<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://px.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=231787&amp;fmt=gif">

    Performance Enablement in the Workplace: What is it and Why Is it Important?

    August 26, 2023

    Stay Updated

     Performance Enablement: What is it and Why Is it Important

    Performance enablement program transcends the conventional annual review model. It focuses on cultivating skills, fostering growth, and using technology to achieve the most optimal outcomes. Employees feel continually supported, and managers are trained to enable performance and not just drive it. This article explains the performance enablement definition and how it works. You will also learn the  benefits of a performance enablement model and how to implement it.  

    Organizations recognize the significance of employee’s traditional performance management for their continued success, but only a few grasp what it takes to genuinely empower and boost employee performance. Traditionally, HR teams and managers follow a system of goal setting, performance management, and reviews to drive workers toward better outcomes. But what about supporting them to meet these goals? That is what the field of performance enablement is all about. 

    Defining Performance Enablement 

    Performance enablement is an all-encompassing and cutting-edge approach to employee growth and performance management. It goes beyond the traditional annual performance evaluation model and concentrates on nurturing skills, promoting development, and using technology for the best possible outcomes. 

    In many ways, it is the next wave of performance management systems, an innovative system that aligns employee potential with performance enablement goals. 

    Setting the context, i.e., offering direction and guidance on what is most essential for the organization and why, is the cornerstone of performance enablement. The why is especially vital as it establishes the setting for the job's mission and purpose. Both managers and HR teams can establish challenging but achievable goals with this data in mind. 

    Another defining trait of performance enablement is that it takes employee-centricity as the fulcrum of work culture. With a performance enablement system in place, your workforce will: 

    • On a daily basis, get coaching, training, and feedback. 
    • Feel inspired to pursue their professional goals and aims. 
    • Engage in more meaningful, impactful work. 
    • Receive more opportunities for professional growth and progression. 
    • Realize they are valued and enabled as a result of their contributions being acknowledged. 

    Learn More: Performance Management to Arrest Attrition  

    How Does Performance Enablement Work? 

    Performance enablement serves as a framework for employees to achieve organizational targets while remaining well-rounded and healthy – and developing personally. This has four parts. 

    1. Contextualization

    First, HR administrators and supervisors have to define the organization's path and targets. Define unambiguous standards for performance that drive organizational success. Then, establish motivational goals which link individuals to a larger purpose. The creation of a wider setting for the tasks that employees perform – and, in this scenario, are eager to carry out – is an outcome of leadership guided by goals and purpose. 

    1. Coaching and development

    Coaching and evaluation are the next performance enablement elements. Coaches pose questions that may help employees identify solutions and reach their goals. Effective coaching puts greater emphasis on future accomplishments than on past performance. 

    In addition, supervisors must get training on how to mentor more successfully and provide and receive constructive criticism. They should be acknowledged and rewarded for their coaching efforts in a performance enablement culture. 

    1. Continuous learning

    The third component of the performance enablement model is continuous professional development. Growth and self-improvement cannot work as an ad-hoc offering, and it should not be restricted to individuals with poor performance or even, high-potentials. It must be integrated into everyday life at the workplace. 

    1. The resource bedrock

    The scope of performance enablement extends beyond training. It gives you specific tools, assets, and technologies to enhance the way in which your employees execute a task. Employees have access to the instruments they need to improve their job performance. When HR teams emphasize performance enablement, they transition from being just training enablers to performance counsellors. 

    Learn More: Continuous Performance Management – How to Make It Work with The Right System  

    Performance Management vs. Performance Enablement: What is the Difference? 

    Unlike performance management, which is static and hierarchical, performance enablement focuses on building connections that enable individuals to function at the highest possible level. 

    Traditional performance management is retrospective, limited in scope, and infrequent, usually happening once a year. This arrangement introduces recency bias since only immediate outcomes are evaluated precisely. The primary step to eliminating bias in performance management is to offer employees real-time feedback. Therefore, performance enablement does not have a deadline-driven or timebound framework. 

    Also, most performance management models tend to reaffirm the power disparities between managers and their subordinates. Instead of attempting to attain their full potential, staff members are generally expected to only meet their manager's expectations. 

    On the other hand, performance enablement broadens the scope by directly aligning employee performance with business goals and plans. 

    The enablement model uses 360-degree feedback and pushes workers to develop their careers independently – within the organization. It provides team members with more learning opportunities helping them not only perform better but also take charge of their future goals and services to the organization. 

