Performance enablement: the key to creating success in the workplace

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Implementing a performance enablement model within your organization can help you attract, develop and retain your employees in today’s competitive market.

According to Gallup, only 36% of American workers felt engaged in their work in the first half of 2021. Among those disengaged workers, 74% were either actively looking for new employment or had their eye on new job openings.

Meanwhile, the number of employees quitting their jobs has increased dramatically. With an abundance of choices, employees have the leverage to choose companies that provide an outstanding workplace experience. 

This shake-up has led to companies reimagining traditional performance management models that focus solely on past accomplishments or failures. A new model of performance enablement motivates success by giving employees the resources and tools they need to exceed their potential.

Gartner estimates the cost of replacing a sales rep to be up to two times a seller’s targeted annual earnings. This gives sales organizations a very compelling reason to invest in their employees’ job satisfaction. 

In this article, we’ll talk about what performance enablement is, why it’s a better model for management, and explore best practices for implementing it at your company.

 

What is performance enablement?

Performance enablement is a dynamic process that provides every employee with the resources and training they need to surpass their potential, improve the quality of their work, and increase their job satisfaction.

Compared to legacy performance management systems – which rely on proving what employees have done in the past with annual performance reviews and worker rankings – performance enablement focuses exclusively on what employees can do to increase their future contributions.

Performance enablement is a dynamic process that provides employees with constant feedback and training to help them set and reach performance goals. Employees also have more freedom to make important decisions regarding their work – increased autonomy through empowerment.

With a performance enablement model, employees:

  • Experience coaching, training, and feedback every day.
  • Feel supported in pursuing their career interests and goals.
  • Participate in more fulfilling work that makes an impact.
  • Get more opportunities to learn and grow in their careers.
  • Know they are valued and empowered because of recognition for their contributions.

Engaged employees are more likely to stay at your organization – and retaining your top-quality employees is far better and more affordable than bringing in new workers. The Work Institute’s 2020 Retention Report showed that it costs employers 30% of a worker’s annual salary to hire a replacement if that worker leaves, not even considering what it takes to get them fully up to speed.

The Retention Report also concluded that companies could have prevented 78% of the leading causes of employee turnover.

Performance enablement can be one of your key strategies for retaining your workforce and reducing turnover.

 

4 elements of a successful performance enablement model

The performance enablement model provides your employees more opportunities to take full ownership of their contributions to your organization. HR leaders at organizations that use performance enablement models equip their managers with the resources to assess every employee based on their individual potential and help them reach their goals.

Here are the four most essential elements of a successful performance enablement model:

 

Continuous Learning

A Gartner study indicates that by 2024, 40% of organizations will deploy continuous learning models that support real-time coaching and feedback.

A key part of implementing a performance enablement model in your workplace is upskilling your workforce and empowering employees to continuously improve their skills. Training should focus on helping employees deliver their immediate tasks, benefit their long-term performance, and enable them to reach their full potential in their jobs.

 

Communication

Communication between management and employees is the bedrock of performance enablement.

Educate all employees on the company’s strategic goals so that workers can align with their department, team, and organization’s objectives. Then create opportunities for your employees to build deeper relationships with management and their peers by building a culture of consistent 360-degree feedback.

 

Sales enablement coaching

Continuous sales enablement coaching for excellence empowers employees to improve their performance and achieve their KPIs. A structured sales enablement coaching guide can include:

 

  • Discussing what’s working and not working based on data.
  • Encouraging the employee to identify their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Helping figure out new technology.
  • Assisting with nurturing relationships or closing deals.
  • Reviewing and understanding the why of wins and losses.
  • Correcting counterproductive behavior through constructive feedback
  • Empowering employees to take ownership of their performance and improve outcomes.
  • Discussing personal well-being.
  • Supporting career and professional development.

In many organizations, coaching happens on an ad hoc basis – so it’s essential to ensure your managers understand how to build structure into their coaching and guide employees during one-on-one sessions to optimize their sales coaching tips.

