Tech Insights: Getting Flexibility in Performance Management Platforms

Recently I was talking to The Gap about their innovations in performance management.

They are working hard so that performance management really is about helping people perform better, based on research around the importance of a growth mindset. It’s a big shift from focusing on the appraisal/review stage of the process.

I mentioned this shift in focus to Connie Costigan, Director Marketing Communications at Halogen Software. She said that this kind of shift would not be a problem for them; a modern performance management module has all the tools needed to reform how the process is done. Even if you never do appraisals, the software stills supports the broader goal of helping people perform better.

A much more efficient way to do performance reviews

The big push for performance management software, the actual thing that made companies want to buy it right now, was that the administrative process of doing annual reviews was killing them.

Sure, leaders are interested in cascading goals and giving regular feedback, but the fact that after putting in software, on-time submission of appraisals (performance reviews) jumped from 40 percent to 95 percent is what they crowed about.

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But even if it was administrative ease that got performance management technology in the door, if you have software, then you are probably sitting on a system that can do much more than administrative functions.

Performance management is little loved; HR may be sitting on a platform that will enable them to make really significant changes in how the process is done. It is worth pondering how to unleash that power.

What is interesting?

  • Usually unintended consequences are bad; this is a case where an unintended consequence of technology is that we can do good things we hadn’t imagined.

What is really important?

  • Technology provides us a platform that helps us innovate in performance management.

Performance management is meant to be one of the most important contributions HR brings to the business; in fact it is one that many managers believe subtracts value. Let’s use the power of technology to try new things that will make performance management genuinely improve business results.

David Creelman is CEO of Creelman Research. Based mainly in Toronto and partly in Kuala Lumpur, he’s best known for his research on the latest issues in human resources.

He works with think tanks such as Talent Tech Labs (New York), Works Institute (Tokyo), Workforce Institute (Boston) and CRF (London). He’s collaborated with leading academics such as Henry Mintzberg (leadership development), Ed Lawler (“Built to Change”) and John Boudreau (future of work).

His books include The CMO of People: Manage employees like customers with an immersive predictable experience that drives productivity and performance with GrandRound’s CHRO Peter Navin; and Lead the Work: Navigating a world beyond employment with John Boudreau (USC) and Ravin Jesuthasan (Willis Towers Watson).

You can connect to Mr. Creelman on LinkedIn

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