Performance Management Tricks for Successful Partner Management

The success of your business partners has a great impact on the success of your own business. And contrary to what you may think, their performance is well within your control. Learn what performance management can do and then apply the knowledge to your own business through these tricks for successful partner management.

The importance of successful performance management

There’s a reason performance management has become an integral part of business. It involves setting goals, gathering data and analyzing that data to improve future performance. And with that kind of effort, the potential for success is much greater than it is otherwise.

In fact, businesses with successful performance management systems routinely outperform their competitors. According to Betterworks, companies that have implemented changes in the way they provide performance feedback have a 24 percent higher success rate than those that stick to traditional models.

But of course, not every performance management system is either cost-effective or viable. A study conducted by Gartner shows us exactly how easy it can be to make the wrong moves. For example, the average time managers spend on work related to performance management is 210 hours a year. 

So how do you develop a performance management system that will help you make the most out of your partnerships?

There are a few tricks you can employ to make sure your performance management system is the one that will bring you the best possible results. 

Also read: What is performance management system?

Choosing potential partners

Performance management can start even before you partner with another business. After all, one of the major elements of success, in any field of work, is being able to plan ahead. So instead of focusing on your existing partners, why not increase your chances of success by making sure you only choose the partners that are a great fit for your business? 

How do you do that? You gather all the necessary information on the prospective partner and you ask yourself a few questions regarding your potential partnership. A business that would be a great fit for you will:

  • Share your business’ target audience
  • Be okay with your terms and processes
  • Boast a stable business model
  • Be technically equipped to deliver results
  • Share your business’ values

Maybe it’s not necessary for the potential partner to check all the boxes, but it’s a great thing to strive for. And the more boxes they check, the more successful your collaboration will be and the less work you’ll have managing their performance.

Offering incentives & training programs

When you think about performance management, the first thing that comes to mind are yearly reviews. The employee or the partner has already done the work and now it’s time for you to evaluate it. But you don’t need to limit yourself to a purely reactionary way of doing things when there are plenty of actions you can take as well. 

Of course, here we’re talking about incentive programs. These make for an excellent way to steer your partners into the right direction even before they’ve done anything. Instead of waiting a year to tell them they should be achieving better results, incentivize them to excel right from the start. 

But a quality incentive program will do you no good if your partners aren’t trained to meet your requirements. Luckily, there are partner training programs that allow you to onboard and train all your partners in a way that’s highly efficient and even lowers your operational costs. Using this type of software is yet another way to be proactive about your performance management.

Constantly checking the progress

To make the most out of your performance management system, you need to come to terms with the fact that conducting yearly reviews simply doesn’t work. It’s an outdated system that many Forbes 500 companies have stopped using. 

What should you do instead? When developing your performance management system, you should aim for implementing continuous performance evaluation. The exact process will, of course, depend on your business. But to give a few examples, this could mean anything from evaluating performance whenever necessary or possible, to measure it at the end of every individual project or campaign. 

Why does this make for a better approach? It’s in line with the latest advances in the way project management, in general, is done. We’re talking about the so-called agile methodology, which has proven itself a lot more efficient than traditional project management. It’s been argued that this is simply because this methodology is aimed at breaking processes up into shorter phases and getting feedback as soon as they’re complete. As a result, there are fewer deviations from the end goal.

Also read: Performance Review Phrases And Wordings 2022

Setting expectations

Of course, checking the progress your partners are making can only result in true success if you keep them in the loop. So if you want your performance management system to work, you need to be able to explain it to your partners, and informing them about it should be part of your process. 

To be able to explain your evaluation process, it needs to be structured. You need to know what events trigger evaluation, how the process is done and which members of your team are responsible for it. But what’s more important than anything, you need to be able to explain to your partners exactly what they need to do to pass the process with flying colors. 

This is where the concept of SMART goals can prove extremely helpful. SMART goals is an acronym that stands for goals that are:

  • Specific 
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Timely 

And if the expectations you set for your partners check all the above boxes, there will be no uncertainties as to what they need to do to achieve a successful collaboration with you.

Consistent feedback and rewards

If you want your partners to perform as you need them to, it’s important to keep them engaged. One aspect of this is providing regular and consistent feedback. The other aspect is to reward them whenever they do something right. After all, a partner that doesn’t feel like they’re out of the loop and one that feels appreciated will almost surely become a valuable asset to your company.


