Making performance social

by Human Capital26 Jun 2013
If there’s one HR process that draws more heated debate than any other, it’s performance management. Ari Kopoulos outlines how social performance may be the next forntier.
 
If there’s one HR process that draws more heated debate than any other, it’s performance management. The existing model has a 75-year history, initially serving as a means to justify one’s salary. Much has changed and the general consensus today is that it serves as nothing more than a tick and flick exercise of what was, with no direct to strategy and culture. Granted, it still plays a key role in assisting with remuneration decisions, but the current model is not always successful in improving performance. In a few words, it’s broken but this should not be unexpected.
 
There are a few reasons for this, and I think we can link it all back to technology. There’s no doubt automation was a blessing; however, in most cases, the paper-based processes were converted to online forms with a myriad of supporting spreadsheets and reports, all disconnected, complex with no real insight. In effect, we have automated processes that needed simplification, improvement or elimination. 
 
Secondly, employee expectations have changed, and it’s not just limited to Gen Y’s and Z’s. Employees expect more involvement, more accountability, and more transparency. They are no longer satisfied with passive, one-way narratives, preferring input into the collection of their data and managing their outcome. Furthermore, the command and control nature of management is no longer accepted; they prefer an environment of a mentor, a guide, and inspirational leader.
 
Perhaps the biggest reason is culture. In effect, our relationship with technology has changed dramatically. We now live in a world where mobile and social technology is playing a key role in every decision wemake. It’s only natural it will affect the way we engage and retain our workforce. As employees, we expect information on demand, in real time, and with tools that are engaging and useable. As such, the stage is set for a new model of performance management.
 
EVERYTHING IS SOCIAL
Consider a world where you set your own dynamic goals and adjust them in response to change. Your manager, your mentor, will be there to provide real-time recognition  and guidance as continuous narrative. All the knowledge you require to be successful will be available on demand, with game-like platforms to hone and develop your skills. All this data will be captured as part of your workplace biography, with feedback, recognition and reward from peers, managers and customers. Performance will be continual, forming a fluid relationship between you and your actions. As such, you will be in complete control of your career and held accountable for the tasks that drive the business.
 
In this model, employees have a sense of purpose, value and focus. The social element, with the opportunity for continuous feedback, supports motivation and engagement, and fosters an environment of optimal performance, commonly known as ‘flow’. The online game developers know this very well. This is a psychological state in which cognitive resources are on peak performance as a result of heightened focus and engagement. Given this real-time aspect of social goal setting, recognition and reward, the annual performance review process will be history. Social performance management will not only disrupt but it will also drive the workplace to new levels of efficiency, productivity and effectiveness. 
 
The industry has already recognised this paradigm shift, and vendors are introducing social elements into their solutions. The next generation of HR software or services will have HR processes redefined, shifting away from transactional, process-based to engagement, people-based. On a holistic level the HRIS will become a tool of community, fostering connections, collaboration and innovation with higher employee enablement and engagement. 
 
Social performance management instills engagement and collaboration into the workplace by allowing employees to connect organically through conversation, recognition and feedback. This natural process offers closer and continuous alignment to organisational goals and objectives. The end result is a cultural transformation with tangible benefits and a happier workforce. Start planning!
 
 
About the author
Ari Kopoulos is the national sales & marketing manager at EmployeeConnect. For further information visit www.employeeconnect.com.au
 

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