Breakfast for Champions: Effective and inclusive performance management

A recent Gallup study revealed that for the first time in a decade, employee engagement in the United States has dropped. Several factors have contributed to this decrease, including ineffective management, minimal training and development, and a lack of connection between employees and an organization’s mission. Fortunately, there are several strategies that can be adopted by organizations to ensure that the work environment they’re designing is providing employees with the opportunities for growth and challenges they need to stay engaged.

At our most recent Breakfast for Champions session, we invited Elizabeth Laine to walk us through actionable steps organizations can take to increase employee engagement through effective and inclusive performance management. An inclusive performance management process contributes to a positive employee experience and can help an organization avoid a high attrition rate, decreased innovation, and lack of accountability among managers.

Elizabeth’s first recommendation was to focus on debiasing the process. One strategy for decreasing bias is calibrating the employee feedback loop by providing employees with multiple sources of feedback. A direct manager only provides a singular perspective which may not give an employee significant or helpful feedback. By inviting others into the process, employees receive feedback that is holistic and considers all their contributions at an organization.

A second recommendation made by Elizabeth was to gather accurate performance data, monitor the data, and evaluate it often. When deciding which data to capture, it’s important to ensure the same, clear, measurable success criteria is being applied to all employees. Otherwise, the data may favor specific groups and lead organizations further away from an inclusive evaluation process. When reviewing data, any anomalies within teams or departments directly related to performance can pinpoint where a process may need improvement or redesign.

Although performance management is often viewed as an evaluation of a single contributor, it also serves as an evaluation of a manager’s ability to properly coach and grow an employee’s skillset. When designing the performance management process, it’s important to evaluate and design with both the employee and manager in mind.

Finally, it’s important to note that performance management is only one part of the full employee experience. An inclusive and effective performance management process combined with a weak or biased hiring process may still lead an organization astray when pursuing its DEI efforts. If you missed the latest Breakfast for Champions session with Elizabeth or the other sessions focused on the employee experience, we encourage you to log into your employee portal and watch the recorded sessions. To access the trainings and log in to the portal, visit: