Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's All About Performance

I am sitting here at a Performance Conference hosted by ASMI and I can't help but to think about performance and the importance it plays in our organizations. After all, after the Great Recession isn't performance on top of everyone's list? CEO's want to outperform their competition. Managers want their departments to out perform other departments. And HR? Well...what is HR's relationship with performance?

Isn't performance the desired outcome of everything we do in HR? Compensation is designed to motivate higher performance. Our performance management systems are designed to measure, track and develop performance. Training programs are designed to increase skills thus increasing performance. So why in the world do I hear a statement like the following from several attendees at this conference: (I have not ran into 1 HR person yet, FYI)
"Our HR department won't share their performance metrics with the rest of the organization. I can't get performance data from HR, they guard it like it were gold."
Those comments make me cringe. How in the heck are we supposed to optimize our workforce and get the most we can out of our people if HR is not in the game? I don't get it.

By the way, the individuals I heard the comments above from were from large well known companies. Are you kidding me?

Yesterday, I picked up the latest edition (April 2011) of HR Magazine and found an interesting article on Integration and Talent Management. (membership required to view). I agree with Adrienne Fox it is critical to integrate compensation, recruiting, succession planning, performance management, compensation and learning. Here is why:
  1. All 5 components have to be linked to strategy for optimal outcomes (i.e. performance)
  2. All 5 have data that we NEED for analytics to understand where we are weak and strong.
  3. You can't impact performance with siloed programs, it just doesn't work. You can have a compensation strategy that you think is world class, but if it does not reflect the goals and objectives of your organization then it is useless.
I mention the article because the idea behind integration is that a good talent management infrastructure enables the end goal...increased performance. According to Sue Bond, of Halogen Software, a presenter at the Performance Conference, "Performance Management is the core of any effective Talent Management Strategy. I believe that performance is a great place for HR to start as I found this quote from the article very interesting:
Organizations with integrated talent management systems can shift to accommodate changing business strategies more seamlessly. These organizations experience a return on equity that is, on the average 38% higher per year during a five year period than those without an integrated system, according to the researchers.
What are your thoughts, is performance where HR should focus? Should HR systems be integrated? Please comment and keep the conversation going!
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