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There’s no doubt that over the past year to eighteen months we’ve seen a swell in interest in how to successfully introduce and adopt a different approach to performance management.

In a more agile workplace, many organizations know that the one-off, annual performance process – ratings or no ratings – no longer works. Instead what’s needed are more regular check-ins between managers and employees that allow for routine goal alignment, ongoing feedback, and in the moment coaching.

Feedback from early adopters is positive

Fortunately, this is where technology can help. Over the past year we’ve had the good fortune of helping more than 400 companies of all industries, geographies, and sizes make the move toward continuous performance management.

Our Continuous Performance Management (CPM) capabilities, launched in early 2016 and delivered as part of SAP SuccessFactors Performance and Goals are helping companies transition to this new model where managers have easy access to what employees are working on and can provide the routine coaching and feedback they need to constantly grow in their roles. The feedback from early adopters has been very positive. As one customer told me last week:

“The feedback on CPM has been overwhelming positive. The majority of the sales force at all levels is excited. They are very engaged and extremely supportive. They definitely use it and see the value in it especially the fact that it’s mobile.”

Business impact of new approach is significant

We know from our own research that customers adopting a culture of more open, ongoing coaching and feedback are realizing a number of benefits, including improved employee performance, higher employee engagement, increased productivity, and better loyalty and retention.

What we have also learned is that customers using Continuous Performance Management are seeing an increase in sales performance due to enhanced transparency and better and more frequent coaching. In addition, customers are reporting better differentiation of employees, even in scenarios where they have eliminated ratings, leading to smarter decisions when it comes to staffing, merit increases, bonuses, etc.

Simple, easy to use applications keep employees engaged

For these reasons and more, SAP SuccessFactors remains committed to providing organizations the capabilities they need to successfully adopt new performance processes that stimulate engagement. From a capabilities standpoint this means ensuring that both employees and managers have access to feature-rich, user-friendly applications – both mobile and web – that are easy and intuitive to use as part of everyday work life.

That is why we’re excited to announce that as part of the Q3 SAP SuccessFactors release, we’ve expanded our Continuous Performance Management capabilities with faster ways for employees to perform everyday tasks and stay engaged.

For example, now as part of the Q3 release, employees can add an achievement and link it directly to a performance or development goal in their goal plans. This provides greater flexibility to users wanting to more efficiently create an achievement that’s linked to a goal without having to first create an activity, then link it to a goal, and then covert it to an achievement.

                            Achievements can be linked to directly to performance goals, development goals, or both.

Also new is the ability for employees to easily and quickly change the status of an activity directly from the Activities view by accessing a simple dropdown.

                                Users can update the status of an activity with a simple click.

In addition, comments on activities are now time-stamped, so employees, managers and HR leaders can track updates more efficiently.

                             Time-stamping of comments makes it easy to track updates.

With the Q3 release, users can also group their achievements by performance or development goals rather than viewing only the achievements tied to performance goals, as before. This improves visibility into goals without requiring navigation to various goal plans.

                          Users can group their achievements by performance or development goals.

Lastly as part of the Q3 release, users now have enhanced flexibility to customize some of the theming aspects of the application. This allows customers to tailor aspects of the application to their own look and feel.

We are excited about these enhancements as many of them are in response to direct customer feedback, and rest assured, there are more enhancements planned with future releases.

Get insight into continuous performance management best practices

Are you interested in shifting to a more continuous performance model within your organization or running a pilot of Continuous Performance Management with certain segments of your company? Would you benefit from learning what other companies already on the continuous performance path are doing – tips on effective change management, barriers other customers have faced, business impacts being realized, metrics being utilized to evaluate ongoing success, etc.? Our HCM research team led by Steven Hunt is conducting a research study on this topic and will be publishing an insightful best practices paper in early Q4 so be sure and stay tuned.

Also if you’re headed to Las Vegas for SuccessConnect 2017, you’ll see and hear all of the latest developments in the area of continuous performance management, as the topic and our solution will be front and center at this year’s event. Take note of this session in particular:

Transforming Performance Management 2: The Move to Continuous Performance Management 2:45-3:45 Thursday, August 31                                                                                                    Performance management involves the following series of activities that must be distinct to be effective but linked to be impactful: aligning performance expectations, providing ongoing coaching, and assessing contributions. This three-session series takes a deep look at how different customers are transforming these activities by creating innovative methods to address different business and industry needs. As a participant on this panel, Columbia Sportswear Company will share their journey to a continuous performance model, including how they are using SAP SuccessFactors solutions to enable more frequent two-way manager-employee dialogue and ongoing coaching and feedback. As another panel participant, Deloitte Consulting will share valuable insights for companies seeking to make the shift to a continuous performance model including change management guidance and best practices for accelerating end user adoption.

In addition, don’t miss having interactive conversations with your peers and SAP SuccessFactors experts at the Solution Adoption roundtables. These are small interactive sessions to enable collaboration and best practice sharing on designated topics between customers and SAP SuccessFactors Solution experts. View the full list of Solution Adoption Roundtables and note the two on Continuous Performance Management:

Solution Adoption Roundtable: Continuous Performance Management (English)                                  10:15-11:15 Wednesday, August 30                                                                                                  Note this session is first-come, first-serve with a room capacity of 20.

Solution Adoption Roundtable: Continuous Performance Management (Spanish)                                  11:30-12:30 Wednesday, August 30                                                                                                  Note this session is first-come, first-serve with a room capacity of 20.

You won’t want to miss these great opportunities to see, hear and learn how Continuous Management Performance can help you achieve new levels of performance management effectiveness. I hope to see you at this year’s event.

Also, make sure to download the mobile application for SuccessConnect 2017 to keep up with the latest news and updates. See you in Las Vegas!

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