Measuring Performance vs Managing Performance – How Continuous Performance Management can make a difference to your organization

By Sarayu Raghavan, 14 July, 2016

An old cliché: “What gets measured gets done.” attributed to Peter Drucker (some say it goes back to Lord Kelvin or even Rheticus in the 1500′s! more here ), and it seems that the original phrase was actually “If you can measure it, you can manage it.” Regardless of the origin or the wording, the message is clear: measuring something gives you the information you need in order to make understand where you are relative to where you want to be.

In a corporate context, employees have “goals” that they are expected to achieve. Measuring performance (getting the actual data of what has been accomplished) is often confused with managing performance. Similar but very different. “Measurement” is objective (or at least should be, if the goals are clearly and simply defined), whereas “Management” is rarely objective. In fact, it is extremely subjective and requires a strong understanding of the individual in question and what can be done to help achieve her goals.

The annual performance management has come under quite some flak – Employees repudiate the annual performance review, HR isn’t exactly pleased with it either. There has been quite some press about removing the entire process, but it hasn’t really gone away, has it?

With most things today being available real-time, what good would a once-a-year feedback provide to an employee? At worst, it is merely a record of what was done and at best is a candid recap of the past year, with key learnings. The employees are often morose for not having known shortcomings earlier – when it could have been fixed, as opposed to learning of them when they have no way of correcting things.

So let’s nail it – we need a system, a system which can measure performance continuously, allow simple tracking and conversation through the year, as opposed to a one-time event.

SAP SuccessFactors Continuous Performance Management (CPM) focuses on structured and frequent performance reviews promoting engagement and employee participation in all levels, by simplifying measurement and letting everyone focus on managing performance to meet objectives. Let’s see how:

Figure 1 : Traditional v/s. Customized Process

Figure 1 : Traditional v/s. Customized Process

Table 1: Traditional approach Vs Customized approach

Table 1: Traditional approach Vs Customized approach

Let’s take a closer look at SAP SuccessFactors Continuous Performance Management (CPM)

An employee is a click away from a few powerful tools:

  1. Activities
  2. Achievements
  3. Annual Summary
  4. Coaching

Activities are tasks that employees are working on. Tasks are ground level and are directly linked to their goals. The status (high, medium, cancelled, completed) of the activity maybe set based on task priority and upon completion.

Figure 2: Figure showing how to add an activity

Figure 2: Figure showing how to add an activity

Now managers get a complete view of their team’s activities and can provide regular, effective guidance to employees. It also enables employees to keep track of their performance-related activities providing visibility to their managers about their work, priorities and progress. Activities can also be aligned to the goal plan (if applicable).

Additionally activities can be tracked and integrated with Goals and Development and also create Structure- a list of all activities, achievements, tasks which could be helpful during a one-on-one discussion.


Employees’ productivity tends to reduce when their work goes unrecognized. The Opt-in feature – CPM addresses this. Employees can take ownership of their activities and tasks. They can instantly capture their big moments and achievements on the go. Managers can also provide feedback, ensuring employees are aligned to goals.

Figure 3: CPM home screen

Figure 3: CPM home screen


As the name says, it provides a summary of the employee’s activities and tasks performed throughout the year. It helps in having high-quality conversations during one-on-one meetings or performance reviews with managers.  Performance reviews or formal assessments need not be vague anymore. Managers can now stay abreast of their employees’ activities and provide more actionable feedback and guidance.

Figure 4: Annual Summary page of an employee

Figure 4: Annual Summary page of an employee


An effective way of giving feedback to employees, provide coaching and mentoring. Right from baby boomers to millennials, everyone responds positively to feedback. Recognition motivates employees and inspires them to achieve goals. They look forward to proper guidance to know areas where they outstand and those which require improvement. SAP SuccessFactors CPM is one of the most efficient ways to keep your employees happy, engaged and making them realize the value they add to the organization.

Figure 5: Sample coaching page of an employee

Figure 5: Sample coaching page of an employee

Let’s look at the Impact of CPM for the stakeholders

  • Employees
  1. Take more ownership for their performance
  2. Document their activities and achievements
  3. Receive feedback and coaching
  4. Aligned to business goals and enhance their performance
  • Managers
  1. Have a complete insight on their team’s activities
  2. It helps them provide better and effective guidance to their team
  • HR
  1. Track the frequency of meetings of one-on-ones
  2. Provide guidance to maximize the team’s potential

CPM lets your organization be agile and have an invigorating work environment that evolves with you. Any organization’s greatest asset is its employees, managing its employees and developing them to their potential is a tough task.

