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Modernize Performance Management

Traditional performance management doesn’t work – shift to an approach that’s tailored to your organization’s context.

  • Many organizations believe that ditching ratings and the annual review in favor of an agile approach to managing performance that focuses on continuous goal setting and feedback is the solution.
  • However, research shows that agile is not the cure-all to performance management that many hoped it would be. Getting rid of ratings doesn’t get rid of the need to evaluate performance, and an agile approach is not necessarily easier for managers and doesn’t suit every context.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Ditching the annual performance review for agile practices won’t necessarily solve performance management problems.
  • Customize the building blocks of performance management to best fit organizational needs to impact individual and organizational performance, productivity, and engagement.

Impact and Result

  • Modernize performance management by selecting and customizing the following building blocks to meet your organization’s needs: process, goal setting, competencies, feedback and coaching, crowd-sourced feedback, and ratings.
  • Train managers to provide employees with high-quality feedback and coaching to improve all other aspects of performance management.

Performance Management

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How to complete this course:

Use these videos, along with the Project Blueprint deck above, to gain an understanding of the subject. Start with the Introduction, then move through each of the Course Modules. At the end of each Module, you will be required to complete a short test to demonstrate your understanding. You will complete this course when you have completed all of the course tests.

  • Number of Course Modules: 6
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1.5 hrs

Learning Outcome

Learners will develop the potential structures and building blocks for modern performance management.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Evaluate the current state of their organization’s performance management framework.
  • Identify the building blocks of performance management and tailor them to organizational culture and strategy.
  • Align HR processes with modern performance management best practices.
  • Develop communication, change management strategies, and training to successfully transition to a modern performance management framework.

Course Modules

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Performance Management - Introduction: Shift to a performance management approach tailored to your organization

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Performance Management Module 1: Prepare to change the PM framework

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Performance Management Module 2: Design the mandatory elements of a PM framework

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Performance Management Module 3: Design the optional elements of a PM framework

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Performance Management Module 4: Align related HR programs

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Performance Management Module 5: Communicate and train to manage change

Workshop: Modernize Performance Management

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Prepare to Customize the PM Framework

The Purpose

  • Assess the current state of the organization’s PM framework.
  • Determine high-level goals and metrics.
  • Customize the PM process to fit your organization.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identified key performance management pain points that need to be addressed in the new framework.
  • Determined what the new performance management framework will achieve.
  • Customized the PM process to fit the organizational context.




Assess the existing PM framework and identify challenges.

  • Current state assessment

Define the organization’s PM goals and metrics.

  • Goals and metrics

Tailor the PM process.

  • Tailored PM process

Module 2: Customize the PM Framework

The Purpose

  • Determine expectations and a goal setting model.
  • Select competencies with accompanying proficiency levels.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Customized the goal-setting model and the competencies that will be included in the PM framework.




Clarify the approach to goal management.

  • Goal-setting approach clarified

Identify and select competencies.


Determine proficiency levels for competencies.

  • Competencies selected

Module 3: Customize the PM Framework

The Purpose

  • Define how feedback and coaching will be incorporated.
  • Determine if and how crowdsourced feedback will be incorporated.
  • Decide on whether ratings will be included.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Feedback & coaching, crowdsourced feedback, and ratings building blocks customized.




Assess current feedback and coaching activities.

  • Feedback & coaching activities assessed

Determine whether crowdsourced feedback will be used.

  • Crowd-sourced feedback customized

Determine if ratings will be used and develop a rating scale.

  • Rating scale customized

Module 4: Align New PM Framework

The Purpose

  • Identify how calibration meetings will be used.
  • Evaluate alignment needed of other HR practices with the new PM framework.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Aligned HR practices with the new performance management framework.




Plan for calibration meetings.

  • Approach to calibration defined

Evaluate the alignment of other HR practices with PM.

  • Action items to align HR practices with new PM framework identified

Module 5: Next Steps and Wrap-Up

The Purpose

  • Determine a rollout plan.
  • Create an action and communication plan.
  • Prepare to address pushback.
  • Outline accountabilities for HR, managers, and employees.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A plan to effectively launch and sustain the new performance management framework in the organization.




Confirm accountabilities for key stakeholders.

  • Stakeholder accountabilities confirmed

Prepare to respond to pushback.


Develop an action and communication plan.

  • Action and communication plan created

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Try Our Guided Implementations

Get the help you need in this 4-phase advisory process. You'll receive 6 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Prepare to change the PM framework
  • Call #1 - Review the PM building blocks and prepare to assess current state of PM.
  • Call #2 - Review results of current state assessment and identify focus areas.

Guided Implementation #2 - Design the PM framework
  • Call #1 - Discuss how to customize PM building blocks in alignment with organizational need and capability.
  • Call #2 - Review building block customizations and identify potential challenges.

Guided Implementation #3 - Align related HR processes
  • Call #1 - Determine integration of HR processes and the PM framework.

Guided Implementation #4 - Communicate and train to manage change
  • Call #1 - Create an action and communication plan and confirm stakeholder accountabilities.


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  • Jan Hills, Partner and Author, Head, Heart & Brain Consultancy
  • Melanie Jacobs, Manager, Learning and Development, Sappi
  • Cindy James, Director – Organizational Development, Elbit Systems of America
  • Jeremy Janzen, CHRO, HyLife
  • Suzanne Lahache, GM of Human Resource Preparedness, Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke
  • Ashley Lundquist, VP of People, LeadPages
  • Maura Parda, Executive Coach and Organizational Change Strategist, 512 Leadership Group
  • Megan Paterson, Vice President of HR, Kinaxis
  • Kerry Pletch, CHRO, City of Guelph
  • Michele Vogt, Acting Vice President, People and Safety, Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region
  • Minna Whitman, Manager of Learning and Employee Development, HRG Worldwide
  • Sarah Wilson, Director, Talent Acquisition, Performance Management & Principal Staff Officer, Indigo