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HR teams must focus on continuous development right now

10 years ago, annual reviews were scribbled on bits of paper, filed in an overcrowded box folder, and not looked at again until the next review rolled around.

10 years ago, annual reviews were scribbled on bits of paper, filed in an overcrowded box folder, and not looked at again until the next review rolled around. Since the digitisation of performance management became commonplace, it’s never been easier to make regular reviews an ongoing way to give employees constructive feedback. By the way, if your review process still sounds like the top one, you really should get in touch with us right now. Our recent Learner Survey report shows 1 in 4 UK employees had less support from their manager in 2020 than the year before. 50% of UK workers said performance reviews were not frequent or effective. If a huge portion of your workforce doesn’t feel supported, how can you expect them to be engaged and motivated at work? Without managerial support, reviews, and feedback, employees cannot express how they’re feeling. And where does that lead? They leave. Unsurprisingly, there’s no quick win that will make your employee stay with you forever. In fact, 2 in 5 UK employees will leave their current job in the next 12 months to learn more and progress their career. So, invest in their career development and watch them stick around for longer. Continuous development is a key player in an employee’s longevity within your business.

What is continuous development?

Continuous development is the process of regularly working on an employee’s progression. This includes but is not limited to: learning opportunities, regular reviews, and 1:1 managerial check-ins. Essentially, it’s the constant growth of an employee. Employee development is often misconstrued as a “one-time” thing, hence the traditional annual reviews and initial mandatory training for new hires. According to our Learner Survey report, employees want to learn, upskill, and develop more but they’re not often given the right tools and support to do so. The best way to help employees stay on track of goals, performance, and work is to regularly check they have ample L&D opportunities to develop. Yet, a third of UK employees did not receive the learning they needed to progress their careers in 2020. To help employees excel with continuous development, you need to first understand how they want to be supported. Do they want more learning opportunities? Regular meetings? Weekly objective updates?

Why focus on continuous development?

As human beings, learning and developing is part of what makes our lives so great. We learn and develop in our personal lives, whether this is learning to socialise, graduating from University, or learning how to cope with personal issues. L&D is integral to our lives, personal or professional, and shouldn’t be neglected in the workplace.

  • 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week.
  • Employees that have regular feedback meetings have a lower employee turnover rate by almost 15%.
  • 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development
  • People who work for companies that invest in their learning and development opportunities are 83% more likely to feel happy in their job.
  • When looking for work, 54% of people say career progression is more important than salary.
  • 63% of Gen Z say they want to hear timely, constructive feedback throughout the year. Gen Z are not afraid of feedback. The more feedback they get, the more they learn and develop.
  • Gen Z and Millennials show a huge desire for stronger development opportunities with the rise of self-directed learning.


Next steps for HR leaders:

  • Most importantly, ask your teams how they want to be supported. Whether they’d like to learn a new skill or have quarterly reviews instead of annual, listen to how they would prefer to develop.
  • Reflect on L&D opportunities in your organisation. What do you currently provide? Do you have a learning platform with a breadth of eLearning content? How do you conduct performance reviews? Do you need to digitise feedback to cut time in order to make them more frequent?
  • Invest in L&D tools. Now is the time to search for software that’ll make continuous development simple to implement in your workplace. Unlike traditional paper performance management, when you digitise development, you can:
    • Seamlessly track all reviews and feedback
    • Report on progress
    • View all your team’s development in one area
    • Save trees!
    • Save time
    • Cut cost on productivity loss from traditional lengthy reviews

Speaking of performance management software that saves you time, money, and gives you everything you need…

Let me introduce you to: Perform. Invest in a structured, digital performance management framework to help get the best out of your teams. You can track progress and productivity against objectives, get an accurate report of performance, and understand who needs praise and who needs support. And you can even link learning with performance, with LMS integrations to save time and boost learning opportunities. With fully customisable, pre-populated reviews for the monthly, quarterly, or annual review lovers, Perform has it all. No more worrying about where you left your employee’s review and how on earth you’re going to compare their progress with no data to back it up. Perform has got your back. Plus, with Perform, you can also link employee objectives directly to our award-winning LMS, meaning employees can check off their goals with a click of a button! Strengthen your employee development strategy; speak to our friendly team about how we can help your employees stay happy and develop within your business.

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Written by Mara Swann

Mara has a passion for promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion across global workplaces and hopes to inspire learners to focus on their own careers with self-directed learning content.


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