Talent Drives Performance

On July 13th, TALEO hosted a Webinar led by Allan Schweyer (Principal Partner, Centre for Human Capital Innovation), on Performance Management and the demise of the Performance Review. We at Kudos are interested in Talent Management, so the synergies between our program of meaningful engagement and recognition, with performance management, were made even more evident throughout this Webinar.

Here are some highlights:

  • Individual + Organizational Goal Alignment is key;
  • Performance Management = Communications;
  • Integrated Performance management between departmental silos is more strategic if its focused;
  • Recent data from Tower’s Perrin states 30% of managers claim that Performance Reviews are ineffective, especially with these sorts of comments (which are never recommended): “Since my last report, this employee has hit rock bottom, and started to dig.”
  • Knowledge Workers require Coaching and Professional Development, above and beyond just Competitive Pay;
  • The goal is to build Manager/Employee Coaching System vs. Traditional Performance Reviews in order to enhance talent and engagement within your organization;
  • Managers need to be able to give employees a reason to want to do the work, i.e. volition & passion to be there;
  • The COP Model: Find the “sweet spot” between:
    • Competencies
    • Organizational Needs
    • Passion
  • Done correctly, Mr. Schweyer says there should be a fundamental difference between Performance, and the Review Process in the modern era:
    • Generation Y (i.e. the Millennials) prefer Constant Recognition + Training & Development + Open Communications + Knowledge sharing = via some sort of meaningful recognition platform; VS.
    • Traditional Performance Reviews = Annual + Top-down/One-way Communications + Milestone Recognition
    • Mr. Schweyer recommends Garold Markle’s book: Catalytic Coaching for more on this topic;
    • Mr. Schweyer also claims that “spot rewards” i.e. spa dates; sports tickets; concerts, etc. work best with Gen Ys; but over-all, “time” is the most precious commodity for everyone.
  • Another successful example of Performance doing it for itself is ROWE = the classic BestBuy example of “Results Oriented Work Environments” - (see Drive posts)


What does it take to be considered “world-class” in your field? Talent, plus loads of effort (for more on this topic of talent fulfillment, I highly recommend Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers). It takes hard work, not just talent – which is something you develop over time, and not just something you’re born with. Sprinkled throughout this Webinar are examples of taking “F” players and turning them into an “A” list via proper coaching and training. Millennials and Knowledge Workers are driven by intrinsic desires more than extrinsic needs, so long as these needs are met, i.e. work-life balance, competitive pay & benefits etc. (for more on this topic, I also highly recommend Daniel Pink’s Drive).  Taken all together, do traditional Performance Reviews actually drive Performance? The answer seems to be not quite so much anymore. What seems to work better these days is constant recognition (though for an extreme view arguing that even a Thank You can be considered coercive, you can read Alfie Kohn’s Punished by Rewards), plus constructive communications, via a holistic lifestyle approach to the performance process.

There is a lot to consider in the field of talent management, and how best to find and keep your top team engaged, while progressing along organizational and individual goal alignment. In the final analysis, we’re confident the Kudosprogram of meaningful recognition can help!

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