With SAP SuccessFactors CPM, you can manage your asset effectively; take advantage of the processes and technology which in turn helps your organization grow. Bringing a culture of continuous feedback and performance assessment and keeping it interactive makes employees more engaged plus inspired.

If you are looking at having Performance Management enabled on your SF instance or to know how Continuous Performance Management can maximize performance at your organization, please contact irene.jones@neeyamo.com.


Getting more from the Benefits Module in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central

by Vijay K & Sarayu Raghavan, 20 June,2016

Does your organization hire an in-house masseuse to help you relax just after you’ve had a really exhaustive day at work? – does that sound a little too exotic? While I’m certainly aware of companies that provide this as an allowance, let’s look at an employee benefit that sounds a bit more realistic. How about paid-education – according to a recent report by PWC, the millennial generation is committed to their personal learning and development and this remains their first choice of benefit from employers. In an effort to retain their best talent, several companies have out together an entire menu-card of benefits for their employees to choose from. However, most often than always, they are left disappointed to find that employees are often unaware of the benefits on offer or worse do not use it because they think it is complex to apply for.

SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central (EC) comes with an easy-to-use Benefits module, which allows HR admins to easily configure benefits on SAP SuccessFactors to help employees to use the benefits quickly and easily.

In this whitepaper, we offer insight into:

  1. Different benefit types with examples
  2. How to setup custom benefits in EC
  3. How you can create visibility for the benefits within EC

The Benefits Module in Employee Central

Benefits in SuccessFactors Employee Central are organized into 7 broad types:


Figure 1–The 7 categories of Benefits in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central


A brief explanation of the types of benefits with examples


Workflows can be configured for all benefit types for both “Enrolment” and “Claim”. Benefits like Birthday gift (Australia) can be configured for auto enrolment based on Employee’s birthday on the system which can also be regulated by initiating a workflow.

SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central benefits are country specific and some are pre-configured for example a Christmas Gift for Brazilian employees as shown below –

Table 2

Figure 2 – Benefits screen for an employee showing current enrolled benefits, claims and eligible benefits for enrollment (Country specific Benefits – Brazil)

Eligibility for a benefit can be further controlled by setting up rules to identify employee groups that are applicable: e.g. under a certain age group or employees who have served X months in the company, using business rules. This ensures that the benefit is available only to those employees who qualify

Creating custom benefits in SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central

Since the benefits module is based on Meta Data Framework (MDF), it is easy to create custom benefits that are unique to your organization. Your administrator (or anyone with the right privileges) can help set it up in 9 steps as outlined below –

9 steps


How can organizations make the benefits more visible to employees?

  • Publicity Plan : Create a publicity plan – Build a custom portlet and time it to specific groups of employees, so that they see it when they login.
  • E-mail Reminders : Send emails with auto-enrollment workflows, so that employees can be automatically enrolled in things like a health check or a free dental check-up.
  • Auto-enrollment : Mandatory benefits can be auto-enrolled for employees.

Creating reports in the benefits module

You can build reports using Employee Central to track enrolment, pending signups that help you “nudge” employees to use the benefits. Reports can be created using Online Report Designer (ORD). A few sample reports below –


Figure 6 – Sample SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Benefits Reports in System

How can Neeyamo help you with benefits for Employee Central?

The Neeyamo Consultants can help you design and administer Benefits effectively. We take work out of managing benefits by providing custom reports for internal analysis and government compliance at your fingertips.  The visibility of benefits data has a lot of compliance norms- We use the Roles Based Permissioning framework to keep a check on the information visible to employee, approver, and auditor. To run a simple yet effective Global Benefits – please reach out to irene.jones@neeyamo.com.





Transform your User Experience (UX) in SuccessFactors using Userflows

By Sarayu Raghavan, June 16, 2016

So, the management in your organization has chosen to roll out the amazing SuccessFactors platform. Last month, you had been a part of a dreamy briefing that told you how easy this platform was going to make your life as an HR practitioner. Alas! You get back to work on a Monday morning only to find a zillion queries from employees requesting your assistance to use the platform, at least 5 different emails from your superiors asking you for reports that you are clueless to derive.  To add to the stack, you’ve just realized that SuccessFactors has come up with a series of updates that will now require you to train your company’s employees on. Does this episode sound familiar? Read On!

