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I think we’d all agree that the appetite for continuous performance management has not developed overnight. For years organizations have discussed the need for performance management to be part of managers’ everyday roles, arguing that once or twice a year appraisals are not an effective means to a more engaged workforce.

So, are we at the point then of organizations embracing change? With the help of technology, yes.

Earlier this year we launched a new set of capabilities that enable Continuous Performance Management. We were particularly excited as this introduced one of the biggest innovations in our history of providing leading performance management capabilities.

Now more than ever we have every reason to believe that this technological innovation can transform how you, our customers, approach performance management to drive strategic business value.  Research shows that companies able to achieve high and sustainable levels of employee engagement enjoy three times higher profit margins than those with low level engagement1.

The time is now as companies focus on continuous development and empowerment

According to IDC, organizations like GE, Adobe, and Deloitte are beginning to rethink performance management and are eliminating performance ratings as well as annual reviews.

“Instead, they have moved to a more continuous feedback process with hopes that it will yield better visibility into true performance and provide improved business outcomes,” says Lisa Rowen, IDC's Research Vice President of HR and Talent Management Services.

“This dramatic change in performance management will take time to become mainstream and performance reviews will not quickly disappear, but employers are beginning to look for better ways to more continually track and engage on performance.”

Indeed we see that performance management practices are starting to change as more companies focus on shifting toward continuous development, engagement and empowerment –  even if they have no plans to get rid of ratings and annual reviews – which is why the addition of Continuous Performance Management to our SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals solution is particularly relevant.

How we uniquely enhance and simplify the performance process

Our new Continuous Performance Management capabilities solve many of the frequently cited issues of performance management initiatives by facilitating ongoing one-on-one check-ins between employees and managers to help ensure activities, accomplishments and goals stay on track throughout the year.

These capabilities allow managers to provide the routine coaching and feedback employees need to constantly grow in their roles, uniquely driving near real-time improvements in performance and alignment.

In addition, the continuous nature of our solution allows managers and employees to take a proactive approach toward managing the performance process and actually empowers them to drive value from it based on their actual needs.  

Survey says: employers and employees see tremendous value

I’m happy to say that response to these new capabilities has been favorable.  Customer adoption continues to grow at a rate of +10% per week, and as a result, we are getting valuable feedback.  In fact, a recent survey that we conducted among end users revealed which Continuous Performance Management capabilities are most important for both employees and managers.

Employees ranked the following as most important:

     1.      Being able to update their managers on what they’re working on

     2.      Ensuring their priorities are aligned with that of their manager

     3.      Getting regular coaching feedback from their managers throughout the year

Managers ranked the following as most important:

     1.      Ability to access the achievements of their direct reports throughout the year, especially at the time of performance review

     2.      Overall ability to reference what each direct report has worked on throughout the year

Shaping the future of performance management

Analysts have also recognized what these new capabilities add to our Performance & Goals solution.  Last month IDC recognized SAP SuccessFactors Performance and Goals as a leader in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Performance Management in Integrated Talent Management 2016....

IDC recognizes that SAP SuccessFactors “continues to innovate across the talent portfolio to ensure all modules remain relevant and in step with the latest trends and technologies.” In particular, the MarketScape highlighted our “major movement to support continuous performance management”.

Stay tuned as there’s more to come….

For us the recognition is validation that we are innovating with our customers in mind, and continuing to deliver technology that keeps pace with critical business transformation trends.

With that said, what you’ve seen from us to date in the area of continuous performance management is just the beginning.  We have several new enhancements coming this year, all of which will deliver on our promise to facilitate ongoing 1:1 conversations and continuous coaching and feedback with an intuitive, easy to use solution.  Be sure and visit the SAP SuccessFactors customer community to access our latest product roadmaps.

Also if you’re headed to Las Vegas next month for SuccessConnect 2016, 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.  Three break-out sessions in particular are worth calling out:

Panel: Creating the Conditions for Continuous Performance Management

Tuesday, August 30, 1:45 - 2:45 p.m.

Many companies are changing performance management from an annual event to a series of ongoing, continuous coaching conversations. SAP SuccessFactors technology plays a key role in this transformation, but while technology enables change, it does not create it. Issues such as manager coaching skills, employee engagement, and job structure can enable or limit the effectiveness of performance management transformations. Join us for a panel discussion with customers and performance management experts focused on understanding and creating the right conditions to support a culture of continuous performance management.

Introduction and Overview of Performance and Succession Solutions

Tuesday, August 30, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Many organizations struggle to effectively engage a diverse, multigenerational workforce. Learn how our performance solutions, which include SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals and SAP SuccessFactors Succession & Development, improve workforce performance, strengthen employee engagement, and drive business results. You'll learn about innovative new capabilities, including continuous performance management. This is definitely not a session to be missed!

Road Map and Direction for Performance and Succession Solutions

Wednesday, August 31, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Join us for this session with SAP SuccessFactors product managers to learn how SAP is evolving the SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals and SAP SuccessFactors Succession & Development solutions to meet today’s challenges. You’ll receive an update on the market trends and what they mean for HR professionals. You’ll also gain insight into our strategy and direction for our performance and succession solutions and hear about upcoming key capabilities.

You won’t want to miss this great event and the opportunity to see, hear and learn how Continuous Management Performance can help you achieve new levels of performance management effectiveness. Register today! I hope to see you there.

1 Towers Watson, 2012 Global Workforce Study, “Engagement at Risk: Driving Strong Performtreance in a Volatile Global Environment.”