    And, the organization actively provides tools and resources to make this possible. 

    Learn More: The Evolution of Performance Management System  

    Importance of Performance Enablement in the Workplace: 8 Key Benefits 

    Performance enablement is fast becoming a priority for companies in Asia and around the world. It may replace or coexist with traditional performance management systems, depending on the size and nature of your business. Here are some of the benefits: 

    1. Unlocks employee potential

    As a component of the performance enablement process, employees are encouraged to evaluate their tactical and strategic contributions to the company. By delineating each employee's goals and integrating these into objectives and key results (OKRs), performance enablement maximizes their potential. Employees feel valued and are able to connect what they do to the overall business strategy. 

    1. Improves engagement and retention

    Regular evaluations and individualized development plans encourage employees to stay on track while feeling satisfied with their growth. Additionally, empowered workers are more likely to experience a feeling of purpose and dedication to their tasks. In turn, this increases employment engagement and enhances retention rates. At a time when skilled workers are in high demand, low attrition is an enormous benefit for human resources. 

    1. Prepares teams for the challenges of the digital era

    Our modern digital landscape calls for quick adaptation. Performance enablement helps organizations respond promptly to disruptions in technology. They possess a highly driven and accomplished team capable of navigating challenging market conditions. As employees acquire relevant expertise, they become more prepared to face tech advancement-related challenges. 

    1. Helps meet targets, regardless of the appraisal cycle

    Your teams may begin the new fiscal year recognizing what they must accomplish, but they might lack the resources needed to achieve these targets. With performance enablement, workers can learn and acquire new skills in areas that currently impede progress. They will also possess the resources and tools necessary to apply these newly acquired skills to ongoing projects. 

    Learn More: Performance 2.0: The Route That Needs to Be Taken  

    1. Drives career growth for individuals

    Whenever performance management becomes excessively focused on routine tasks, performance enablement understands that every worker is a distinct and unique individual with specific career goals, even if this requires switching job roles or divisions. The manager's job is to help employees evaluate their talents and interests in order to figure out where they ideally belong – inside the organizational framework. 

    1. Attracts Gen Z workers

    Today's employees, particularly those from Generation Z, want flexibility and independence, which performance enablement allows. When you offer younger employees the chance to work independently, set their own goals, and pursue initiatives they are enthusiastic about, they perform with more enthusiasm, focus, and determination. Because Gen Zers can identify their own goals and promise within the organization, they are more inclined to invest in its future. 

    1. Promotes internal mobility

    Conversations between workers and managers about performance enablement revolve around development and possibility. When these discussions happen regularly, it becomes instinctual for both parties to search for ways to learn and develop, whether in their current position or by testing out new responsibilities. 

    Historically, managers have gathered employees with exceptional potential. A system of enablement, on the other hand, helps managers recognize that an employee's true potential may not always lie in their original field or division. 

    1. Increases profitability

    Gallup reports that businesses that value employee development are at 11% greater profitability. These companies prioritize empowering employees and fostering innovation from the ground up. Performance enablement helps employees to develop skills, follow professional goals, and fulfill their basic needs. Consequently, their performance improves, and the business generates greater profits. 

    Learn More Getting Your Performance Management Framework Right In The New Mode Of Work  

    Steps to Implement a Performance Enablement Model in Your Company 

    As you can see, performance enablement in the workplace can bring rich dividends for an organization, from higher profits to lower turnover. But going from a traditional system to an enablement approach can be a major shift – in terms of processes, culture, and mindset. That is why organizations adopting performance enablement need to: 

    1. Provide coaching and development opportunities to managers

    Managers take on the most important role in enabling performance. They must become coaches capable of partnering with staff members to identify and eliminate barriers to success. HR leaders must evaluate manager duties and change their goals, relieving managers from an avalanche of operational tasks and letting them focus on team mentoring. 

    Additionally, HR executives should collaborate with learning and development experts to include scenario-based training in learning management systems. This training helps managers constantly refine their mentoring abilities. 

    1. Communicate goals and tie them to organizational objectives

    Before improving performance and pursuing targets, employees must know what is expected of them. HR leaders and administrators should establish and record OKRs for every position. When the company establishes its annual objectives, the HR department, managers, and employees should collaborate and set specific targets that are congruent with company objectives. 

