Edie Goldberg, Ph.D., the principal of E.L. Goldberg & Associates and chair for HR People & Strategy, cites a study by McKinsey Global Institute that found that most of the value in social technologies comes from improved communication and
collaboration. She estimates that using social technologies to talk about goals and collaboration would help companies improve productivity by up to 25 percent.
What is SPM?
Social performance management, SPM, is a technology-based approach to performance review based on social media like Facebook and LinkedIn. Instead of the traditional annual performance review, employees and management interact within
an online system for easy information exchange, ongoing relevant communication, coaching and recognition. Mozilla vice president of human resources Debbie Cohen says that traditional performance management is an “outdated concept” that needs to
change. With their large, global workforce, Mozilla needed a better way to recognize contributions and build community, and used SPM to make that happen.
Writing for the Society for Human Resource Management with “Performance Management Gets Social,” Goldberg says that social performance management systems put employees at ease during the performance review process and engage them more than traditional annual reviews. A collaborative, ongoing process that involves milestones, supportive assistance, timely feedback from superiors and peers, and recognition is a more vibrant and valuable process than a harried often times lacking annual process that has negative connotations of “being managed” or “controlled.” The varying input from different levels and acknowledging people for their performance in an ongoing process makes them feel valued and provides the
information and motivation to keep performance levels up and improve when necessary.
What Does SPM Do?
MediaAgility CEO Rajesh Abhyankar knows firsthand what can happen with social performance management. He used 7Geese, a social performance tool for real-time workforce alignment, to get everyone in the company connected to and engaged with company objectives. He says it gave every employee a sense of belonging and focused them on how they could contribute. Conquer Mobile CEO Angela Robert used SPM to get her company’s business plan out of the desk drawer and communicated widely to the company, increasing engagement, company culture, and team morale.
With today’s collaborative, innovative, and interconnected workforce, and a ruthlessly competitive business environment, few companies can afford to lag in dialog about performance, contributions, productivity, and company goals. Technology and social
media have changed the game in business as much as in personal interactions, and changed the expectations for timeframes in information exchange. Talented employees who are used to a good flow of information and communication in almost all aspects of
their lives will be frustrated with a clumsy and outdated review process.
Mozilla’s Cohen calls SPM performance dialog rather than management, and says it’s about feedback loops. Mozilla uses Work.com that allows anyone to ask for feedback anytime and enables employees to recognize anyone demonstrating company values.
Many companies use SPM to provide very public and ongoing recognition by streaming progress toward goals and recognition for top performance on large screens in the workplace. Recognition is public but performance improvement situations are private between the employee and manager.
Who Does SPM Work For?
Although SPM is ideally suited to a tech-savvy workforce comfortable in the social media environment, it has the collaborative and innovative aspects any company can benefit from in the modern work and business world. No one can afford to lose top talent because of working relationships that don’t work or lose business opportunities because the workforce and management are not on the same page. SPM dumps a clunky evaluation process that doesn’t feel good and replaces it with an easy and powerful collaborative communication tool that gets the whole team working together in positive ways.
For more information on SPM visit: http://shrm.org/publications/hrmagazine/editorialcontent/2014/0814/pages/0814-socialperformance-management.aspx
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