August 2021
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TD Magazine

Looking to Increase Supervisor-Employee Communications?

Friday, July 30, 2021

Employers are turning to new performance management models that offer more frequent coaching.

For more than half of companies, it's time to update their performance management models to include coaching opportunities. That's according to the Performance Management Trends report, which talent enablement solutions provider intuo published.


Traditional performance management models are becoming less popular, and they fail to deliver in the area of coaching, the report reveals. They rely on a supervisor and employee having one—maybe two—performance conversations annually, and the manager acts as a judge who rates the employee's performance. Further, the research calls out that employee goals established at the beginning of the year often lose their relevancy by the close of the first quarter.

Companies looking for a fresh approach may want to consider one of the following methods, as outlined in the report.

The drumbeat mandates frequent touchpoints between a manager and employee. During the year, they engage in at least three brief conversations that focus on employee development. Given the increased frequency of communication, they can keep goals and objectives up to date and relevant.

The hybrid model expects the manager and employee to check in regularly, although it only requires one conversation dedicated to the employee's development in the performance year.

The freedom approach does not mandate any conversations between the manager and employee and leaves the frequency up to them. Often, the two meet frequently for informal conversations.


As employers consider performance management models, they must factor in company culture. The hybrid model and freedom approach work best in open cultures where feedback and follow-up flow naturally.

Regardless of the selected model, the report finds that more frequent communication leads to increased perceived added business value. Researchers found that companies that adopted processes with no conversations saw the least amount of added value, while those that use the hybrid approach—which offers both structure and freedom—have five times more opportunities to increase value. For companies to succeed with the hybrid model, researchers emphasize leadership training so that managers learn about the importance of goals, results, and how to properly deliver feedback.

About the Author

Derrick Thompson is a former writer/editor for ATD.

1 Comment
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Thank you for the insights. Are you able to share who published the Performance Management Trend Report? I am interested in reading the full study. Thank you.
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