In the week that SAP is announcing 1000 Continuous Performance Management (CPM) customers, it seems like a good moment to have a look at what Continuous Performance Management (CPM) actually is and how it helps employees, managers and the organisation to manage and capture feedback.
What is CPM
In the current workplace, agile organisations realise that the “one-off, annual performance process” no longer works. Instead, what’s needed are more regular check-ins between managers and employees that allow for day-to-day routine goal alignment, ongoing feedback, and in-the-moment coaching. Launched in 2016, Continuous Performance Management (CPM) capabilities, are part of SAP SuccessFactors Performance and Goals. They enable companies to transition to this new model where managers have easy access to what employees are working on and can provide the routine coaching and feedback they need to constantly grow in their roles.
Continuous Performance Management is also part of the Adessa EZ pre-packaged SAP SuccessFactors solution and can be rolled-out as a fully integrated solution by our leading practice processes.
Benefits of CPM
For employees, CPM offers the possibility to capture and structure what they are working on and how these activities relate to, the almost inevitable, goals which have been set at the start of the performance period. Furthermore, it allows employees to request feedback on these activities they have been working on.
Managers get an easy way to discuss what the team members have worked on and what they have achieved. They also get the possibility to not only give feedback on these elements and request feedback by other stakeholders, but they can also register coaching tips and other topics to discuss with the employee.
Best of all, the tool is fully supported on the mobile application of SuccessFactors, lowering the threshold for managers and employees to take advantage of all the benefits of rapid feedback. Benefits of the tool are that it’s very quick, intuitive to use. There is always time to just do it, rather than postpone and forget. If and when you choose to sit together for a regular review, then you always have the history at your fingertips.
How does it work? What are the features?
CPM is structured around 3 main tabs in the system:
In Activities, the employee or manager can indicate what the employee is working on? Activities have a status/priority and can be linked to a performance goal. Both the employee and the manager have the option to give updates on each of these activities.
The next element within CPM is an Achievement. Unlike Activities, which can be unsuccessful in the end, Achievements are successes the employee has realised. Achievements can be linked again to performance and development goals. This integration becomes visible as well in the traditional Performance Management form.
Once an Activity is marked as completed, the system automatically asks whether the Activity should be turned into an Achievement, which again helps the manager and employee to link day to day activities with bigger achievements and long term performance goals.
The final tab of CPM is the Feedback tab. This is in fact the newest feature of CPM and this is what makes CPM so interesting. The fact that feedback can be requested by the manager or employee is already interesting, but the Feedback tab offers the possibility for managers or employees to ask or general feedback, not related to any specific achievement or activity. Depending on how the customer chooses to permission the module, it can give all employees the possibility to give ad-hoc feedback on other employees.
Integration with the traditional Performance cycle
CPM can be used as a complement to a more traditional performance cycle. This integration is realised via the Performance Goals.
Let’s look at an example.
Say, an employee has as a Performance Goal to add 4 new customers to the client portfolio before the end of the year. The employee attends a sales meeting with a potential new customer in the presence of a colleague and his manager. After the meeting, the employee records the Activity in the system and is able to request feedback to his colleague about it. When follow-up meetings are planned, the employee or manager can add this as an update to the original activity.
When the potential client actually signs a contract, the activity can be completed, and we get an Achievement. One new client added to the portfolio. Again, here feedback can be requested to different stakeholders.
The achievement of the employee is also integrated with the performance goal of the employee.
As this information is visible on the annual performance document, you have everything at your fingertips when you need it. A manager can take all information of the employee in account when rating the employee at the end of the year. In this way, the solution provides the organisations with a full feedback cycle.
Some attention points for the future
Is CPM the perfect feedback tool then?
Well, it has the potential to be this in the future. There are still some elements which are not supported yet, and which can be improved.
For the moment it is not possible to request feedback to external stakeholders, which is for instance possible in the 360-degree feedback solution of SuccessFactors.
A second gap for the moment is the lack of support for the matrix manager.
However, looking at the huge steps forward the tool already took since its inception in 2016, we can be quite sure that these final gaps will be addressed soon. When that happens, you will be able to read it here for sure.
Feel free to reach out with comments and suggestions.
Read here the press release of SAP Continuous Performance Management (CPM)