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. . . You learn about a new way to do performance appraisals and you think, “wow, that’s pretty cool.”  (Guilty. 😳 )

Continuous Performance Management (CPM), SAP SuccessFactors’ new entry into the Performance Management game, is cool — and, frankly, deserves a name much cooler than CPM.  (Sorry, @Sam Passman and team – but it’s cooler than “CPM” says.)   Frankly, I don’t know why companies aren’t jumping all over this. And I’m lucky enough to join in on one of the #HRSpeakeasy events taking place this spring in cities throughout the U.S. where we’ll get to see this new tool up close and personal.

You know all those little irritating things about managing performance that you hate?

    • As the employee: Spending HOURS looking back over the year so that you can fill in a long form to justify the past year of your existence?
    • As the manager: Spending HOURS trolling back thru memory and paper notes so that you can fill in long forms to justify your employees’ successes?
    • Or – how about – Negative feedback coming as a surprise at year-end?
    • Or Compensation increases based on “rankings” employees could not understand?
    • As an employee: Getting a new boss who doesn’t know you or how you work?
    • As a manager: Getting a team of new employees and trying to learn about all their strengths and weaknesses and be able to represent these fairly to your management?

CPM changes the paradigm on all that.

Here’s the thing that may shock or even scare some of the more stalwart traditionalists out there:  CPM puts control over performance into the hands of the employee.  It encourages the employee to drive discussions; to note achievements.  And encourages the manager to respond.  CPM is basically all about having the conversations – the one-on-one discussions between manager and employee – on a regular basis and having that conversation assisted by a social-like tool that you can take with you anywhere you go. As the employee: it’s YOUR record of what you’ve done and how you and your manager perceived the results. As a manager, it’s a constant engagement model that keeps you up-to-date with even your remote employees. It’s an opportunity to give real-time feedback and coaching as issues are encountered or goals achieved.

For you tech-ies, yes, it’s mobile, yes it’s simple and intuitive. Yes, it will eventually end up integrating into a SuccessFactors Performance Management form. But don’t over-complicate this.  CPM so simple, that you can get started on a new way of managing performance with CPM quickly, without a lot of integration or hassle and without pulling your teams out of productive work to learn how to use it. 

I sense some hesitation out there. . . some desire to over-analyze the impact of CPM to the workforce. . . some trepidation about what creating and maintaining these new system records might mean to the company.  But – seriously – shouldn’t we all be having meaningful conversations in our work groups everyday?  And if we are – aren’t we all already keeping records somewhere today (email, paper, tablets, etc)? CPM simply helps that process along and, while it’s helping the process – it’s creating a living record of work history, of what employees did and how they did it. 

Sometimes change is not that big a deal. This is one of those cases. And in this coming 4th industrial revolution we are all going to need to be a lot more quick, flexible, agile and adaptive — something a once a year performance review will never enable.

C’mon HR, stop hesitating. LEAP this year to try something new. 

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