My reflection on the Deloitte HCM 2015 trend report: 3 Performance management

“…the transformation of the aging performance management
process is long overdue.” – Deloitte, 2015

A friend of mine was approached by his girlfriend:

  • She: “You never say you love me ..”
  • He: “I did! And it’s valid until further notice!”

Needless to say, they are not together today. Their interaction sums up current / historical performance management pretty good my view: “You want coaching? We had a coaching meeting last quarter? (What’s the matter with you???!!!)”

Deloitte claims that 89 % (!) of their respondents changed their approach to performance management last year or plan to to so next 18 month. How about your company? Are you in for a change as well? It’s all about workforce engagement in the end. So what engages people?

Per Frykman and Karin Sandin are two professionals I respect a lot. They document your professional reputation and help you understand  your passion and engagement by clarifying two general questions: How are you and when are you at your best? Is this how you spend your time, now? 

Do you know when you are at your best yourself? Do you know what is your next Big Thing? Check them out at

My personal reflection is that the revolution or evolution in performance management right now is not about awarding. It’s about  enabling and help you do your “your next big thing”. Passion gurus like Robin Sharma and Richard Branson would claim the same. Instead of looking backward you should look forward and what is needed to succeed for you, in your role, with your profile. I firmly believe money is a demotivator (e.g. life sucks when you don’t get enough). More money beyond that will not really ignite your passion. We can debate the academic logic behind that statement.

When you say … attract sailors to join the current Volvo Ocean (Sail) Race – where they literally – right now at this very moment – risk their lives in obsolete spots where the international space station (ISS) is the closest spot of human contact, you consider what these sailors are able to do in this race, their next big thing and not what they have done before, only. Another good contact of mine –  Mats Bohman at (ex-Swedish SWAT instructor, now organisational consultant) – confirm they are helping companies to attract and leverage relevant competencies, right attitude and potential, and not get stuck on formal competencies and historical achievement, only.

The good news from Deloitte trend report is that the Bell Curve with its financial compensation from performance management reviews is out:

“Redesigned performance management processes may or
may not include year-end ratings, but across the board, they tend to focus less on evaluation and more on agile goal setting, regular feedback, coaching, and development. They shift the
focus away from forced-distribution rankings and much more toward helping managers coach people to succeed.” – Deloitte 2015

What I take from that is to disconnect the compensation from performance management review but rather build an agile workforce (including leaders) where you align people to roles where they are interested and/or able to succeed. Engage them and find ways for them to be innovative in their roles. You need an adaptive workforce, you need role based behavior, role descriptions and delegated mandates, you need a lot of transparency and clarity and you need to interact. There are tools emerging. If you think gamification is about playing daytime, think again or get out of HR. Look up behavioral economics or contact me.

“Innovative new performance management models are now becoming an imperative as businesses modernize and improve their talent solutions. Companies leading this transformation are redefining the way they set goals and evaluate performance,
focusing heavily on coaching and feedback and looking for new technologies to make performance management easier” – Deloitte 2015

I owned the performance management process  for 8,000 resp 22,000 people in IBM for some period of time. It was a flawless process executed on time and very time consuming. We always did it on time, compliance driven, however, what I found more valuable in the end was the power from having clarity on roles, team & individual objectives and mandate, updated skills assessment for those roles in order to get the proper support and learning (sic! read next reflection). Does all your employees have clear role descriptions? Do you still think being manager is a job role? (I don’t.)

OK, I agree. Someone needs to own the numbers. As Lou Gerstner said “teaming is not about holding hands ans singing Kumbaya-my lord”. If you don’t perform, despite all support and mandate and interactions you need to take some action. But as you should hire for the right reasons you should also fire for the right reason. Maybe you as a leader should be fired, if you failed to bring clarity, engage, explain what is expected, delegated trust etc.

“Today’s job market is highly dynamic and transparent. High potential young employees want regular feedback and career progression advice, not just “once and done” reviews.” – Deloitte, 2015

If you love your staff tell hem, show them and enable them to succeed. Their success is your success. If not, they will leave you and join someone else, that really do care, as it happened to my friend.

Is this topic engaging yet? If so, also read Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi book on “Flow”. The algorithm for success- any role, any place on planet, is document in his Flow Channel. Stay in the channel of capability vs challenge. 

Zalaris will do the transactional HR (payroll etc) for you, as your plate is getting full in order to become a hero with performance management (as well!). With an agile workforce you also need to get the basics in place with your agile employee data management, e-forms with embedded processes to secure the right compensation for any given role in time, for any rehire, promotion, demotion etc. That is core HR. We can also help you get started with PM.

I really recommend to read the full and good report from Deloitte at

By the way, employee engagement is really my personal passion. So please comment or reach out for a 1:1 to discuss it with me.

Sven Hultin – Business Development Director at Zalaris, Sweden

About klingerii

Twitter: @klingerii
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