10 key findings on performance and reward management in an agile environment

Xavier Baeten

By Xavier Baeten

Professor of Reward & Sustainability

Koen Dewettinck

By Koen Dewettinck

Professor of Human Resources Management

22 October 2020

Agility is an emerging key dimension of business excellence. Research by Vlerick Business School, surveying the largest for-profit organisations in Belgium, revealed that, for 93% of them, agile ways of working have become more important in the last few years. And the top three terms associated with the concept of agility are: adaptability, speed and customer centricity.

Although agility has really taken off, many organisations are still struggling with implementing agile approaches in the area of performance and reward management. An agile way of working is transforming how organisations manage and reward their talent, but only a mere 18% of the largest for-profit organisations in Belgium consider themselves to be agile on performance management and 28% on reward management.

How do you approach performance management when you need to evaluate projects that are run by several different leaders and organised around teams? How to align employees’ career aspirations with business needs in a non-hierarchical environment? Can we allow a merit-pay process when talent systems are becoming more team-focused?

That’s why our Centre for Excellence in Strategic Talent Management and our Centre for Excellence in Strategic Rewards joined forces for a new study that sheds a light on 8 Belgian and 4 Dutch companies that were either working agilely from the very beginning or changed the tires while driving the car.

Based on a qualitative study with the support of our Chair Partner Hudson, the research team identified 10 key findings, each representing a phenomenon, trend or influence currently playing in agile working contexts:

  1. A purpose-led approach towards performance & career development
  2. From taking up additional roles to role-based job design
  3. Career self-management as the main driver for career evolution
  4. Questioning the role of supervisors in the performance management process
  5. Transparency to enhance trust, ownership and internal fairness
  6. Actively identifying and managing poor performance
  7. Team members deciding on salary increases and promotions
  8. To pay or not to pay for individual performance? It all depends...
  9. Customised and on the spot recognition
  10. Managing and rewarding agile teams in crisis situations

Want to learn more? Download the full white paper ‘Performance and reward management in an agile environment’.

Get in touch!

Sanne De Cooman

Sanne De Cooman

Coordinator Vlerick Reward Centre

Astrid Vandenbroucke

Astrid Vandenbroucke

Manager GPtW®