Calibration in SAP SuccessFactors could be really act as a great tool which is not only provide transparency but also very effective with talent processes mainly performance, compensation and succession.  By definition: “Calibration is the setting or correcting of a base level, usually by adjusting it to match or conform to a dependably known and unvarying measure”.


In SAP SuccessFactors, calibration provides a means to review and ensure equitable performance, compensation and talent ratings across teams, departments and the organization. This process ensures a calibrated view of performance, results and potential for employees, which in turn help to find, reward and develop the true performers.

But the first question comes to our mind why an organization needs this? Let’s see a small scenario, for a company when performance reviews are not objectively applied across an organization, it negatively impacts both individuals and the organization. By not accurately identifying the top performers, companies generally face the risk of rewarding and promoting the wrong people which may lead to the average or lowest performers on top. All these again lead to a realization of unfairness and dissatisfaction with the performance review process. When the least productive workers are over-compensated, top performers feel under-appreciated then the result is obvious. They Leave! And when these high-performing employees leave, businesses are no longer able to execute on their strategic objectives and the costs to replace these highly skilled talents. All these actually affect the whole talent management strategy and processes.

(As per SAP SuccessFactors documentation)

SAP SuccessFactors Calibration provides a simple, automated, and streamlined way to identify the company’s true top performers, reward them fairly, and promote them to leadership positions. With the right talent in the proper place, employees are more engaged and motivated, the best are retained, and the ones that are not on the top are identified for development programs. With these capabilities, one way companies are well positioned to execute on their strategic goals and in other way employees are satisfied and hence companies’ employs retention.

SAP Success Factors calibration provides a wide range of benefits to the organizations:

• Business Benefits. By accurately calibrating performance, compensation, and succession across all geographic locations, managers can be objective in how employees are assessed, awarded pay raises, and promoted to leadership positions. Calibration enables companies to identify, retain, and motivate their top performers. It also helps identify employees that would benefit from additional training or further development opportunities.

• HR Benefits. The SAP SuccessFactors calibration streamlines the setup, administration, and management of all calibration processes, enabling HR to focus on more strategic activities.

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• Manager Benefits.  SAP SuccessFactors calibration provides HR with the ability to coach managers on how to rate more subjectively and effectively. With proper training, managers can have more meaningful, objective dialogues with their employees without being burdened by the administrative complexity of the performance review process.

SAP SuccessFactors Calibration adds significant value to the following Talent management components:

• Performance Review. Performance ratings drive every critical talent decision in the company. Calibration can eliminate managers’ bias and make sure ratings are driven purely by employee performance. The SAP SuccessFactors Calibration will ensure these decisions are objective, well-informed, and driven by data.

• Succession Management. Calibration enables enterprises to easily identify top performers. These help boosting the succession planning process and thus help as well in achieving the organization business goals.

• Compensation Management. Knowing who top employees are enables companies to distribute compensation budgets correctly, which motivates and retains the best. Accurate compensation management will also improve the company’s revenues.

So how we can do these calibrations in SAP SuccessFactors? Let’s see Calibration in a bit details:

To engage a new calibration model for an organization one need to create a new calibration template, selecting data to calibrate, designing a review template and other settings as well.

One can find the following settings in Admin Center for Calibration.

Calibration Templates:

A template is necessary to maintaining the calibration sessions. This template usually defines the type of data used in the calibration session and how calibration session looks.

The date range one set for the template controls the data that is pulled into calibration sessions.

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It is also important to determine the data that will be used in each calibration session.  There are many ways options for displaying data.

Performance: This section includes the evaluation of performance, goals, potential or the other elements define by the organization. Selection of routing step at which the data can be used ensures that the data s pulled into a calibration session only when it is ready.

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Compensation: This section allows for the calibration of employee compensation ratios. During compensation calibration managers typically review salary versus performance to ensure that salary increases are being distributed fairly.

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Employee Profile: This section allows access to and modification of the employee profile for talent review and succession calibration.

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There are other sections namely Talent Flag which allows calibration sessions that account for talent and others for additional data.

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The next vital step is to set the view which offers a range of options.  And every data element selected in data section is available for one or more views. The view is nothing but how the calibration data will be display in the calibration session.

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SAP SuccessFactors also provide an advanced option to maintain calibration templates as well. Below are some.

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Calibration Session:

It is required to know who is involved, when and where it will take place and what template is used for a calibration session.

Below details are important to know before activating a session.

Session Owner: The person(s) whose direct reports are required to participate in calibration session.

Session Facilitators: The users who have access to the session in SAP SuccessFactors and are able to edit.

Planned Activation Date: The date when the session is planned to active and visible in the calibration tab.

There are other details like session date templates, location which are also necessary to know.

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Subjects and Participants are placed in a calibration session when the basic option “Select subjects and participants automatically according to owners” is checked. One can use two different methods to select the people, one is advanced filters options and the other is use Org Charts.

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Later validation may require which confirms that subjects are available for calibration and they are not already selected for other calibration. Once validation is confirm one can activate the calibration session.

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To get the Calibration in the menu of a user one must give the proper permission

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Below showing manage permission for executive review.

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Similarly calibration settings allow the admin to set the read and write permissions for Facilitators, Owners and Participants both during the session and after the session have been approved. Another function allows modifying which fields in the database are available in search.

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Now let’s see how the calibration looks in SAP SuccessFactors. Based on the activation of the calibration session the views will be available. Below are some of the views which we have defined in calibration template as mentioned above.

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List View provides a table view f all subjects of the calibration session.  Employees are listed with their current ratings. Using the List-View the Facilitators can finalize the session as well and once finalized the calibration session get completed.

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SAP SuccessFactors Calibration enables managers and HR to make sense of all of this data by presenting it in an intuitive, graphical format so they can see exactly how employees compare with one another. Presentation formats include bin views for ratings, 9-boxes for performance versus potential, performance versus Pay ratio and much more. And hence one can view the graphical formats to evaluate the talents in an organization.

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So once managers distributed the participants for the session, the results come in terms of various views. Below are some of them.

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Display and Matrix Views graphically display employee’s performance and potential, pay and performance, impact versus risk and many more view options if they are added to the calibration template forms.

Overall calibration is not only useful for viewing and analyzing but it also important as inconsistent employee ratings by managers adversely affect performance, and they impact succession planning, and career development planning, too. Calibration makes it easy to assess employee potential objectively, and to identify, develop, and retain the talent that you need to drive the business. Performance evaluation, review and its results are hot topic to discuss now a day among the companies and some companies are taking this very seriously. Calibration could really make a big difference if it is used properly for an organization.

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2 Comments

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  1. Eman Alwuhayb

    I have limitation in calibration template called as final review template for session contains over 2500 subjects and system displayed that maximum is 2000 , how can I resolve this ?

    (0) 

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