Rethinking Performance Management: The Case for Data-Driven Solutions

April 17, 2024

Rethinking Performance Management: The Case for Data-Driven Solutions

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In the rapidly evolving landscape of remote work and digital transformation, traditional methods of performance management fall short. Companies, now more than ever, need tools that both provide insights into employee productivity and empower them to make data-driven decisions.

Back in 2022, I helped run a consumer brand that was going through its first hypergrowth phase. We were scaling at an insanely fast pace and doubling headcount every few weeks. However, this growth broke apart our internal systems, data analytics, and cross-team processes. What we lacked was a single source of quantitative truth that could point to performance metrics and what was really driving the business forward - spanning both teams and individual contributors.

I knew I needed to figure out where we stood and began searching for tools that could help me piece together what performance looked like on a daily basis. This proved difficult – everyone was using OKRs and 6-month review cycles – but no one was looking at real-time data. 

Stunned that this seemed to be a frustrating reality for every company I talked to, I wanted to build something better. is leading the charge in disrupting outdated performance management software, offering an easy to implement solution that addresses the shortcomings of conventional approaches and leverages quantitative data to drive meaningful change.

The fundamental problem with traditional OKRs

One of the most widely adopted frameworks for performance management is Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). While OKRs can be effective in theory, they often fall short in practice. According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, "OKRs often lack the rigor required to truly measure performance and drive meaningful outcomes." This highlights the need for a more objective and data-driven approach to performance management.

The OKR process can be time-consuming, cumbersome, and typically include qualitative data that is prone to individual bias, but perhaps worst of all, OKRs show problems well after they’ve happened and taken root within teams. 

The future of performance management must include real-time data so managers can make informed decisions in the moment. In a remote-first world, where teams are dispersed and collaboration is virtual, this approach becomes even more challenging to implement effectively.

The ongoing drag of under performance

Another critical issue plaguing traditional performance management is the lack of visibility into employee activities, particularly in remote settings. A recent article in Forbes points out that, "Without quantitative data to track and measure performance, companies are left in the dark about who is truly contributing to the organization's success and who may be falling behind." 

This lack of visibility can lead to decreased efficiency and missed opportunities for ongoing cross-team improvement. When talking about under performance specifically, we often think about the direct impacts – think missed deadlines, sub-par output, or projects gone sideways – but the indirect impacts can be much more insidious and difficult to immediately address.

There’s an old saying, “if you’re the best member of your band, get a different band” and this holds true for your best employees as well. The indirect impact of having under performing team members is that your A and B players will leave. And they’ll leave without warning and without you knowing why until it’s way too late.

The power of injecting quantitative data

This is where shines. By providing real-time insights into employee productivity through quantitative data, Seam enables teams to quickly make informed decisions about performance management. As noted in an article by McKinsey, "Data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable." This underscores the importance of leveraging data to drive business outcomes.

With, organizations can track key metrics such as:

  • Productivity
  • Engagement
  • Focus Time
  • Capacity & Utilization

This level of visibility not only ensures accountability but also allows managers to identify areas for optimization and improvement proactively.

Why companies are embracing a data-driven future

In an AI-driven, remote working, post-ZIRP world, companies can no longer afford to rely on outdated performance management practices. By embracing a data-driven approach, organizations can unlock new insights, improve decision-making, and drive sustainable growth. represents the future of performance management, offering a modern solution that addresses shortcomings of traditional methods. By harnessing the power of quant data, Seam helps teams optimize performance, foster collaboration, and thrive in the remote-first world.

As companies continue to navigate the complexities of remote work and digital transformation, they must embrace innovative solutions like to stay ahead of the curve and unlock their full potential. It's time to leave outdated performance management practices behind and embrace the future of work.

Jake Honig

Jake Honig