New research shows a changing UK workplace attitude to managing staff performance, with 96% of Top Employers enabling employees to manage, measure and evaluate their own performance processes. New data from the UK Top Employers Institute, the certifying body for workplace excellence, reveals a clear trend that moves away from traditional performance management processes where employees are rated in relation to colleagues.

Instead, the UK data shows that employees are now in the driving seat of performance management and are starting to own their development. Ninety-three per cent of UK Top Employers describe staff as playing an ‘active role’ in providing input for individual annual goals, while an impressive 100 per cent say their staff play an active role in providing input for performance evaluation and 76 per cent take into account the input of relevant colleagues.

Interestingly, the UK data is supported by the global Performance Management HR Insights Report 2016 from the Top Employers Institute which identified Focus and Collaborative Evaluation as one of four key trends across 600 organisations in 102 countries.

With a clear shift towards individuals owning their development as well as goal-setting processes, new approaches look at the wider picture of an employee’s impact on the organisation and their collaboration and contribution towards their co-workers – as well as their own – performance, through shared working, knowledge transfer and sharing of skillsets. 

James Gooding, UK Country Manager for Top Employers Institute, said: “The findings are fascinating; traditional performance management processes – where staff are rated in relation to colleagues – are on their way out. These processes have led to an unhealthy competitive culture, and ultimately increased employee disengagement.

“Today’s Top Employers want employees to own their goals and performance, ensuring transparent, engaging and agile goal-setting. Having mutual accountability for results in place, as opposed to top-down goal cascading, supports this, while continuous dialogue, coaching and feedback creates a real-time focus on development, rather than annual or half yearly performance review.

Key trends identified in the global report include Performance Culture as a Foundation, Agile and Transparent Goal Setting and On-Going Coaching and Feedback.

UK data comes from research into 71 companies certified as Top Employers UK for 2016, and 72 companies certified as Top Employers UK in 2015. The insights are supported by the findings of the worldwide Top Employers HR Best Practices Survey. This assesses global organisations’ HR environment in the areas of strategy, policy implementation, monitoring and communication of employee conditions and development.