Over the past few years it has been well documented that networking has significantly increased the ability of people to accelerate their business dealings and personal relationships. Just about everyone in the workforce is familiar with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networking sites. The effects are clear. Technology has been the most significant driver in productivity over the last 30 years and is an important part of your organizational development strategy. People are much more productive when they easily have access to knowledge, and productivity is improved exponentially when people can use a network to seek knowledge and advice from their peers and managers, via a collaboration network.
Companies are wrestling with how to utilize the latest social networking technology in their organizations to take advantage of this phenomenon. It is clear that the proper application of networking inside an organization can foster better focus, clearer understanding of objectives, 24/7 communications among employees from any global location and high performance cultures. John Kotter, Leadership Professor at Harvard did a study indicating that high performance cultures can expect 3-5 times better financial performance than their peers.
Obtaining a high performance culture is the holy grail of all senior leadership teams. It is all about performance management. Many different approaches and systems have been tried to enhance employee engagement and performance inside an organization. Town Hall meetings, operations reviews, monthly update sessions, team meetings, email, yearly reviews, video conferencing, Share Point, suggestion boxes, social intranets, etc. All of these methods enhance employee performance to some degree, but there is a significant cost to a disparate approach. The ROI for these efforts decline exponentially the further down the organization you go. Seldom is what the CEO said clearly articulated to all stakeholders (hourly, exempt, suppliers, contract workers, customers) after being passed on by various people in the organization.
The key to utilizing a performance management system that will drive significant productivity throughout an organization is to focus it on the discussion of work and collaboration around the strategic objectives of the company. If properly implemented, organizational leaders can harness an exponential result in productivity through more engagement by employees who are collaborating with their peers on business objectives, and realize further gains if teams are collaborating together. This last effect is known as Reed’s Law.
Companies seeking to implement a performance management system that has networking tools need to look at technology that is focused on the core needs of the company. The best results can be achieved by choosing a technology that provides collaboration between managers, employees and teams on:
- Cultural, Strategic and Leadership objectives
- Performance to personal performance objectives
- Core competencies and Succession Planning
There are several performance management systems that provide various pieces of this functionality. Each one has it pros and cons, but the decision by senior leaders to harness the power of collaboration is the first step. One of those tools Cascade. It is easy to use, cloud based and low cost and provides great dashboards for assessing the performance of an organization at any level.
Choosing an appropriate performance management system isn’t an easy decision and requires that senior leadership teams carefully review the options and be committed to implementing a technology that will impact everyone in the organization: full and part-time employees, contractors, suppliers and temps.
About the Author:
Jim Gitney, CEO of Group50® has been working with companies to align their organizations to strategic and cultural objectives for many years. Utilizing a new tool called Cascade (see a short video here), Group50 is working with companies to significantly improve the performance of their organizations, utilizing the power of networking and collaboration to provide accountability to corporate and team objectives as well as implementing a rigorous review of organizational performance. Jim can be contacted at (909) 949-9083, you can request more information here, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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