Sunday, 5 April 2009

Tours through the blogosphere: B is for Bersin



My second tour stop is at Bersin & Associates.


As well as producing lots of great research (for example, if you’re a HR / L&D practitioner, you can participate in this new research initiative, The Corporate HR and Training Profession), I think Bersin have some great blogs on their site.

And as I did for my ‘A’ choice, I’m going to select one recent post I think is of particular note (and, I’ll admit, because it also focuses on an area I want to do some posting on anyway).  This is Leighanne Levensaler’s post, ‘Performance Management – can we make it more engaging?’, on her Bersin blog: Straight Talk on Talent Strategy.


I think Levensaler makes some great points in noting:

“Let’s face it, at most organizations, employees and managers use the performance management system at the beginning of the year to set goals and to establish development plans - and do not return to the system until they are required by HR to enter performance evaluations and make compensation decisions. When they do have to return to the “system”, they view their effort as an arduous, compliance-driven task rather than a business process to support a high performance culture. Moreover, in our Essential Guide to Performance Systems we found that three out of four managers “do not feel their performance management system helps them do their job better”.

The problem is that the majority of performance management systems implemented today were designed as automation tools for HR practitioners to collect information and not to support the business user. As a result, these systems are highly transactional, cumbersome, and just plain unintuitive. More importantly, they ask a lot of the business user and don’t give them much of any “value” in return. More than half of managers (from the same study) see performance management as an event, not a continuous process or set of management practices to align and engage employees.

If we really want support a high performance culture by encouraging employees and managers to embed performance management practices into their daily work life (i.e., updating goal progress, logging feedback and tracking development), the enabling technology must help them understand what they have to do and get them to want to do it. We must engage them.”


This point on engagement is absolutely key.  I’m sure we’ve all seen performance management systems of varying sophistication fail to gain buy-in, and the issue for me is almost always about how they provide a compelling way for managers to do something that, whilst many may understand is important, most would rather put to one side.

The other key point to me is how, whilst still being compelling, performance management is designed in a way that is going to really have a substantial impact on performance.  (Performance management still isn’t going to be successful if it’s engaging but doesn’t really make anything happen).  I’ll return to this point in my next post (however, I will note now, that I don’t, on balance, agree with Bersin’s recent recommendation that killing the performance appraisal is the right way to go).



Other ‘B’ ’s on my blogroll

Social Media related blogs:

Barry Libert’s Mzinga blog

Bertrand Duperrin’s Notepad

Biz Growth News

Blog Write for CEOs


HR related blogs:

Bob Sutton Work Matters

BPS Research Digest

Brain Based Biz

Brazen Careerist



Note, I’m categorising some of these blogs by their name (eg Brazen Careerist) and some by the blogger’s name (eg Bob Sutton).  This categorisation is actually based upon the names of the RSS feeds, and therefore the letter they appear under in my RSS reader.


As well as these blogs, two other at least somewhat social sites I’d recommend are BNet and Business Week’s Business Exchange.



Review the other things I’ve tagged

As well as the above recommendations, and the blogs at myalltop, you can see other blog posts and other web pages I’ve tagged at:

My delicious bookmarks

My shared items from Google Reader

My ‘Best HCM blogs on my blogroll’


All of these are also available on the sidebar of this blog.





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  • jon  [dot] ingham [at] strategic [dash] hcm [dot] com



    1. I'm truly honored to be included in your blogroll. Love the animation here on your site and you look so welcoming in the photo at the upper right. You have an array of topics in which I'm interested.

      Glad to discover you!

    2. Honoured to be on your B list! Safe travels this week Jon and speak to you soon.

    3. Thanks to you both. Krishna - you do know Biz Growth News would have been my featured blog if I wasn't trying to keep a HR focus to this, right?

    4. Leighanne Levensaler20 April 2009 at 18:49

      Thank you Jon. What an honor! I am a bit behind on the blogs due to our conference - so forgive my delay in expressing gratitude. For what it is worth, "kill the appraisal" was marketing spin. I wish it was sexy to say "support the appraisal with continuous feedback, coaching, performance support etc..." Rest assured, the actual research is much more rational.


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