A hot topic in HR is that the traditional annual performance review is doomed. Is the future truly devoid of performance review forms? If so, should we sit back and watch the annual review process die or is it time to call for backup? I have spent a lot of time working with SAP SuccessFactors Continuous Performance Management (CPM) and although it doesn’t replace the annual review form, it does alleviate the major pain points and greatly enhances the performance review process as a whole. If there are tools out there that could potentially save the annual performance review, would we really want them to?
While there are plenty of statistics that support pulling the proverbial plug on the annual performance review, we don’t we need a research team to know why they aren’t working. Infrequent, inconsistent performance ‘feedback’ just doesn’t cut it anymore (if it ever did). We expect information and communication immediately, not eventually. We want our work to be meaningful, not meaningless administrative work. We are mobile and connected 24/7, not glued to a desk from 9am - 5pm. We have all evolved, so why hasn’t the performance management process evolved with us? Therein lies the key. If the performance review is to survive – it needs to be revived.
Here’s a look at how the features in CPM can breathe new life into your old annual performance review process.
Constant, Year-Round Communication
Communication between employee and manager is ongoing with CPM, not just once or twice a year. Performance related information is tracked in one, central location in SuccessFactors which allows managers and employees to add activities and achievements as they come up and request updates and feedback from each other or from other team members.
Easy Access for Managers and Employees
CPM is easy to access and update, thus managers no longer have to keep separate files to remind themselves of notable performance throughout the year. CPM information is right at manager's fingertips in the system, so when it comes time to complete a formal review form relevant performance notes are easy to pull up for reference.
Real-time Coaching and Feedback
Real-time coaching and feedback means meaningful coaching and feedback. Employees don’t hear about something they did (or didn’t) do well a year after the fact when tools like CPM are in play. Employees can request feedback from managers and/or peers related to a specific CPM activity. Managers can request status updates from employees and provide coaching and feedback whenever and wherever it is convenient for them to do so.
Reduces Overall Time Spent on Review Process
The old annual performance review forms could require ratings and comments from up to 20 (or more) competencies. Add in the time and effort it takes to rate goals and provide developmental feedback, and it is easy to see how a manager with as many as five direct reports might spend a week trying to complete formal annual review forms for his/her team. While there are many benefits to using a formal review form to rate on job specific and core competencies, for ongoing coaching and feedback it is much more efficient to have a quick, easy to use app on your phone. CPM was designed as a mobile app and is the best module I’ve used on mobile so far.
HR technology has evolved, our workforce has evolved and if we don’t want to bury our performance review process and start over, it needs to evolve now, too.
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AltaFlux Corporation is a global HCM cloud consulting partner based in Troy, Michigan. We empower organizations by streamlining, transforming, and optimizing key human capital management (HCM) processes with industry-leading HCM cloud solutions like SAP SuccessFactors, Benefitfocus, WorkForce Software and Dell Boomi.