Measuring Performance vs Managing Performance – How Continuous Performance Management can make a difference to your organization

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An old cliché: “What gets measured gets done.” attributed to Peter Drucker (some say it goes back to Lord Kelvin or even Rheticus in the 1500′s! more here ), and it seems that the original phrase was actually “If you can measure it, you can manage it.” Regardless of the origin or the wording, the message is clear: measuring something gives you the information you need in order to make understand where you are relative to where you want to be.

In a corporate context, employees have “goals” that they are expected to achieve. Measuring performance (getting the actual data of what has been accomplished) is often confused with managing performance. Similar but very different. “Measurement” is objective (or at least should be, if the goals are clearly and simply defined), whereas “Management” is rarely objective. In fact, it is extremely subjective and requires a strong understanding of the individual in question and what can be done to help achieve her goals.

The annual performance management has come under quite some flak – Employees repudiate the annual performance review, HR isn’t exactly pleased with it either. There has been quite some press about removing the entire process, but it hasn’t really gone away, has it?

With most things today being available real-time, what good would a once-a-year feedback provide to an employee? At worst, it is merely a record of what was done and at best is a candid recap of the past year, with key learnings. The employees are often morose for not having known shortcomings earlier – when it could have been fixed, as opposed to learning of them when they have no way of correcting things.

So let’s nail it – we need a system, a system which can measure performance continuously, allow simple tracking and conversation through the year, as opposed to a one-time event.

SAP SuccessFactors Continuous Performance Management (CPM) focuses on structured and frequent performance reviews promoting engagement and employee participation in all levels, by simplifying measurement and letting everyone focus on managing performance to meet objectives. Let’s see how:

Let’s take a closer look at SAP SuccessFactors Continuous Performance Management (CPM)

An employee is a click away from a few powerful tools:

  1. Activities
  2. Achievements
  3. Annual Summary
  4. Coaching

Activities are tasks that employees are working on. Tasks are ground level and are directly linked to their goals. The status (high, medium, cancelled, completed) of the activity maybe set based on task priority and upon completion.

Now managers get a complete view of their team’s activities and can provide regular, effective guidance to employees. It also enables employees to keep track of their performance-related activities providing visibility to their managers about their work, priorities and progress. Activities can also be aligned to the goal plan (if applicable).

Additionally activities can be tracked and integrated with Goals and Development and also create Structure- a list of all activities, achievements, tasks which could be helpful during a one-on-one discussion.


Employees’ productivity tends to reduce when their work goes unrecognized. The Opt-in feature – CPM addresses this. Employees can take ownership of their activities and tasks. They can instantly capture their big moments and achievements on the go. Managers can also provide feedback, ensuring employees are aligned to goals.


As the name says, it provides a summary of the employee’s activities and tasks performed throughout the year. It helps in having high-quality conversations during one-on-one meetings or performance reviews with managers.  Performance reviews or formal assessments need not be vague anymore. Managers can now stay abreast of their employees’ activities and provide more actionable feedback and guidance.


An effective way of giving feedback to employees, provide coaching and mentoring. Right from baby boomers to millennials, everyone responds positively to feedback. Recognition motivates employees and inspires them to achieve goals. They look forward to proper guidance to know areas where they outstand and those which require improvement. SAP SuccessFactors CPM is one of the most efficient ways to keep your employees happy, engaged and making them realize the value they add to the organization.

Let’s look at the Impact of CPM for the stakeholders

  • Employees
  1. Take more ownership for their performance
  2. Document their activities and achievements
  3. Receive feedback and coaching
  4. Aligned to business goals and enhance their performance
  • Managers
  1. Have a complete insight on their team’s activities
  2. It helps them provide better and effective guidance to their team
  • HR
  1. Track the frequency of meetings of one-on-ones
  2. Provide guidance to maximize the team’s potential

CPM lets your organization be agile and have an invigorating work environment that evolves with you. Any organization’s greatest asset is its employees, managing its employees and developing them to their potential is a tough task.

With SAP SuccessFactors CPM, you can manage your asset effectively; take advantage of the processes and technology which in turn helps your organization grow. Bringing a culture of continuous feedback and performance assessment and keeping it interactive makes employees more engaged plus inspired.

If you are looking at having Performance Management enabled on your SF instance or to know how Continuous Performance Management can maximize performance at your organization, please contact

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