The Pathway Academy

Traditional Performance Management Is Dead


Are you frustrated that performance
management still isn’t adding value to the

Can you relate to this?

You’ve done another round of performance reviews and once again you are questioning whether this is making any kind of difference.

You decide to have another go at changing the process …

You start with trying to find best practice.

…Talking to some of your peers for options.

…Introducing OKRs.

…Updating the documents and the briefing materials.

…Or you may even go buy in a new system.

Hoping that will finally solve this performance management problem.

Hoping it will finally really begin to add value.

Hoping things will actually change.

You implement the new solution just to find it yet again had zero effect whatsoever on actual performance.

You invested time and resources with no way of determining a real quantifiable, noticeable change

I know, it’s frustrating.

Here is the thing, you’re not alone, this happens all the time everywhere, take a look...

A recent survey by The Banking Standards Board (BSB) found nearly 20% of staff felt that people in their organisation turn a blind eye to inappropriate behaviour.

In a survey completed by Why BWell they found that 36% of staff admitted they are coasting, with 41% of those saying they didn’t see themselves in their job in 12 months time.

Meanwhile, a physiologically safe, learning environment is key, yet the BSB survey also found that 30% of employees said that people got defensive when their views were challenged by colleagues and 28% said that they would be worried about negative consequences if they raised concerns at work

And this kind of data isn’t changing.

Workplaces aren’t becoming more accountable, they aren’t becoming less defensive. and performance is not rising.

Behaviour is not changing despite all of the effort put into these traditional methods of creating change.

Here is why these traditional approaches do not work – they don’t identify and deal with the fundamental reasons people underperform.

The only way to really affect performance management is to create long term habitual change.

There are 8 recurring issues that when tackled right way actually changes behaviour and will create a real lasting performance increase (the result you always wanted). Here they are and examples of how it usually plays out and how you can change that.

1. Anger and Irritation

Anger and irritation are so common in workplaces that it’s considered perfectly normal and acceptable – anger was one of the prime methods our parents used to create some kind of accountability when we were children – mostly what they ended up with in response was an array of behaviours ranging from lying, pretending, and defending – and guess what – that hasn’t changed now we are all in the workplace. Anger doesn’t increase accountability, it perpetuates protective behaviours. We have to learn how to calmly apply consequences to create accountability, without resorting to anger – without consequences – the best you really have is anger.

2. Lack of Clarity

If we have not been super clear about what is expected and what good looks like, including the kinds of behaviours we are expecting to see – how can we hold people accountable to them?

Everywhere I go I see examples where managers have been unclear and end up frustrated.

We need to make sure that we have done a really good job at being clear and articulating what is expected and what good looks like – this takes more practice than we realise.

3. Lack of Accountability

The other problem with accountability is the lack of it – unhelpful or unproductive behaviours carry on without any real consequence and coasting exists without any real consequences – without consequences there is no accountability. Rarely do managers have the toolset or the skills to do this well.

Again, we have to learn how to calmly and consistently apply consistent consequences to create accountable environments – no anger.

4. Fear and the Lack of Frank and Candid Conversations

Many managers are afraid – they are afraid of those difficult conversations, afraid of how their people will react to them and they don’t know how to have frank and candid conversations – and because they don’t – they do it wrong – and end up frustrated – so they avoid them.

They really don’t have to be that difficult – and we need to teach managers how to have frank and candid conversations in the context of a safe learning environment.

5. People lying and Manipulating

My manager sets me some objectives and I then do my best to manipulate her perception of my performance so she will mark me well and think good of me – this is going on practically everywhere. We don’t have an authentic, real, holistic view of performance, we have a game of cat and mouse, smoke and mirrors.

This isn’t only bad for performance management – undermining the very aims of the process – but it’s bad for colleagues too – lying never helps us to feel good – it’s terrible for our emotional health.

So we need to move to an environment where honest, open, frank, and real conversations are rewarded by the process – taking responsibility for our shortcomings and mistakes rather than hiding them.

6. The Paperwork is a tick box exercise

Let’s be frank – nobody likes doing the paperwork – it’s a drag – and every year you try and figure out how this can be better, and pretty much every time you end up back in the same place, even some fancy systems eventually lead to only a slight benefit.

The problem of course is that when it’s a rigged game, with unauthentic conversations, lying, manipulating, and managers that are having surface level discussions – it’s no wonder.

The paperwork isn’t the problem – the conversation is.

If you teach them how to have meaningful, useful, and challenging conversations, and use the paperwork as a helpful tool to articulate the learning and growth, and the challenges – it can become a real asset in helping people to learn and grow.

We have to teach managers how to have meaningful and in-depth conversations, that all flow from those early principles of being clear about what good looks like.

