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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

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℠.

HRCI Institute Recognized Provider Logo

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

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

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.