The rapid pace of digital transformation requires organizations to quickly implement new practices and behavior in their workforces. Employees often have to adjust promptly to different ways of working because of the roll-out of sophisticated technology and innovative business models.

Most organizations are able to define what changes they expect from their employees. Many, however, struggle to implement and sustain these changes. Workers often fail to adopt new practices and behavior or they soon slip back into their previous work habits.

Effective performance management is vital for long-term workforce transformation. It ensures that new ways of working are quickly and firmly embedded within the organization. New practices and behavior need to be built into the performance management metrics of all workers. Compliance with these new modes of conduct should be a priority when hiring, training, coaching, promoting, remunerating and rewarding employees. This will ensure that workers quickly adopt the new ways of working and continue to adhere to them.

Flexible performance management processes can be adapted to accommodate short-term programs that encourage workers to experience new ways of working. Such programs often promote minor changes in behavior that contribute to long-term transformation objectives.

Unfortunately, few organizations recognize the crucial role performance management can play in ensuring sustainable workforce transformation. Our research shows that only 15 percent of business leaders believe that reinforcing cultural values and behavior is an important objective of performance management.

One of the most valuable practices among workers in the digital economy is the ability to collaborate. However, 65 percent of the leaders we surveyed believe performance management is not highly effective in supporting collaboration.

Clearly, many organizations are overlooking the potential of performance management to change and reinforce workforce skills and conduct. Business leaders need to work more closely with human capital managers to align performance management tools and methods with the change objectives of their organizations. They have to change their approach to transformation if they’re to succeed in changing the conduct of their employees.

To learn more, read New rules for culture change

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