Podcast providing insights about Learning and Performance Management
Listen to this podcast between Silvia Moreno Rodriguez and Sylvie Badoual of Adessa Group on the challenges, needs and focus areas of Learning and Performance Management.
Read the full Learning and Performance Management Podcast:
Silvia – Hello, this week we are going to speak about two very hot topics in HR: Learning and Performance Management. Those two areas are becoming increasingly important in modern organisations.
Today we have Sylvie Badoual, Adessa’s senior HR business partner, to provide us with insights about these challenges. She’s been at Adessa Group for 2 years now and has been working in HR for more than 10 years. Hello Sylvie, thank you for coming.
Sylvie – Hello Silvia, thanks for having me here.
Could you introduce yourself and your role?
Sylvie – Yes, sure Silvia. My name is Sylvie Badoual. I have been working at Adessa Group for 2 years now as a senior HR business partner. Before that, I worked for a Finnish company, KONE Corporation. My areas of expertise include Talent Acquisition, Management, Development, Competence Development, Change Management, Performance Management and Organisational Design.
What has been for you the greatest challenge in Learning and Performance Management since you started working in Human Resources?
Sylvie – That´s a very good question, Silvia. There is a lot to say about that. Actually, with regards to Performance Management, in my view the greatest change has definitely been the introduction of better structured objectives and feedback for employees. I remember when I started in HR, the performance review cycles were not always very optimal, neither for HR, nor for the team lead, or for the employee. We had to chase the manager regularly to ask them to complete the process with their employees. We had to convince the employees about the necessity of these one-year feedback reviews and the manager felt really sometimes dissatisfied that they spent their precious time on a bunch of paperwork that later became Excel files. The employees saw that as a one-time constraint, as an administrative constraint and expected the managers to guide their careers and be in charge of the development. So, the end results were seen really as an “administrative constraint”, with a grading system which was quite outdated. The HR team had to deal with this kind of papers and then analyse the data and continuously prove that those onces a year meetings were efficient and sufficient. And regarding learning, our competence development; Today we really talk to each other in terms of connectivity, collaboration, co-creation instead of having a limited training budget that is assigned to a specific community of the organisation.
I understand that there were some administrative and perhaps also technological constraints. How did you cope with these challenges in terms of technology? Did you use any tools?
Sylvie – Yes, actually today at Adessa Group we changed our Performance Management process, which was more a thing of the past, it was e-mail and Word documents with these three milestones: annual goal setting meeting, medium review and annual evaluation. Instead, we have now introduced regular check-ins, regular feedback, that can be initiated both by the employee and the managers. So, feedback can be asked to peers, stakeholders and supervisors at any time of the year during or after the project completion and these regular check-ins allow these parties to identify issues very early and support our consultants over time and of course the employee’s progress.
And with regards to the technology, we have implemented the SuccessFactors Continuous Performance Management process at Adessa Group, a really great change and much better perceived by the different parties.
And when it comes to learning, the concept of pure formal learning it definitely belongs to the past. In the past at Adessa group, as many other organisations we approached learning much more conventionally. So learning was more top-down, reserved to potential, or high-potential, and mostly in conventional forms such as classroom training.
Today at Adessa Group the information is much more decentralised. Of course we are spread over many countries, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany and France, and anyone who is willing to share her or his knowledge can do so via MS teams, via LinkedIn app, SAP Learning Hub, local coaching.
Silvia – So, it´s much more interactive as well.
Sylvie – Yes and I would say that today the access to project information practice knowledge etcetera is completely diffused and very decentralised.
Coming back to Performance Management, what are the needs of the employees in Performance Management nowadays?
Sylvie – I would say that the very first objective and the main need, in my opinion, is the continuous line of communication with their career manager. This is really the key for employees. So, having this ongoing dialogue to receive and give feedback is really crucial for employees. They can feel more inspired, more engaged and in terms of career also more motivated. And in our business environment, it is really common that the objectives shift overtime, because of changing business priorities. It is of course crucial for our employees, whatever their level of expertise, the seniority they have, to give really continuous guidance on: what is expected from them, what is changing and to be continuously aligned with our business strategy. And it is also the opportunity for your employees to raise issues, make their work visible to their career manager, because our consultants are working mostly at the client´s premises, they don´t see their career manager very often and it is important that their expectations are aligned and that they get the coaching they need if they are struggling to meet their objectives.
Do you think that organisations are matching those needs?
Sylvie – Well, we are progressively shifting to this new approach and tend to provide more ¨in the moment¨ feedback, when something positive or negative occurs. The cultural feedback is getting more mature and we will do our best to develop it further at Adessa Group.
How do you think that Continuous Performance can make an organisation more agile?
Sylvie – Well, a CMP or Continuous Performance Management is really a new way of looking at the traditional performance reviews that I described previously. So instead of these bi-annual reviews, this CPM enables us to get our data and employee output from a variety of touch points. So, the career manager, the stakeholders (people working at the client premises, so the business counterpart), the Project Manager, the peer. So it is no longer a question of the career manager, who has to do all work, but the responsibility of the employee to practically share his work and seek for valuable feedback. That really gives a much more objective view on an employee’s performance and we don’t rely only on the differentiation of just one person. So, that’s why I think that CPM is much more employee driven and collaborative and we have more regular touch points with the employee and manager and we can also react more successfully to certain shifts in new technologies and the developer needs. So, we are now launching very actively, Qualtrics and Kronos, so this is a very good example.
Do you think that this employee empowerment will help the employee to take ownership and give feedback can really improve the employee’s performance?
Sylvie – Well, yes, employees will remain in jobs that bring them challenges and provide a real meaning, as long as this job also utilise their expertise. There are more and more articles on this Gen Y and Millennials motivated to learn in a much more pragmatic learning environment. So realistic and with the help of real examples, Millennials but also older generations understand the technology better if we add a concrete example and how this new technology can give a practically approach. So our business will definitely be driven by this new generational change, so it is crucial for us to shift from traditional learning techniques to a new approach, much more adaptive to the changing workflow. So, more collaborative, more pragmatic, less formal etcetera.
What are you currently doing in your organisation Adessa Group to develop and support learning capabilities?
Sylvie – We are really shifting from this traditional approach, that I would call push, to this pull approach. We used to create our learning portfolio based on the need to approach. We looked at the market trends, looked at the project evaluation, looked at the knowledge gap and invited everyone to attend the same training, at the same time, in the same location. So, employees were pushed to training, rather than really pulled. Today, all consultants are really pulling down any training anywhere, anytime. They are all spread in Europe, as I said, and they have access to all possible training videos to boost their competence and their career development. We keep using this so called 70-20-10 learning models. 70 % on the job, 20% for coaching and only 10% formal training, but we are shifting more towards this 90-10. So, 90 more collaborative co-creating and only 10% of formal training.
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