There’s a lot of good that a quality performance management can do for your business. From choosing your partners wisely to keeping them constantly engaged, a smart, structured, and transparent system brings you closer to making the most out of your partnerships.

Want to know how Engagedly can help enhance your organization’s performance management? Fix a quick demo with our experts.

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About the Author:

Lianna Arakelyan - Guest blogger

Lianna Arakelyan is a content writer at, with a knack for B2B programs, such as channel incentive programs, partner training and onboarding programs and not only. She is extreme in her work, with a deep goal of always being updated on online and offline marketing and technology news of the world.

What is Continuous Performance Management (CPM)?

Many companies today use a mixed bag of processes and tools to manage their employees. From annual performance appraisals to quarterly or even monthly check-ins, the ways managers evaluate and communicate with their teams vary widely. Some companies, like Zappos, switched to ongoing real time feedback to reinforce performance consistency in the workplace . 

While that can be considered as a standard way of evaluating performance, there is a method that not only boosts steady performance but also builds trust. It’s called Continuous Performance Management (CPM) and it is changing the way managers think about their jobs as well as the way organizations manage productivity.

The CPM approach takes away the pressure of waiting for formal reviews, which often allows months to pass without any communication from management to employees on how they’re doing. In a study by CEB, the average time between a manager’s review and feedback to an employee was around 120 days — far too long for many companies today. 

Also Read: How To Create A Feedback Culture In Your Workplace?

The perfect storm of social media, instant messaging and overall competitive pressures put leaders at risk if their team isn’t feeling engaged or getting quality feedback in real-time.

How Does Continuous Performance Management Work in the Workplace Setting?

CPM is a more fluid form of performance management — an approach that places the emphasis on employees, not managers. It encourages regular continuous monitoring of goals and feedback (almost daily) that helps both parties stay up to date with what’s working well and where there may be room for improvement. Here are some key components to making this work in your organization:

Using predictive analytics to understand which KPIs you should be measured at any given time eliminating those that don’t matter as much—or aren’t being properly tracked—by employees, can help minimize “data overload” and ensure information gatherers have the right material to work with. This allows for a higher success rate when giving feedback, as employees won’t feel overwhelmed with information they can’t use.

Having an agile management system in place 

It enables managers to receive relevant feedback at the right time. This means creating a “micro-ecosystem” by combining HR and operational technology (OT), which has been shown to provide much more actionable insights than either OT or HR systems alone when it comes to data-driven decisions. 

While this may sound daunting, any company that is already utilizing key performance indicators (KPIs) across their organization will find it straightforward. For instance, if you’re seeing trends in call times and customer complaints, this might be attributed to underperforming employees who aren’t hitting sales goals; thus requiring immediate follow-up from managers.

Also Read: Goal Setting Processes: KPI VS OKR

An opt-in approach rather than opt-out

The “you must participate” approach may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many organizations still cling to the old “feedback is just something we do around here, whether you’re interested in receiving it or not” model. As more companies adopt CPM, they’re finding that by asking for employee input on their goals and performance processes, they get better insight into what’s working well. 

For example, when employees actively participate in providing feedback on what KPIs matter most, they feel more invested in hitting them, which makes for healthier teams full of engaged employees.

Rewarding high performers who give great feedback

When you encourage each member of your team to share ideas about best practices — while also rewarding individuals who offer quality insights — you’ll see a more engaged workforce that feels empowered to contribute what they know. 

For example, you could provide incentives or bonus to employees who regularly give managers valuable feedback on how they’re doing—and have them use it as a coaching tool for peers on their team. This is one of the most effective ways to show employees that bosses value good reviews just as much as high performance.

Also Read: 5 Employee Appreciation Ideas For Your Remote Team

Keeping scorecards up-to-date

More companies realize it’s not enough to measure performance over longer periods, such as yearly or quarterly reviews, but rather must do so using shorter intervals that offer instant feedback on real-time data from OT systems. Using something called “forced ranking” (or simply keeping scorecards up-to-date) is also helpful. 

It ensures that managers are tracking results at all times so they can provide immediate feedback to employees on how they’re doing — while also measuring key performance indicators, or KPIs, which tell the whole story about what goals each rep is reaching, and whether their work is proactive enough versus reactive.

Overcoming challenges

While it’s good to have managers who are open to continuous performance management practices, it may present some pitfalls for underperforming employees. Implementing a new system can be overwhelming for those who don’t see themselves improving in the current year. That said, by approaching this change as an engagement initiative, companies can guide staff through these initial growing pains.

