Magazine article Workforce Management

Leveraging Social Networking within Performance Management

Magazine article Workforce Management

Leveraging Social Networking within Performance Management

Article excerpt


Employee performance, development and engagement have always been at the top of HR agendas, but such topics are now more important than ever. It's not enough anymore to give employees that one annual review; they crave and require greater feedback. In generations past, getting a paycheck in the mail at the end of the week was enough to keep most employees going indefinitely, but times have changed. In addition to the generational shift in our workforce, our shaky economy is putting tremendous pressure on organizations to keep talent engaged. So how do you accurately measure employee performance and in doing so provide meaningful feedback that will inspire, develop and engage your employees? Shifts in traditional performance management needs lead us to the enthralling world of social networking.

The Classic Performance Review Process

We're all aware of the traditional review process: an annual appraisal is performed by a manager, goals are set (hopefully!), competencies are evaluated, and sometimes peers are asked to assess performance. In such a process, the reviewed employee is then sent adrift for another 365 days. The process is hierarchical and quite formal.... with some major gaps.

The immense challenge for managers to achieve a comprehensive view of employee performance is recognized by the current trend in talent management, which shows a shift in focus from acquiring new talent to developing and retaining existing talent. In fact, Aberdeen Group's 2008 Aberdeen Report showed that the highest ranked competitive threat facing organizations is not recruiting the right people, but "people retention." If you can't accurately assess performance, and provide useful feedback that will engage and motivate, you certainly won't be able to retain your "people."

A Paradigm Shift in Performance Evaluation

The key to success today is to take advantage of more than just the traditional process of appraisals, goals and assessments. There are a number of ways to gain this insight and they focus around social networking.

Web 2.0 and social networking technology has now emerged in the realm of employee performance evaluation. These tools focus on communication and shared interests, encourage personal involvement and provide a means for employees to connect and provide feedback to one another, all of which work to improve individual employee results and productivity. What's more, these tools give YOU, the manager, a deep look into the value of your employee based on a glimpse of that employee's values, interests, activities and relationships with others. …

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