. 

Final tips on continuous feedback performance management

Continuous feedback performance management has the potential to be that secret ingredient that takes your company from the rank-and-file to new heights, but it does need a passionate HR team and continuous, focused management to be truly successful.

Here are some tips for continuous feedback performance management success:

1. Instill ongoing feedback throughout the rest of your HR strategy. Continuous feedback performance management should be considered just one part of a larger human capital management effort that also includes continuous coaching and continuous development.

2. Make continuous feedback performance management a collaborative effort. Like continuous feedback, continuous feedback performance management should be open to all stakeholders within the company.

3. Use continuous feedback performance management software. A platform for continuous feedback can help simplify and automate many of the steps in the performance management process, making it more effective by reducing human error.

Although it may look complex and overwhelming at first glance, a continuous performance management system doesn't have to be complicated and it most definitely is not outside your reach! Start small, be consistent, and let continuous feedback performance management be the driving force that helps you take your organization to new heights.

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