By David Goodman, HR Practice Lead at SOA People.
It's that time of year again. Many companies have recently completed their yearly performance reviews, meetings have been scheduled and forms have been filled. Managers and employees are breathing a sigh of relief as the painful annual appraisal is behind them again. You can almost hear them saying: “Now that’s done we can get back to work!”
Well, we may be happy it’s over, but employees, managers and HR are secretly asking themselves: “How much value does this bring? Isn’t there a better way of doing it?”
In the last 3 years alone multiple studies have shown that more than half of managers and employees are not satisfied with their current performance management processes.
People and companies are still struggling to get real value from ‘performance management’. As is often the case, we can break this challenge down into 3 key elements: People, Process and Technology.
When it comes to people and process, employees are not expecting their performance to be ‘managed’. What they are looking for is regular feedback, constructive conversations, ideas and inputs on how they can do the job better, develop their skills, grow and contribute more to company success. From the people perspective, this means developing a culture of regular, informal and honest feedback.
Process-wise the key words here are ‘regular’ and ‘informal’. The more frequently you coach or are coached, the more natural it becomes. You agree objectives in January and have them formally assessed in December. But what happens in between? If we believe that people make the success of the company then you certainly should not wait until year-end before telling your direct report that he or she is off-track.
HR and management gurus all agree: when it comes to appraisals the “best surprise is no surprise”. End of year appraisals should be the confirmation of lots of conversations that have happened regularly over the year.
So, if avoiding surprises means regular contact and feedback, it would make sense to capture that feedback quickly and easily and share it between manager and employee. We need a sort of people-log-book where we can record our conversations.
That’s where Continuous Performance comes in. Complimenting or even replacing traditional annual appraisals, Continuous Performance supports the ongoing conversation between manager and employee, throughout the year. This benefits the direct report and the organization and increases the chance of business success. Smaller successes on specific tasks or projects can be celebrated and recorded, and errors are more easily coached and corrected. The exchange becomes meaningful, focused and motivating. And if it’s done with the right tool, it will be structured and reportable.
And that brings us to technology. What kind of solution should you look for?
The best HRIS products include pre-configured processes with business-oriented content to support modern, flexible processes.
The “log-book” described above becomes part of a connected system that can feed into other HR processes now or later.
Your chosen solution should make it easy, out of the box, to define goals and track their status. Enabling you and your direct reports to monitor the probability of achieving those goals.
Solutions that enable everyone to graphically see how one goal relates to another and how objectives in your team relate to broader corporate objectives will create a business focused, motivated organization.
Make sure it’s easy to update managers on task status and priorities, and to capture conversations intuitively – whether on a smartphone or at the office.
Look out for ranking and calibration features so that you can be sure of giving balanced and equitable team reviews.
One solution that does all this and more is SOA People’s Ready-To-Run. Based on the SAP SuccessFactors cloud platform, Ready-To-Run is pre-built, flexible, quick to implement and highly scalable.
Ready-To-Run offers plenty of “room for growth”: When your organization is ready, connecting performance management with our optimized compensation management or learning process will bring incremental benefits and help transform motivation and delivery in your workforce.