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, CEO of Creelman Research, is a globally recognized thinker on people analytics and talent management. Some of his more interesting projects included:

  • Conducted workshops around the world on the practical aspects of people analytics
  • Took business leaders from Japan’s Recruit Co. on a tour of US tech companies (Recruit eventually bought Indeed.com for $1 billion)
  • Studied the relationship between Boards and HR (won Walker Award)
  • Spoke at the World Bank in Paris on HR reporting
  • Co-authored Lead the Work: Navigating a world beyond employment with John Boudreau and Ravin Jesuthasan. The book was endorsed by the CHROs of IBM, LinkedIn and Starbucks.
  • Worked with Dr. Wanda Wallace on “Leading when you are not the expert” which topped the “Most Popular List” on the Harvard Business Review’s blog.
  • Worked with Dr. Henry Mintzberg on peer coaching, David’s learning modules are among the most popular topics.

Currently David is helping organizations to get on-track with people analytics.

This work led to him being made a Fellow for the Centre of Evidence-based Management (Netherlands) for his contributions to the field.

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2 Comments on “Tech Insights: Getting Flexibility in Performance Management Platforms

  1. Technology certainly offers a powerful platform for organizations to transform performance management and development but it does not fix a broken process.

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