Career Development as part of the performance cycle in SAP SuccessFactors


Most people will agree that employees are key to any business success. And would agree that a good performance & learning management is the road towards a higher employee engagement and performance. Sothe question is then: how can we combine these two statements: have happy employees driving a successful business? 

Last Tuesday, we discussed with Sylvie Badoual what the main challenges are regarding Performance & Learning Management and how to solve them from a pure HR perspective. 

Today, we have gathered input from Pieter Verschoore about SuccessFactors Performance Management & Career Development Planning 

Performance management: Career Development as part of the performance cycle 

Performance Management is often seen as a static processmost often linked to a salary increaseAs a result, it only provides input for the compensation, instead on focusing on the development of the employee.  

Even if development is included in the process, the quality of the discussion is usually low. 

On the other hand, business trends are shifting more and more to a customer-centric approach.  HR is acting as a business partner by ensuring that the employees are happy at work so they can providexcellent service to the customers. In fact, 70% of business leaders agree that employee engagement is critical to achieving business results (Gartner).  

Now, performance management and career development are directly linked to employee’s well being and productivity. Some key benefits for your organisation are:  

  •  Increase of Employee Engagement: Employee Experience is one of the top 5 priorities for HR leaders in 2020. Although there are many ways to boost employee engagement, one thing is sure: Career development opportunities are what drives employees to make their stay at an organisation to be more than a short-time job. Moreover, it will allow them to develop their skills in their area of interest, and to feel supported by the company. 
  • Employee empowerment: in order to have an agile organisation and empower your employees, a joint career development plan is needed. Considering what your employees want to do and the direction they want to take is a very good input for their career development planning. This empowers the employees to take the lead in their own development and shares the workload with their line managers.  
  • Identify development areasfor employees who haven’t achieved their objectives, a career development plan is key. Because of that, current or past year performance is ideal to identify the areas to improve and therefore build a targeted development plan that increases the employee’s performance. 

How can SuccessFactors support organisations in this?  

SuccessFactors Performance Management can include the following aspects into the cycle:





  1. Development goal plan – with a link to the LMS 
    1. Either during the evaluation moment of the past year or the goal setting of the next year, development goals can be taken into account to look at improvement points for performance 
    2. During the cycle, these development goals can stay accessible, maintained and updated, to also include career development discussions.
  2. Employee profile can be to performance form, which allows to ask about:
    1. Employee Motivation 
    2. Willingness to move geographically or functionally
  3. Continuous Performance Management 
    1. Having the discussion when it matters (not just once a year) 
    2. Achievements on development goals 
    3. Turning completion of learning (elements/activities?) into achievements 
    4. Creating a good feedback and development culture 

Tips & tricks to ensure the continuity of the discussions 

First of all, development is a process driven by people. Ensuring that the managers are on board with this is vital. 

SuccessFactors supports your Performance Process the whole year, not only during the mandatory year & mid-year reviews. Some of the actions that you can take within SuccessFactors to ensure continuity are:  

  1. Gather development actions and employee preferences during the performance cycle based on the performance of the employee.
  2. Create Learning plans based on the development needs and launch campaigns accordingly.
  3. Consult and update the development plans of the employees when looking at the internal mobility or succession plans.
  4. Review these updated development plans regularly easily and use them as an input for the employee. 

Cloud solutions can make your life easier, if you use them properly!  

If you want to know more about Performance Management & Career Development possibilities, please contact us.

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Adessa Group is a pan-European technology & services consultancy covering HR, Payroll, Workforce Management & Experience Management processes. The company was founded in 2005 and as of 2020, part of the SD Worx Group. Adessa strives to improve our customers’ business performance and enable their employees to achieve their personal life and work ambitions through smarter technologies.   You can follow us on LinkedIn by clicking here.