Performance Transformation in the Future of Work: Insights from Mercer's 2019 Global Performance Management Study

2% 4x 70%
of companies feel their performance management approach delivers exceptional value Beyond just timely feedback, employees expect a curated, experience. Thriving employees are 4x more likely to work for a company that understands their unique skills and interests of companies say there is a need to improve the link between performance management and other talent decisions


Despite much discussion and some incremental tweaks, performance management still punches well below its weight.

Here’s a quick 3-step guide to Mercer’s point of view paper on performance transformation in the future of work.

What do we know?

The pace of change is staggering – reports come out daily about a new approach, a new technology, or a new start-up that promises to solve our toughest challenges. And yet in the six years since Mercer’s last Global Performance Management Survey, little has changed in how performance management is designed and executed. 


In this dynamic environment, why use a process that takes people away from their day jobs for hours on end if it only provides mediocre value?

The four truths of what really makes a difference in performance management

Moving forward requires reinvigorating the organization’s approach to performance and talent management, and understanding the practices that are holding companies back.

TRUTH # 1: Goal clarity matters most

Showing employees how their goals originate and feed into the business’ goals will help them understand how they contribute to the company’s success. 

TRUTH # 2: Effective coaching requires empathetic and action-oriented managers

Company efforts to deemphasize year-end processes, encourage continuous feedback and increase manager training cannot replace the reality: You can’t fake caring. The greatest value comes when performance feedback is connected to the employee and personalized to the learning experiences that will accelerate their contribution and acquisition of new skills.

TRUTH # 3: Dropping ratings doesn’t necessarily mean richer feedback

There is a weak relationship between eliminating ratings and having a feedback-rich culture. Setting clear goals, gathering meaningful information about performance, and ensuring evaluations are fair are all hallmarks of feedback-rich cultures.

TRUTH # 4: Integrated talent strategy is the way forward, but needs work

Any enhancements to a company’s performance management process must start with HR leaders setting a strategy that combines the business priorities with the desired employee experience.

Where do I start? Three predictions for the future of performance management

What does this mean for the future of how talent is managed? Should performance management stay or go? Mercer’s research shows there is no silver bullet. Instead, a complex web of interactions, processes, and technology must work in harmony to address the changing size, shape, and skills of our workforces. 

Download Mercer’s point of view paper to discover our three predictions for the future of performance and talent management and what companies can do to build talent models for the future of work, or speak to a consultant.


Download Mercer’s point of view paper to discover what companies can do to build talent models for the future of work.

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