23 October 2019

The Makings of Modern PM

Dani Johnson
Co-Founder & Principal Analyst


  • Infographic: How Effective Are Your Performance Management Practices?
  • 3 levers that affect performance and engagement
  • A model of the 3 levers
  • How these 3 levers change modern performance management

Where are we in the great performance management experiment?

For many years now, organizations have been seriously reconsidering their performance management (PM) processes and implementing significant – and sometimes drastic – changes. Some of these changes, in aggregate, have resulted in new approaches that are much more aligned to the way work really gets done today.

More importantly, though, these changes also reflect a shift in the focus of PM – to a set of practices designed to enable individuals to have more information, gain feedback more quickly, and to engage them more fully in their work, with a goal of enabling higher performance.

Navigating Modern Performance Management

As our research points out, modern PM drives performance and engagement through development and feedback. And so, the real question companies need to ask is this:

What should my organization do to improve the performance and engagement of our employees and the ability of us all to meet our business goals?

We believe the effectiveness of PM practices should be judged on whether those practices drive 3 outcomes – individual performance, organizational performance, and employee engagement. In analyzing our research data, 3 groups of practices (which we call levers) emerged:

  • Culture
  • Capability of managers
  • Clarity

While we have identified certain levers that are more effective for driving performance and engagement, we want to be clear that how these levers show up in different organizations will vary. There is no one “right” set of practices for modern PM – but there are right principles.

In the infographic below, we've highlighted a few of our crucial findings from our research. To learn more, you can also download and read the full report, The Makings of Modern Performance Management.

As always, we would love your feedback. If you have thoughts, please share in the Feedback section to the right!

MPM Infographic

Dani Johnson

Dani is Co-founder and Principal Analyst for RedThread Research. She has spent the majority of her career writing about, conducting research in, and consulting on human capital practices and technology. Her ideas can be found in publications such as Wall Street Journal, CLO Magazine, HR Magazine, and Employment Relations. Dani holds an MBA and an MS and BS in Mechanical Engineering from BYU.


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