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Continuous Performance Management Is Not New

The idea of Continuous Performance Management (CPM) is not new. Companies have long advised managers to engage in continuous coaching and communication with employees throughout the year. However, managers were rarely held accountable for these conversations nor given the tools to support them.

Consequently, many performance management systems went stagnant and reviews remained annual exercises that consisted of completing forms and having uncomfortable conversations with employees based on vague recollections of the previous year.

Fortunately, due in part to advances in social, mobile, and cloud technology, many companies are now adopting a truly continuous approach to performance management. This approach is focused on enabling effective ongoing conversations and feedback between employees, managers, and coworkers to drive employee performance improvement and development.

Companies are making the shift right now to a more continuous style of performance management. In their whitepaper Making the Shift to Continuous Performance Management, the SAP SuccessFactors Human Capital Management (HCM) Research team investigated the factors motivating companies to move to this style of performance management.

They conducted in-depth interviews with customers who use their Continuous Performance Management (CPM) technology as part of the SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals solution and when asked why made the shift, they answered the following:

  • To increase the frequency and quality of coaching conversations.
  • To drive a more effective annual review process.
  • To increase employee engagement, performance, and overall satisfaction.
  • To attract and retain talent.
  • To encourage a culture of ongoing, informal, transparent feedback.
  • Alignment between CPM and becoming a more modern and agile organization.

Technology can add enormous value in enabling and supporting the change to a continuous performance approach. CPM capabilities are designed to make planning, managing, and carrying out ongoing conversations between managers and employees significantly easier, and consequently, the annual review process more efficient and effective. 

There is no “one best way” to approach performance management transformation, and what works well for one company may not work for others. Every organization faces specific challenges as well as opportunities for adapting to change based on their unique culture, industry, size, and worker population.

That said, there are several culture change strategies SAPs customers described as having, “a disproportionately positive impact on the success of their transformation efforts.” You can read more about them in their whitepaper, or watch our October 2019 webcast in which our Global VP discusses Performance Management today in preparation for 2020.

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