    Individual, team, along with organizational goals must be effectively communicated and revised as business priorities change. Workers need on-demand access to their OKRs in order to track their progress, update their learning objectives, and request feedback. 

    Remember, transparency is one of the key factors that sets performance enablement apart from performance management. 

    1. Implement continuous learning

    Training the workforce and encouraging individuals to continually enhance their skill sets is essential to adopting a performance enablement model at your company. Training must focus on helping workers with their immediate responsibilities. Additionally, it should improve their long-term efficacy and let them realize their full potential at work. 

    Managers can work with employees to point out learning opportunities across the daily workflow. In-the-moment learning tools, integrated into productivity platforms, can also help better enrich employees’ knowledge and skillsets. 

    1. Offer career pathing facilities

    As stated, performance enablement prioritizes long-term career advancement. Using a career pathing app or platform, supervisors and staff members can work together to pinpoint career goals and match the employee's learning pathway with those targets. 

    To do this, managers must be familiar with learning tools and the internal transfer structures of the business. They must be well-versed with your LMS and possible reimbursement prospects to provide effective career guidance to employees. 

    Learn More: Making Continuous Performance Management Work  

    1. Encourage regular and forward-looking feedback

    Continuous feedback is a key pillar in the performance enablement model. Whether on location, remote, or hybrid, every worker has to receive consistent feedback. This should include appreciation for an employee's strengths and recommendations for potential growth based on factual observations. Along with work output, wellness, and personal development must be discussed during feedback sessions. 

    Another key concept in performance enablement is that of the feedforward, where findings from the past act as insights to build future performance. Again, managers need to be trained in feedforward techniques. 

    1. Strengthen communication channels

    The sixth factor that impacts performance enablement is how you communicate with staff. Companies need to double their focus on establishing a relationship between the business leadership and employees while avoiding strict hierarchies. It is also essential to provide opportunities for employees to forge more meaningful connections with their colleagues. 

    You can designate a mentor to a group or to each individual employee so that they can develop specific skills or acquire experience in specific business areas. Remember to increase your leadership's regular presence and availability, and maximize communication with employees using both online and offline channels. 

    1. Empower employees to push boundaries

    Enablement is futile and fails to work, unless organizations tell their employees, "I believe in you."  

    Established processes should not restrict employees' ability to solve problems creatively. Instead, it should enable them to act independently when necessary. Managers have to show confidence in their employees' skills, and that it is acceptable to occasionally stray from the script – albeit for the right reasons. However, managers must be trained in the skills and mindset necessary to pick up the baton if needed.  

    1. Invest in technology that supports performance enablement

    Performance enablement can be a complex and time-consuming overhaul for companies. Fortunately, modern technology takes a lot of the effort and guesswork out of enablement models and makes implementation much easier. Organizations should consider investing in: 

    • Real-time feedback tools: Platforms that enable real-time guidance and inputs in a closed cycle. 
    • Data analytics: Dashboards and patterns that spot top performers and also problem areas, with continuous monitoring 
    • Learning management systems: Individualized learning paths, which include online courses, workshops, and learning forums. 
    • Goal-setting tools: OKR systems that facilitate the alignment of individual targets with the organization's overarching objectives, alongside KPIs that measure them. 
    • Collaboration platforms: Digital communication tools that encourage teamwork in the workplace. 
    • Rewards & recognition: Digital platforms for publicly acknowledging and rewarding the exceptional achievements of employees. 
    • Performance management software: Centralized platforms for goal setting, tracking progress, and performance reviews. 
    • 360-degree feedback: Tools for gathering data from various sources to form an accurate representation of employee performance. 

    Learn More: Managing Poor Performance: A Step-by-Step Checklist for HR Managers  


    Performance enablement is not a strategy or undertaking that you can consider, set up, and then abandon. It is an ongoing process. The performance enablement system is a high-context ecosystem above all else. It builds a workplace in which objectives, goal setting, and the broader purpose that they symbolize are constantly discussed. 

    By establishing business-aligned goals and offering counseling at all stages, you can give employees what anyone, always wants: a sense of purpose, professional growth, and respect for their contributions. 

    The Darwinbox software suite offers a comprehensive toolkit to help organizations embrace a performance enablement culture. Learn more from our experts! 


    View all posts

    Stay Updated

    Speak Your Mind


    Subscribe and stay up to date