Performance Management

Focus on the Mindset, Not the Performance

Onur Ilkoz
December 8, 2023
5 min read
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Resulted by the challenges of pandemic, companies put more emphasis on performance management to keep their teams within the game. Performance has always been a priority, but to drive actual improvements, using performance management systems, KPIs, OKRs, annual performance reviews once or twice a year are not enough. Instead, companies should focus on a high-performance culture. To create that culture, adopting a mindset of employee growth through coaching, frequent feedback, and skill development should be new priorities.

Purpose of a Performance Management system The core purpose of a performance management system should be “developing the performance”. Measuring the KPIs or tracking OKRs are insufficient methods by themselves. If we are talking about performance growth, there should be a collaboration, knowledge exchange, and experience flow between managers, subordinates, and colleagues. This type of an environment, which supports growth, helps employees grow and perform better. We call this both supportive and performance driven behavioral pattern “growth mindset”.

Why is it important?

Growth mindset is viewing ability of something can be developed and grown, not looking at employee behaviour and ability as set or fixed. Since development and growth does not have a periodic nature, it is a continuing and repeated act in our everyday life. Together with technology, speed of life, and ability of access to information, learning and growth became a daily activity. Processes supporting these activities should be embedded into everyday life. Traditional learning and development programs, in-class trainings, occasional workshops, they all pull the employee out of work, requires extra time, and the knowledge learned is likely to be forgotten within the next 2 months. To make learning and development sustainable, it is crucial to build a workplace culture designed with the purpose of “everyday development”. How to build the growth mindset?According to the researches, the best way to build everyday development culture and associated growth mindset is through managers. Managers directly impact employee engagement, behaviour, and satisfaction levels within a company.

Research from Gartner shows that, employees who report to managers who are good coaches are 40% more engaged and demonstrate 38% more effort at work.Empowering managers with the tools to develop themselves as leaders and better support their teams is critical for employee development which results with organizational success. This is possible with open communication, frequent feedbacks, on the job training sessions, coaching, short but well-prepared one-on-ones, and digital tools that enable managers to help their teams’ growth. Development culture helps to maintain employee growth, engagement, trust, and loyalty that will end up with performance increase. Since learning and career growth are two of the top expectations of a modern employee, satisfying these expectations will result with a better performance. Do not forget, development mindset starts from the top. Equip your managers with the tools and help them support their teams to develop.

Growth mindset and development culture is very critical to drive your organizational success.

Onur Ilkoz
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