User adoption and End-User training, as vital as they sound, are some of the key challenges organizations face after having implemented SuccessFactors – Any platform for that reason. Getting employees to change habits that they are comfortable with, is no easy task, simply because you are requesting them to step out of their comfort zone like –  to drop an email in order to receive an Experience letter or to call HR to know his salary break-up. To top it all up, you provide them with a platform that is alien to them with a user manual for assistance and training sessions from which they would definitely have trouble recollecting.

As implementers of SuccessFactors ourselves, we have been receiving multiple calls and emails from our clients requesting a solution to address this need of ensuring maximum end-user adoption.  One of our clients told us over a call, and I quote “We conducted a SuccessFactors training session for our employees. The employees sat down with a surge of excitement to learn about the new platform. After a couple of minutes, we saw them give us a bewildered look which plainly said “where do I start from?”

A wise man once said – “Necessity is the mother of inventions”. So we then had a need and our answer to it was “UseStruggle 2rflows”.

Userflows is a simple browser plugin built for SuccessFactors.  It provides users with clear and precise step by step instructions that make navigation simpler in SuccessFactors. Let’s look at the benefits of implementing Userflows for SuccessFactors.

1) Creating time for Strategic Tasks: An HR practitioner’s time is often spent in responding to common employee questions like –

  • How do I set goals?
  • How do I enrol for benefits?
  • How do I fill timesheets?
  • How do I view my payslip?

Userflows has been built on SuccessFactors to provide employees on-demand assistance as and when required.  Users can now set goals, apply for leaves, fill timesheets, check their performance rating, enrol for a course and a lot more by just following the series of call-outs. The call-outs keep popping up in their SuccessFactors page enabling them to start and complete a task – step by step.

Thus userflows frees up significant amount of time for an HR practitioner- no more training manuals and definitely no more repetitive queries.

Now let’s take an example of a French employee who is required to set her goals on the SuccessFactors Performance Management module but is clueless on how to go about this task. From the screenshot below you will find a call-out that gives her specific guidance in her language on how to go about her task. (Oh Yes! Flows can be configured for multilingFrench flowual instance)

2) Drive User adoption:   In every organization, there is always a group of employees who tend to mullover their questions in their mind, or hesitate to raise their concerns Also, employees at times are found reluctant to use the user guides. Some of the questions that employees or managers might have could include

  • How do I run an adhoc report?
  • How do I see the 9 box matrix?
  • How do I see my CDP?
  • How do I enrol for learning?

Just as individual working styles vary, there are managers who prefer to be hands-on and favour the self-service functionality. On the other hand, there are also managers who prefer a white glove approach. Userflows cater to both these approaches.

Pulling reports, viewing performance, 360, goal execution, managing talent pool, etc is made easier for managers by using SuccessFactors Userflows. One can check the status of existing job requisites, add new ones, approve timesheets, assign and recommended courses to employees and a whole lot more by just following the blue call-outs. As simple as it sounds, that is all there is to it.

Userflows provide the users with a learning experience on an as-and-when-needed basis. So now that an employee is equipped with a pretty cool platform, and a step-by-step guideline that might help complete his task much sooner than it might have taken him before, what reason could he have to complain?

And if you are a manager? Well! We have not shied away from creating the call-outs for you as well. Let’s take a look at how userflows help a manager in creating an adhoc report.Report

3)  Change management:  One of the recalcitrant problems organizations face is its employees showing resistance to a change implemented. As mentioned before, one of the key reasons for this resistance is because of the need for employees to move out of their comfort zone. But with Userflows, we tried our best to make employees feel comfortable involving them to make zero decisions to complete a process. All they would be required to do is to follow the call-outs. Training employees on new updates made to the platform would also not be required. Update your userflows to the change and send out a mass communique to your employees and have the Userflows train your employees on a when-needed basis.

With userflows, the volume of calls and time spent on training manuals can be reduced and admins can dedicate themselves to enhance and refine HR processes.  Userflows are definitely a worthy investment as it drives user adoption, change management and reduces administrative efforts.

It would be apt to summarize that Userflows – Provides Right Guidance to the Right People at the Right Time. To know more about Userflows, reach us at irene.jones@neeyamo.com.