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Modernize Performance Management

Ditching the annual performance appraisal for agile practices won’t necessarily solve your performance management problems.

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  • Andrew Bartlow, Head of HR, Waypoint Homes
  • Sharon Bishop, Director, Workforce Planning and Development, Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region
  • Rhonda DeLuca, Vice President of HR, Terumo Cardiovascular Systems
  • 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
  • Melody King, VP of HR, W/W Talent Development, Herbalife
  • 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

Your Challenge

  • Many organizations are ditching ratings and the annual appraisal in favor of an agile approach to managing performance that focuses on continuous goal setting and feedback, often without ratings.
  • However, new 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; agile is not necessarily easier for managers, and agile doesn’t suit every context.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Ditching the annual performance appraisal for agile practices won’t necessarily solve your performance management problems.
  • Choose the building blocks of modern performance management that best fit your organizational needs to ensure the greatest impacts on individual and organizational performance, productivity, and engagement.
  • Performance management rises or falls with managers; provide the training they need to have effective performance conversations.

Impact and Result

  • Adopt a modern approach to performance management that combines the best of both traditional and agile. Select and customize the following building blocks to meet your needs:
    • PM process, feedback and coaching, goal setting, competencies, ratings, and crowd-sourced feedback.
  • Train managers to give high quality feedback and coaching as a way to improve all other aspects of performance management.

Research & Tools

1. Prepare to change your performance management framework

Assess the current and desired states of the organization’s PM framework.

3. Align related HR processes

Align talent management processes to the PM framework.

4. Communicate and train to manage change

Develop a rollout and communication plan and plan next steps.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a ten call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Prepare to change your performance management (PM) framework

Call #1 - Identify current PM approach and determine objectives for future state.
Call #2 - Define building blocks and prepare for stakeholder buy-in.

Guided Implementation #2 - Design your PM framework

Call #1 - Review building block options against organizational need and capability.
Call #2 - Review goal management model and their incorporation into the new framework.
Call #3 - Discuss potential for removing ratings.

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 - Decide alternative options for modern PM framework rollout.
Call #2 - Review the communication strategy for your organization.
Call #3 - Prepare for pushback.
Call #4 - Review metrics and objectives for this initiative.

Performance Management

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Course Information

  • Title: Performance Management
  • Number of Course Modules: 5
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1.5 hours

Learning Outcome

Describe the potential structures and building blocks for modern performance management.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Discuss the difference between agile, modern, and traditional performance management models.
  • Describe the building blocks of performance management and explain how to tailor them to their organization.
  • Explain how to align HR processes with modern performance management.
HRPA Certification Pre-Approved Logo

1 CPD hour per course.

SHRM Certification Logo

Each course is valid for 1 PDC for the SHRM-CP℠ or SHRM-SCP℠.

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The use of this seal confirms that this activity has met HR Certification Institute’s® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.

Course Modules

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Module 1

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Module 2

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Module 3

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Module 4

Onsite Workshop

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Onsite 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: Determine Your Current State and Identify Objectives

The Purpose

  • Decide the appropriate approach to performance management in terms of your organization’s need for, and readiness for, modern PM.
  • Assess your current state in terms of PM and metrics.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Use McLean & Company’s modern performance management framework to develop employees through meaningful and timely feedback and coaching.
  • Set modern PM metrics.




Assess your PM framework and identify challenges.

  • Current state defined.

Define your organization’s PM project objectives.

  • Objectives for future state determined.

Set benchmark metrics and take baseline measurements.

  • Metrics selected.

Module 2: Define the Building Blocks of Your New PM Framework

The Purpose

  • Design the modern performance management process.
  • Define organizational competencies and competency proficiency levels.
  • Prepare for calibration meetings.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Modern performance management process is tailored for the organization.




Tailor the modern PM framework.


Assess current feedback and coaching activities.

  • Determined the optimal approach to feedback and coaching for the organization

Clarify the approach to goal management.


Define the role competencies will play.


Determine proficiency levels.

  • Clarified how competencies and proficiency levels will be used for PM.

Develop a rating scale.


Plan for calibration meetings.

  • Calibration meetings are prepared to run.

Decide whether to use crowd-sourced feedback.

  • Discussed the approach to gathering employee feedback based the organization’s culture.

Module 3: Align HR Processes and Determine Action Plan

The Purpose

  • Format the communication and training strategy.
  • Customize guides for managers.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Train managers and employees in the new PM framework, and track success.
  • A plan to launch and sustain APM effectively in your organization.




Evaluate the alignment of other HR processes with PM.

  • HR processes and PM are aligned.

Determine rollout method.


Develop a communications strategy.

  • Rollout method and communication strategy set.

Customize the Modern PM Feedback & Coaching Guide.


Prepare to respond to pushback.


Plan next steps.

  • Next steps planned.