7. People don’t know how to receive feedback

Lots of energy sometimes goes into training managers on how to coach and give feedback – however, companies almost never teach people how to receive that feedback. Feedback is a two-way street – like any relationship, there is, at any moment a giver of communication and a receiver – if we don’t help people to receive feedback in a constructing way then we risk all sorts of unproductive responses – which makes it difficult for both manager and colleague.

By teaching people how they can process feedback in a healthy way we stand a far better chance of them learning from it and taking it on board – even if it was given in an unhelpful manner.

Teaching people how to receive feedback is essential.

8. Under performance isn’t addressed

While managers do address some under performance in many cases there is significant under performance that just isn’t being addressed.  This puts strain on those that are performing while creating higher levels of disengagement.

By teaching managers how to consistently address under performance where it exists, and giving them the tools to do so the business can not only untap this talent but increase engagement.

Managers are actually tired

Many managers are tired of dragging people with them who just want to coast along – so they resort to flogging the willing horse – they gave up trying to address the coasters, because the coasters do what they do best, coast – and without any meaningful resources and in the absence of knowing how – managers just do they best they can – which invariably leads to the path of least resistance.

To change all of these problems requires a fundamental change both to peoples understanding and to their Habitual Behaviours.

In order to do that we need Three Things


New ways of understanding all the behaviours that exist in the workplace so you can address the real root causes and remove them bit by bit. Not addressing anger, for example, is like sprinkling icing sugar on rotten apples and expecting a nice apple pie.


Develop your team consistently with feedback and reinforcement of the new teachings so that old behaviours are replaced with new behaviours – the teaching has to be reinforced over a longer period of time – just like going to the gym every day in January just won’t yield the same results as going twice a week for a year.


New ways to manage the whole process so you engineer-in tools and methods to make it as easy as possible for managers to get this right – consistently – just like it’s so much easier to get a consistent result when you use a consistent recipe that works. You can even link pay and performance in a healthy way.

So what is the solution?

I’ve developed this method from years of experience in the corporate environment coupled with thousands of hours of work on my own emotional intelligence and awareness and then I married these two experiences to create a new way of working that consistently works. It took years to adapt and develop the entire approach, but as one piece followed another every business saw the same positive changes – it just worked.

I call it Pathway.

What results can you expect to see?

As Pathway was adopted by different organisations they consistently saw improvements in performance, with people more focused, clear and productive, delivering both better quality work, more consistently.

Teams that applied Pathway saw productivity improve by up to 35%, in addition staff turnover was reduced by up to 38%, absence reduced by upto 60% and crucially some teams saw a 100% improvement in business income.

If you’d like to book in a discover call with me to find out more about how Pathway can help your own company click here

To find out from someone who’s been through the process and come out the other side:

Callum was a middle leader who got promoted to become a senior leader in his business – as he applied what he learnt from the Pathway Academy he discovered it transformed his working life: “I can’t quite believe the difference, I seem to be able to deliver so much more with my team and yet I feel less stressed and anxious – it’s been a revelation, we are so much more productive, and happier to boot – I can’t recommend it enough and the continued support I received as I applied what I learnt was excellent – it can take a little while to get your head around it, but the more you do the more you benefit and the more change you see.”

If you’d like to see real transformation in your business and in your own management teams to achieve the similar results then book a call here and we will create a bespoke plan for your organisation.


You may have some questions here are a few common ones:

How is this delivered?

There is a core course that requires each participant to go through 8 key modules – they are required to maintain their own journal and learning log and complete assignments as they go through – depending upon the support package you pick they will then be supported with coaching as they apply what they have learnt.

Do you train the trainer?

YES – our outstanding train the trainer programme is one of our preferred delivery methods so that we can support you to embed the learning and develop a good pool of in-house coaching experience of your own – each trainer will then support a group of managers internally so they can develop their own coaching experience along the way

How long does it take?

The course itself takes around 8 months – but can be taken over a longer period as required – the train the trainer programmes are a minimum of 24 months.

Can we tailor the programme to our needs?

Yes – There are some fundamentals that everyone needs to understand to help them build healthy, accountable teams however the coaching that sits around the programme can be customised to suit your requirements and additional, unique content or sessions can be designed to suit your personal needs.

Do you run different specific programmes for senior leaders?

Yes – again, there are some fundamentals we all need to know, however additional support and more intimate coaching sessions can be added along with personal feedback on all written assignments to provide an even deeper impact for senior leaders.

Do you run taster sessions?

Yes – we run a taster session for senior leadership teams – this can be an important session and is designed to help the senior team to reflect on how they hold their teams accountable today and how that might need to change in the future.  This session can also be important for the senior team to understand how they can support the business as it goes through this change in how it manages its people.

If you would like to transform performance management in your business then book in a discovery call and let’s make some change.