Merging Performance Management and People Analytics


Posted by Kathi Enderes on October 16, 2018.

Performance management—or the abandonment of it—is a hot topic. We just launched the results of a new High-Impact Performance Management study—the results of surveying over 1,000 organizations globally, across all industries, geographies, and sizes. Many organizations feel old-fashioned and left behind in their approaches to performance management, apologizing if they have not evolved from traditional ratings or performance reviews. Yet organizations still need to make people-related decisions, and individuals need fact-based input to understand current performance and gauge development opportunities. The absence of relevant data often creates a vacuum, leaving individuals confused and organizations open to bias, subjectivity, and misinterpretation. We delved deeper into this topic in our High-Impact Performance Management study.

Many organizations keep people analytics on their agenda, too. According to our 2018 Global Human Capital Trends survey1, 84 percent of respondents considered people analytics to be important or very important, making it the second-highest ranked trend in terms of importance.

The solution provider market increasingly recognizes the potential to combine performance management and people analytics capabilities. This sounds promising, given that more than 70 percent of organizations are in the midst of major projects to analyze and integrate data into their decision-making.2

One example of this type of solution provider is Reflektive, a software company promising “real-time performance management,” that focuses on customer service and offers a simple, intuitive user experience. Reflektive recently acquired Shape Analytics, a company that offers “real-time intelligence and predictive analytics solutions for workforce data.”3

The new capability, called Reflektive Analytics, aims to deliver breakaway analytics technology, enabling both frontline and higher-level workers to make analytics-enabled people decisions, embedding analytics into the core of all workflows and decision-making processes.

How exactly could this benefit leaders, individuals, teams, and HR?

For one, aggregate data on performance management activities—feedback, recognition, performance and development indicators, and alignment to values—can help identify hot spots (and cold spots). Drilling into team or individual details enables leaders to take targeted action without HR interference or time-consuming data crunching.


Source: Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP, 2018.

Conversely, individuals and leaders can use people data (e.g., engagement, retention, and team development) to inform goals, feedback, performance reviews, and ratings. Next-generation performance management technologies already enable this integration with data from other areas, like sales, marketing, or customer management. Machine learning and artificial intelligence can help turn this data into actionable insights around promotions, compensation, development opportunities, and career moves.

The biggest benefit of integrating people data and performance management may lie in the possibility to embed both into the flow of work itself. Eventually, work and people processes will likely become one combined entity, which will help remove the barriers of time-consuming processes that do not add value. We see this convergence of talent practices with work itself in many areas, including learning, people analytics, talent management, and diversity and inclusion.4 Emerging performance and people analytics solutions can enable individuals, teams, and leaders to make people-related work part of the regular workflow, with insights and prescribed actions in the operational work system (e.g., email, collaboration, or project management tools) to let employees know what can enable their teams to do their best work.

Organizations and software vendors who seize these numerous opportunities to combine people analytics and performance management can create winning solutions that provide value to leaders, individuals, and teams—if they actively work address barriers to success. Look for an upcoming blog post to learn about these barriers and the ways in which they can be overcome.

Kathi EnderesKathi Enderes, leads talent and workforce research for Bersin, enabling organizations to transform work and the worker experience for increased organizational performance. With over 20 years of global human capital experience from management consulting with IBM, PwC, and EY, and as a talent management leader in large complex organizations, she specializes in talent strategies, talent development and management, performance management, and change management. Kathi holds a doctorate in mathematics and a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Vienna, Austria.


1 2018 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends: The rise of the social enterprise, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Deloitte Insights, 2018, https://hctrendsapp.deloitte.com/reports/2018/the-rise-of-the-social-enterprise.html.
2 Ibid.
3 “Reflektive Acquires Shape, Leveraging People Analytics Innovation for Real-Time Performance Management and Growth,” Reflective, 2017, https://www.reflektive.com/press-center/press/reflektive-acquires-shape-leveraging-people-analytics-innovation-real-time-performance-management-growth/.
4 (1) The High-Impact Learning Organization Series, Bersin & Associates / David Mallon, Janet Clarey, and Mark Vickers, 2012; (2) High-Impact People Analytics, Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP / Madhura Chakrabarti, PhD, 2017; (3) High-Impact Diversity and Inclusion: Maturity Model and Top Findings, Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP / Stacia Sherman Garr and Candace Atamanik, 2017.

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