Nick Gallimore, Director of Talent Transformation & Insight of Clear Review – the TIARA 2020 Talent Tech Champion of Champions – explains the impact of lockdowns on performance management and where we go from here…
While 2020 was a year many would rather forget, it was one of crowning achievement for Clear Review, a Saas performance management and engagement solution used by over 300 mid to large global organisations in the UK, US, Europe and APAC.
On 17th September 2020, it won the Customer Service Award at the inaugural TIARA Talent Tech Star Awards and was also voted Champion of Champions for improving productivity and professional development as well as monitoring well-being for a remote workforce. A few weeks later, Clear Review was acquired by Advanced, a global performance management and employee engagement software company, to expand the scope and scale of its solution.
Clear Review has been shortlisted for two TIARAs this year – the Customer Service Award and the Learning Solution of the Year – so TI spoke to its MD Nick Gallimore about what it has learned about the evolution of performance management over the last 12 months.
What performance management trends have you been tracking with clients as they have adapted to new ways of working?
We can certainly see some differences in priorities when we look at the results of our 2019 UK Performance Management Report compared to the 2021 results. This shows us how much has changed during 2020, and how challenges in new ways of working forced a shift in focus. For example, pay and reward as a priority in organisations halved from 18% of HR directors saying this was a main focus in 2019 to only 9% in 2020. A lot of organisations continue to struggle, be it financially or with trying to navigate a new style of working and, as a result, discussions around pay and reward were put on the back burner.
Possibly the most significant take away was that in 2019 managers and staff at over 50% of organisations were only discussing performance twice a year or less. In the 2021 report, 39% of organisations had increased their number of performance meetings since the start of the covid-19 pandemic. This shows us how important it is for managers to keep in frequent contact with staff, especially during unpredictable times.
Why is Continuous Performance Management (CPM) the most important problem for organisations to solve now?
CPM is not only the most efficient way to track the performance of staff, but it’s vital for regularly checking in on their wellbeing as well. This is more important than ever, with people working in different environments, team dynamics changing, and more causes for stress in people’s lives. By having check-ins with employees at least once a month issues can be recognised, and a solution found before the problem starts to effect performance.
Talent shortages have forced employers to focus on retention of talent and internal mobility and continuous performance management is the best way to develop employees. Rather than setting and reviewing development goals just once a year, CPM allows managers and staff to regularly evaluate development and make decisions at any point in the year. This enables organisations to improve productivity, retain top talent by recognising and developing them, improve the quality of performance reviews, and reduce recency-bias in rankings.
Clear Review won the top accolade at the TIARA Talent Tech Star Awards last year. Why is awards recognition so important to Clear Review and how does it support its core objectives?
It is fantastic to be recognised for something so near to our hearts here at Clear Review. Our mission is to enable better communication between HR, managers, and staff to help progress people at the right time, make monitoring performance simple and fair, and help keep track of all staff members well-being.
Being recognised by the TIARA awards for the work we do validates our efforts, helps us to spread the word and show more organisations what we can do for them. Ultimately, it amplifies our purpose which is about getting more organisations to stop only checking in on staff once a year for an obligatory check box meeting, and instead encourage more frequent open and meaningful conversations.
Clear Review has since been acquired by Advanced. How will this enable you to develop and scale your solution?
Becoming part of the Advanced family is such a positive step for Clear Review. By using their reach, we can get our message out around why CPM works so much better than annual appraisals – and their views on performance and wellbeing align very well with our own.
Being part of a software company that provides multiple systems to organisations presents us with a new opportunity to understand which factors are driving, or negatively impacting, high performance. Combining data from our performance system with business and finance systems means we can use AI to learn what the causal relationships are – so we can become more predictive.