Continuous Performance Review

Continuous Performance Review

In a recent Leadership Lab article, Bill Howatt (chief research and development officer of workforce productivity at Morneau Shepell in Toronto) describes a new approach to performance management that he calls “Performance 2.0”. The pillars of Performance 2.0 are the pillars of

Performance facilitation vs. performance management

Facilitation implies teamwork and collaboration. Performance management, on the other hand, implies that there are behaviours and outcomes that need to be managed. Facilitation sends a message to employees that achieving results is a collective, collaborative endeavour. The term “facilitation” positions the manager as a mentor and describes the process of achieving results as a journey. Performance management inadvertently puts a negative spin on the model from the outset. Performance management leads the employee to desperately assemble evidence of merit regardless of authenticity in order to pass in a pass-fail situation. Performance facilitation moves towards collaborative and ongoing results. enables performance facilitation by driving employees to post evidence of performance as it happens and to share strategically curated portfolios monthly or quarterly.

Continuous improvement vs. static evaluation

A fault of most annual performance review processes is that they require an employee to defend merit once per year. In advance of this once/year meeting, the employee scrambles to remember all that they’ve done through the year. This is time consuming and not always effective. Can you quickly recall all that you’ve done over the past year? The result of a once/year evaluation is one constructive, forward-thinking conversation. Surely, organizations are better off to have employees and leaders engaged in regular constructive and forward-thinking conversations? For employees in large departments or large organizations, a once/year conversation is not enough to ensure a person is growing, thriving, learning, and performing to full-potential the other 364 days of the year. Continuous improvement provides for regular checks and balances, and builds growth and development into culture and mindset. A culture of growth and development is far more likely to withstand the winds of change and adversity.

Growth mindset vs. pass/fail

Carole S. Dweck brought the concept of growth mindset to life. (Read her books, they’re fantastic!) At the core of the growth mindset idea is that people have a tendency to label themselves as “can or cannot” or “do and don’t” early in their experience and these psychological boundaries have a profound effect on capabilities and outcomes. People who say “I am not an artist” will never become an artist. People who say, “I could be an artist” are more likely to become an artist by demonstrating a willingness to stretch and grow in the direction of this goal. People with a growth mindset understand that they can work hard to change their performance and achieve new or different outcomes. enables a growth mindset by helping users achieve goals and reflect on outcomes. By adopting a new competency profile set by a leading organization users can set new goals and a path to achieving these goals. Then, by curating content in their professional portfolios, they will self-assess and recognize how far they’ve come and the areas they’ve yet to grow.

Increase the number of employee-manager interactions

It is impossible for managers to keep up with the daily performance of each of their employees. Daily conversations might be unachievable, but once/year reviews are also unacceptable. The goal, as Bill Howatt identifies, is to increase the number of employee-manager interactions in a meaningful and constructive way. An increase in interactions will improve mentorship and facilitation of performance. Technology affords this increase in interactions because it is asynchronous and evidence-based. allows an increase in interactions because employees can share artefacts or full portfolios once per month, once per quarter, or weekly as situations arise. Portfolios are designed to be viewed in under three minutes and employees and managers can access the content anywhere and anytime. The result is an increase in meaningful employee-manager interactions that are evidence-based and data-informed.

Real-time learning

It is now possible to learn anything on the internet. If an employee needs to learn how to use an MS Excel pivot table, it needs to be unacceptable that they wait for a $595 1-day MS Excel course. Conversely, employees who take initiative to source their own learning opportunities should be recognized for this initiative. enables real time learning by defining outcomes using performance and behavioural expectations and then, identifying ways for the employee to learn the content and demonstrate their learning. In this way, employees learn what they need to know when they need to know it, and this initiative can be captured and recognized.

Get ready for the gig economy.

Get ready for the gig economy.


Start documenting your work. Make sure you have evidence of every project you’ve run, every event you’ve organized, and every meeting you’ve facilitated. Keep this evidence in progress portfolios or journals and secure an endorsement against the very best.

Diversify your evidence so that you can demonstrate your ability to read, write, speak and listen. Use videos, photos, images, documents and sound bytes to demonstrate the skills, knowledge, attitudes and abilities you bring to the table.

Keep all this work in a portfolio. Visit your content regularly and share your portfolio with others. Demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning and hone your skills to defend merit.

When you export your portfolio, curate the artefacts carefully. Post evidence that matters to your audience. Sort, filter, and export strategically. Use various multi-media solutions to demonstrate that you’ve done your research and offer evidence of your competency against the company’s core values.


Define what’s important to you. If you don’t want to spend more than 3 minutes (MIT’s allowance) on portfolio review, be specific about what matters to you. Do you want to see evidence of innovation? Define it. Do you want to see evidence of technical skills? Create that category. Make your definitions specific to your industry and your organization. Identify the values and competencies that are unique to your line of work and challenge individuals to provide evidence in each category.

Then, prepare your processes for filtering talent in this gig economy. Do your managers know how to review a portfolio? Help them understand what they should be looking for. Ensure your managers are no longer looking (only) at work history. Make sure they are measuring what matters and that these metrics align with what’s unique and important about your organization.

What does learning look like at your organization?

What does learning look like at your organization?

Let me guess. You have an LMS, but you struggle to keep the content current. You have a person responsible for learning and development, but they struggle to connect with the masses. You spend thousands of dollars every year on professional development, but you have nothing to show for it. And, although you want everyone in your organization engaged in professional development only a few seem to be taking advantage of the opportunities.

Don’t worry. This is the case for most corporate learning programs.

In most organizations, learning is handled differently across departments and is disjointed throughout the whole organization. One department is focused on safety and compliance while another department focuses on leadership training. Isn’t safety and leadership important for everyone? Furthermore, departments use different platforms to share training materials, branding is inconsistent, and there is no quality assurance.

Give departments autonomy and create a foundation for professional development that will ensure every dollar you spend is aligned with organizational goals. Flip the responsibility for content creation and engage every individual in a personal learning journey. This is all possible with!

Connect your HR leader with the educational team at We will create a foundation for your corporate learning program and empower each one of your employees with an electronic portfolio. You define what matters and challenge your staff to post evidence against these criteria. Add new criteria as your priorities shift. Share and showcase within a secure space to spur further innovation across your organization. The evidence will be indisputable!

The Globe Publishes Two Articles That Point Directly to

The Globe Publishes Two Articles That Point Directly to

The Globe and Mail recently published two articles that provide supportive evidence for portfolios.

In her article, “Employee engagement is a two-way street” (The Globe and Mail, 14/10/17), Eileen Dooley links learning directly to employee engagement. She notes that in cost-constrained times, few employers have the means to send employees off to interesting conferences and seminars. Employees need to identify gaps and seek out learning opportunities in unique ways. This is possible using Using, employers can provide guidance  for alternative learning and recognition of outcomes.

In his article, “How to integrate continuous learning into your job” (The Globe and Mail, 6/10/17), Michael Litt suggests that once an employee self-identifies areas of needs improvement, they should seek out mentorship – leveraging collective, surrounding intelligence. can facilitate this. Employers can use portfolios to help employees self-assess their skills, knowledge and abilities by defining what matters, describing exemplar behaviours, and suggesting growth opportunities. portfolios are strategically framed by corporations and organizations. Each portfolio features carefully curated evidence from individual users. Individuals inside an organization use portfolios to defend merit, understand expectations, identify gaps and define learning pathways. Individuals outside an organization use portfolios to demonstrate fit and to differentiate themselves from the next applicant.