Why Organizations Should Implement Continuous Performance Management

To meet customer demand, companies are now expected to produce results faster than ever before. In the past, it was all about hitting certain milestones for a big completion date or project launch – but in today’s competitive business world, being able to deliver in small packages quickly and effectively is what counts most.

In a survey of 3,000+ global companies, 51% cited “speed and responsiveness to market changes” as their number one challenge—nearly double that of the second-highest-ranking response at 28%. This increase in speed can result in more chances of shipment (i.e., such as new products or services), but it doesn’t come without challenges: namely, an increased need to provide instant feedback across teams throughout the company.

Continuous Performance Management is one of the most effective tools companies can use to address this issue and support speedy decision-making. By involving employees at every level of the organization, CPM helps management build a culture that prioritizes real-time feedback and collaboration–empowering everyone to make informed decisions that can benefit both internal teams and clients/customers as well.

Organizations now need more people across all roles (not just managers) to be able to provide instant feedback on everything from tactical projects to strategic initiatives. This means no longer do those closest to key business operations have time for long reviews or evaluations; they must instead quickly assess situations and offer real-time and direction–especially with regard to new developments in the ever-changing digital and social media landscapes.

Benefits of Continuous Performance Management  

The most important benefit of implementing continuous performance management is that it supports faster decision-making across the organization. By constantly receiving input from those closest to projects and operations, managers can help their teams make better-informed decisions on how to move forward with specific initiatives.

On the flip side, employees who are getting more and more feedback and direction on a regular basis (e.g., every two weeks) will be able to see whether they’re meeting goals–and adjust accordingly if need be.

As companies continue moving toward putting out new products and services quickly, long gone are the days where big unveilings were simply annual events–they must now capture early market opportunities as they arise. That’s having access to instant information about who’s using what, when, and where (especially longitudinally) can help companies grasp new opportunities quicker than competitors; plus it ensures a more accurate rollout of future updates.

Real-time decision-making is possible with continuous performance management because, like many other KPIs, instant feedback is captured in real-time — allowing managers to use the most up-to-date information available when making decisions. This enables teams to recognize any issues or delays early on in an initiative or project, so they can quickly move toward alternative options without wasting too much time.

Challenges of Continuous Performance Management 

While CPM has a long list of positive benefits, it’s not without its own set of challenges. One is that some workers may feel as though they’re being micromanaged–having every move documented and measured closely by managers, peer-to-peer , can make employees feel uneasy.

Another issue with continuous performance management is that it doesn’t apply to all workers in the same way: salary employees don’t receive feedback or input from clients/customers at regular intervals throughout the year (with whom they do their jobs), but instead only through formal reviews. For these types of workers, CPM still holds value — namely because it provides more comprehensive communication with managers on an ongoing basis, rather than just once annually.

In order for companies to reap the full benefits of continuous performance management, they must have proper training programmes in place. This means providing the right tools and communication channels to ensure that workers are receiving accurate feedback—which can be challenging when teams are across multiple offices or cities.

Also Read: The Importance Of Peer Feedback At Workplace

It’s also critical to establish regular communication schedules between managers and employees so both parties know what to expect; not only does this make it easier for employees to track their own progress against goals, but managers will also better understand how plans change/shift over time depending on external factors (e.g., new hires, promotions, reorganizations).

The Future for Continuous Performance Management in the Workplace

Continuous performance management is the natural next step as businesses move toward a more paperless, data-driven corporate culture. Having instant access to figures and information means companies can make smarter decisions about growth strategies and future moves .

However, continuous performance management isn’t going away anytime soon. As customization becomes a bigger priority in business–customization of products/services, customer service interactions, etc.–workers will need increased feedback from managers so they know the best way to achieve these goals over time.

In order for CPM to work most effectively, employees should be involved in monitoring their own progress against certain KPIs — especially those that directly impact their role — while managers provide more high-level feedback on progress toward long-term projects.

Also Read: What Is A Performance Management System?

The growing trend in workplace technology means companies are entering a new era of continuous performance management, where data is collected automatically rather than through manual reporting by workers themselves. With the right tools and processes in place, CPM can enable teams across an organization to work better together while still maintaining individual autonomy over tasks that must be completed at one’s own pace or outside the view of others.

Want to know how Engagedly can help you with continuous performance management? Request for a live demo.

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