 

Career growth

Outstanding performance enablement prioritizes ongoing learning for every team member and focuses on long-term career development. Managers and employees can work together to identify career goals and align the employee’s learning plan with those goals.

Managers need to be familiar with your company’s learning resources, including internal and external learning management systems and potential reimbursement opportunities to advise employees about their career development.

 

5 tips for creating an effective performance enablement plan

The fundamental nature of work is changing as new technology and the needs of the latest generation are shifting the way organizations operate and how employees engage with their careers.

Here are five tips for shifting from managing performance to enabling performance.

 

Set clear expectations

Managers should collaborate with employees to define and document clear KPIs that align with individual goals and business growth objectives. Goals should be updated as business priorities and performance expectations evolve. 

As they work, employees should be able to access data about KPIs and performance dashboards to track their progress, seek out coaching when needed, and adjust their training goals.

For sales teams, that means having access to robust sales analytics, with custom dashboards for reps that offer meaningful insights into their performance – beyond quotas and sales targets.

 

Use data to make informed decisions

The best way to enable better performance is by using a data-driven approach (qualitative and quantitative/leading and lagging). Use analytics from a CRM or omni-channel engagement platform, or both, to identify the employee activities that have the most impact. Then, evaluate how each worker measures up against their goals.

Performance isn’t always black and white – but getting a snapshot view of performance data helps employees measure their performance and hold them accountable for achieving their KPIs.

Performance data also helps managers identify learning opportunities, skill gaps, and performance issues so they can provide effective, personalized coaching based on team member achievement.

 

Develop a playbook

All football teams have a playbook that outlines the key plays for every game situation – and your organization should have one, too.

Your sales playbook contains your team’s strategies, presentations, call scripts, pitches, email templates, and other sales engagement tools. In your playbook, reps will be able to access different sequences of plays they can use in different situations and sales engagement stages.

 

Provide frequent, real-time feedback

Regular feedback is one of the cornerstones of the performance enablement model. Provide regular feedback to all employees, whether on-site, remote, or hybrid.

Timing matters. 

Feedback should include praise for an employee’s strengths and suggestions on opportunities for improvement based on factual observations, findings, and insights. Feedback conversations should include well-being and professional development, not just work output.

 

Leverage enablement software

An enablement software solution provides the foundation for a data-driven approach to performance enablement. Coaching conversations and goal-setting can be based on real-time performance analytics so that you can get actionable insights every time.

You can leverage enablement software and tools to give your managers the tools needed to deliver meaningful, growth-oriented coaching based on real-time data and empower your employees to thrive in a performance enablement model.

For example, you can measure your sales enablement ROI to decrease admin time, increase productivity and efficiency, and aid in better decision-making.

 

Boost your team performance with Pitcher

Pitcher’s analytics and reporting can help you execute your performance enablement model within your organization.

With Pitcher, you can measure employee performance, set goals, provide instant feedback, keep track of coaching conversations, transfer best practices across your teams, and enable data-driven decisions that help employees thrive. You can also create personalized training paths via Pitcher’s internal, microsite-based training portal.

Find out more about how you can get started with performance enablement using Pitcher’s enablement platform.

 

FAQs about performance enablement

What is performance enablement?

Performance enablement allows employees to embrace their professional progress and supports their desire to live up to their full potential, boosting productivity and engagement. The foundations of the performance enablement model are continuous training, feedback, and coaching.

 

What are the advantages of using a performance enablement plan?

Performance enablement supports each team member’s potential and helps them advance their career path. When companies use this model, managers and employees can work together to create performance plans that move the individual, the team, and the organization forward. This positive management model drives higher productivity, increases employee engagement, and creates a positive employee experience, contributing to higher retention rates and a happier workforce.

 

What’s an example of performance enablement?

Within a performance enablement model, employees work with their manager to set performance goals and expectations that align with the individual’s career path and the company’s missions and objectives.

The process continues with ongoing coaching and feedback, opportunities for training, and access to data analytics that empower the employee to own their performance progress. The employee is more engaged and productive because they are supported both personally and professionally, and they have the opportunity to learn and grow on their chosen career path.

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