How performance management fits into the employee experience
Emma Brooks

By: Emma Brooks on July 27th, 2018

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How performance management fits into the employee experience

Employee Experience

Est. Read Time: 3 min.

Have you ever considered everything that contributes to someone’s experience as a staff member of your company? The things that develop their sense of belonging? Usually, we only think of onboarding and perhaps team activities. But in fact, the overall “employee experience” is a lot more than that.


It includes things from onboarding to exit interview, but also filing expenses, time off requests, and other important HR processes such as performance reviews. If you look at the impact a performance review has on someone’s career and their desire to stay within a certain role, it becomes a crucial part of the employee experience. And yet, so many of us dread having to go through it.

It happens annually and it’s often an extremely lengthy and meaningless process. We all know that feedback once a year from one person only—our manageris not necessarily the most meaningful. In fact, did you know that 70% of people say their managers do not provide clear goals and direction? Yet we also need reviews in order to progress in our roles.


How can the process be improved so people have a better experience and get more out of it? And how can managers be supported at a time when 62% of them feel they’re not doing a good job of meeting learning & development needs?


Creating a people-centric performance management process


Performance management is one of the most important cornerstones of your organization. Having a strong system in place that will help your people develop and grow new skills will give your company the advantage it needs to meet industry changes head on. At the same time, helping your workforce improve also keeps engagement levels high.


Today’s HR innovators don’t take any process, institution or practice for granted. The only way to discover what truly works best is to put yourself into the shoes of the people who work and run your organization and open your mindset to new possibilities. While it may sound intimidating, this isn’t a call to all-out anarchy. Design thinking is a highly ordered approach which will provide you with a new lens through which you can view your organization.


Using technology & design thinking to support HR processes

Until now, design thinking has mostly been used to create a customer-focused approach to designing and marketing products. However, this methodology can also be applied to designing better employee experiences.  


It encourages you to look at three main touch points within the organization to better understand what’s needed. These are: processes, people and technology. Which processes are cumbersome? Which need to be abolished? How much support do your people receive from team leads or peers? Are there new solutions which can make your employees’ lives easier?


Thinking about the journey

Think about the 3 different touchpoints (processes, people, technology) your workforce comes into contact with during performance reviews. How do they impact their experience?


  • Who benefits? Is it seen as a process that helps the company identify top and low performers? Or as a process that is meant to help individuals grow and develop?
  • How long does it take from the time when they fill out their self-assessment until the time when they receive their results?
Multiethnic group of happy business people working together in office


  • Who gives and receives feedback?
  • Do managers receive upward feedback from reports?
  • Do people receive training on how to give actionable feedback?


  • What kind of performance management tools do people use during the process?
  • Is the process straightforward and user-friendly?

Using a performance management system l can really help improve these touchpoints. For example, it enables feedback streams not just between people and their managers but also peer reviews and upward feedback for managers. And most importantly, it cuts down the amount of time spent on the review process, increasing productivity all around.


If you’re starting to think about changing your performance management tool, check out 7 steps for selecting the best system. And remember, when you’re thinking about the overall “employee experience” of your organization there is no one-size-fits-all. Design thinking can help you to create an experience that fits your unique organization.


This is a guest post by Emma Brooks from Impraise, a performance management system that provides 360-degree feedback and performance review. Check them out!

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About Emma Brooks

Emma is a content marketing specialist who is passionate about all things people and the employee experience. Before working at Impraise Emma was in a PR agency, creating content across digital and social media for healthcare and consumer clients.