Nobody ever said I was un-opinionated. To those who may think I’m just an instigator, I actually do believe in what I’ve written and think that (1) performance is broken in 99.9% of the organizations out there, (2) HR does not do a good job in integrating our talent management capabilities to the rest of the corporate population. Before I go on with the last 2 posts in this series, I thought I’d respond to some of the comments and cross posts first.
- What’s Wrong with HR Part 1
- What’s Wrong with HR Part 2
- Regina’s Response
- SuccessFactor’s Response
- Prior Post at Learning Voyager
Let me start with my favorite observation so far. Terrence Seamon’s post last year (which generally echo’s my dissatisfaction) actually called for a few improvements. The second recommendation was to replace the annual performance appraisal with annual development planning. It’s true that I simply haven’t seen performance appraisals work, and I’m not backing off of the idea that it’s broken. However as others have pointed out, (John McCoy and Dennis Smith in the comments) goals frequently aren’t stretch goals and are therefore not usually meaningful.
I draw a distinction between performance appraisals and employee development – both of these fall under a larger umbrella of employee development plans – which in turn falls under an umbrella of talent management. But employee development plans if implemented well with good tools, communication, and engaged managers, will provide the necessary framework to actually provide enhancements to employee growth and productivity. It’s true that employee development plans (looking and acting with forward momentum) should feed directly off of performance appraisals. In this way, the two practices should interact for a more successful future. However, the performance appraisal isn’t strategic. Performance is simply the data and it isn’t until you get to employee development plans that you’re actually changing and managing behaviors.
So what’s my problem? 99% of companies do performance management. 50% of companies think they do employee development plans, but only 10% really are, and of that maybe 5% do them adequately.
What’s my second problem? Software is wonderful. I love this stuff. TMS systems are getting so advanced in how they support the business that the capability of effectively managing the workforce is more possible than ever. The problem is that 60-70% (educated guess) of all TMS licenses out there are for performance modules. Another 20-30% of the licenses are for compensation. What’s left is workforce development, succession and the like. We’re so focused on the process (appraisals, merit increases) that we haven’t spent time on the planning and forward moving activities.
- I still think performance is broken, butI think talent management is on the right track. But…
- I think we in HR haven’t yet focused on the real capabilities in talent management and are not utilizing the tools available. And…
- I think we haven’t deployed our knowledge as usable information to the board room.
- I think (as Regina said) we haven’t engaged managers to really do a great job in the talent processes.
So to SuccessFactors: is it the house or the foundation? (I’m about to piss everyone off again) Even worse. It’s our ability in HR to focus on what’s important and execute.