Managing Performance

Cover image for Managing Performance

Leaders have known for years that the way we manage performance must evolve. But this change was slow to come...until the Covid-19 pandemic. This Program spotlights the major shifts in performance management spurred by the way we work today, exploring how––by reimagining our approach to this core people task––we can transform our workforce into our greatest strategic advantage.

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Program Overview

The Managing Performance Program explores two shifts in performance management and why they’re key for success in today’s organizations. Beginning with a historical context for performance management, this Program outlines a new framework for restructuring our approach to this essential strategic area. We’ll highlight how performance management can impact our cultures; discuss the obstacles we may face; and share actionable ways to make real and positive change in our organizations. Finally, we’ll analyze our current performance management systems, identify areas for improvement, and come together to do some reimagining.

Key Questions

When we manage performance well, what does it look like?

How can we use team-based goals to incentivize performance for everyone?

What does it feel like to be on the receiving end of feedback?

What motivates people to do great work?

As leaders and managers, how do we think about managing performance in a remote or hybrid environment?

Field Manuals

Managing Performance is divided into 5 sections, or Field Manuals. Each Field Manual should take between 30-45 minutes to complete. Learn more about the Field Manuals below.

  • Performance in Context

    Performance management has long been seen—by both employees and organizations—as an item to check off the list, and a dreaded one at that. It doesn’t have to stay that way. In this Field Manual, we’ll explore the history of performance management, asking how we can update our practices so they better align with the mission and strategy of our business. We’ll examine the purpose of performance management and how successful organizations use best practices to drive results.

  • Goal Setting & Alignment

    Goals are key to performance. They help us know where we’re going and, later, whether we’ve gotten there. To maximize performance, however, individuals, teams, and organizations must identify and work toward the right strategic milestones. This Field Manual outlines strategies for ensuring all elements of our organizations are working in sync so that individuals and teams can effectively further key organizational goals.

  • Continuous Feedback

    Best practices in feedback—both how we get it and how we give it—are changing rapidly. This Field Manual dives into the nuances of feedback today, exploring how to do feedback well and why it matters. We’ll also spotlight recent innovations in 360-degree feedback and continuous feedback, with a focus on how feedback-enabling technologies can be integrated into the flow of work.

  • Rewards, Recognition and Culture

    Managing performance isn’t an end unto itself. Rather, it’s one step in creating a healthy culture that drives business forward. Rewards and recognition can help sustain this culture, promoting high performance and fostering thriving employee engagement. This Field Manual highlights how, for sustained success, we can’t just focus on performance itself. We must also create a culture where employees want to perform.

  • Managing Hybrid Performance

    Shifting the way we think about performance management isn’t a new idea. In fact, it’s a topic that’s been on many managers’ and leaders’ minds for years. Despite this, real progress in this area was slow...until the Covid-19 pandemic arrived and changed things overnight. This Field Manual describes key takeaways from these rapid changes, including how we can shape the tactics we use to manage performance to meet the dynamic needs of remote and hybrid workplaces––and how we can prepare ourselves for whatever comes next.

Featured Voices
  • Christy Johnson

    Founder & CEO, Artemis Connection

  • Nick Bloom

    Professor of Economics, Stanford UniversityNick Bloom, Professor of Economics, Stanford University

  • Anne Nguyen

    Partner, Boston Consulting Group

  • Erin Grau

    Co-founder & COO, Charter

An excerpt from the Program

The way that leaders and managers deliver feedback and reward achievement has far-reaching impact and often makes all the difference in the individual employee’s career satisfaction—and success. In the following video, Christy Johnson, Founder & CEO, Artemis Connection, explains how an exceptional leader gave her the support, recognition, and occasional tough feedback that she required to excel.