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Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you have probably seen the countless articles, studies and white papers that have been published lately about the need to rethink performance management. Everybody seems to agree that the current process, with its annual or biannual performance reviews, is not enough to improve employee performance. And most people acknowledge that what is actually needed is a more continuous and forward-looking approach to managing performance.

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Introducing Continuous Performance Management

We have been looking at this topic for a while and for this Q1 2016 release we are quite excited to announce the launch of a new set of capabilities that deliver Continuous Performance Management. This is the single largest investment we have made in Performance Management since our Performance & Goals solution was brought to market and we are confident these new capabilities will help our customers improve the productivity and development of their workforce, facilitating more meaningful and frequent performance conversations between managers and employees.

Give employees the feedback and coaching they need to succeed

The feedback employees get during performance reviews is usually not that actionable. Its purpose is mostly to evaluate past performance and since it happens just once or twice a year, its scope is very general and employees often find it irrelevant for improving performance on projects they are currently working on.

With Continuous Performance Management employees can now proactively capture and share what they are working on with their managers so they can receive the feedback they need to ensure they are working toward their goals. Our capabilities allow employees to:

  • Keep track of performance-related activities and give visibility to their managers about what they are executing on, what their work priorities are and what progress they are making.
  • Align their activities, if applicable, to the performance goals that are part of their goal plan.
  • Keep track of the non-performance related topics they want to discuss with their managers in their next one-on-one.
  • Receive simple coaching from managers on what to start doing and what to keep doing.
  • Capture achievements in a simple and organized way so when seen together they automatically become a live self-assessment that is ready to be discussed at any time with their manager.
  • Take snapshots of their one-on-one meetings — archiving the activities, topics and coaching they have discussed — so they can later be used as easy reference when following-up on open issues.

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Help Managers provide more structured and effective guidance to employees

Most managers are not very good at consistently conducting successful one-on-ones with their employees. The reasons are multiple: they are not sure how to structure them, they don’t know how to provide  constructive negative feedback, or they just simply use the time to discuss tactical issues. And that’s when they do happen because often times they forget to have them or, even worst, they cancel them because ‘more important things came up’.

Our new capabilities help managers become better people managers, getting a complete view into what their teams are working on and providing regular and effective guidance to employees when they need it the most. With Continuous Performance Management managers can:

  • Leverage content captured by their employees to better structure one-on-one meetings.
  • Provide more actionable feedback, making meetings more meaningful and effective for employees.
  • Have an easy and straightforward way to provide coaching to employees, putting special focus on what they did well and what they can do to improve their performance.
  • Get visibility into employees’ most important achievements with Annual Summary

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Ensure performance conversations actually happen regularly in your organization

There is only so much HR can do to make one-on-ones happen: train managers on the value and importance of one-on-ones, encourage employees to proactively request weekly meetings from their managers, run employee engagement surveys to understand how often employees and manager engage regulary, etc. No matter what you do, you are never certain they are happening and the best you can do is hope your managers will have the time, the attention and the commitment to have them.

We can change that. With our new features, HR leaders can now be more confident that high-quality one-on-ones happen regularly within their organizations:

  • Monitor how many activities and achievements are completed by employees.
  • Track how often one-on-ones happen.
  • Send reminders to managers to hold them regularly.

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Available on mobile and web

Continuous Performance Management can be accessed both from the SuccessFactors web application as well as from the SuccessFactors Mobile app. There is no need to download a separate app.

We have put a lot of effort on making sure both experiences provide the same ease of use and simplicity, but the mobile version specifically adds immediacy and accessibility to a process that produces best results when it happens more frequently.

With the mobile app, employees can keep track of any updates related to their work and performance anywhere, anytime. And managers can provide critical guidance to employees when it is most needed using the device that is always with them. The scenario we envision is a one-on-one meeting where technology is there not to be the center of attention but to support, inform and enhance the conversation between employees and managers.

Putting it all together

As part of SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals you can use these Continuous Performance Management capabilities independently or together with your more formal goal management and performance assessments.

In this first release we have integrated with performance goals management so employees can always align their work to their performance goals, but in upcoming releases you can expect tighter integration with other talent processes such as performance reviews, development, etc. SuccessFactors Customers can check our latest roadmap in the SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals customer community.

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3 Comments

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  1. Chiara Bersano

    The new product looks great, Enric. I can definitely see your mark on it, and the hard work in designing the multiple steps and back and forth conversation. 🙂

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