KBC goes all in on performance to prepare for the future

03 July 2018

KBC knows the difference they bring to the market today is created by their employees.

But, as we can see everywhere, the market keeps changing at a rapid pace. New technologies and new ways of working are being introduced. The skills of yesterday are making room for the skills of tomorrow and the time to learn them is now.

To tackle the challenges of this fast-moving future, KBC decided toleverage the growth potentialof their current employees. In this way, they can obtain the necessary flexibility and mobility to respond to changes quickly. HR was identified as a key player to make this ambition a reality.

To prepare for the future KBC needed to rethink and redesign their existing talent processes. 5 pillars were defined, one of them is ‘Progression Management’. Like many other companies, KBC decided to make the shift from an annual performance review process to continuous performance management. A mindset where growth, continuous feedback and peer-coaching are made possible.

As you know, introducing change comes with its own set of challenges. To support the introduction of progression management, KBC enlisted the help of Emeritis with one goal in mind: “To make sure everybody found their place within the envisioned future”.

Motivational performance vs compensation management

With the introduction of continuous performance management and progression dialogues, KBC breaks the mechanical link between the performance review process and reward. The idea that a one-time evaluation resulting in scores or numbers is an adequate or even objective measurement of the effort, skill and growth an employee made during the year, no longer stands at KBC.

What if the goals that were set are no longer relevant?
What if the employee gave it their all but something outside their control makes the goal unachievable?
Wouldn’t it be better if the employee can ask for additional support or resources immediately?

Ongoing communication between managers and employees is key in knowing how someone is performing. If manager and employee have an honest dialogue on evidence-based observations, this information gives far greater insights on the real performance and growth of people. The goals that were set at the beginning of the year, must constantly be re-evaluated:

Are these predefined goals still relevant?
Is the employee in need of additional resources or support to reach those goals?

The progression tool is a way to facilitate this conversation between manager and employee. By combining goals, activities, achievements, feedback from others and coaching, the development of the employee takes central stage.

Digital HR Transformation

Digitization is a key part of this HR transformation process. To support the progression management project, KBC went looking for the perfect progression tool. After a preliminary study of 1 year, they chose SAP SuccessFactorsto help them shape their new performance processes.

Before starting with the implementation of the new progression tool, they did a pilot study with a selected group of people. The following questions were asked: How are we going to use the tool? And which information needs to be included?After this first testing phase, they re-evaluated the needs for the tool and decided to move forward with the roll out to the entire company.

As of November 2017, SuccessFactors Continuous Performance Management is available for all employees. The official kick off of the progression management process, with introduction of the new ways of working, took place in April 2018.

Bottom up – top down

For the roll out of the new workflows, KBC opted for an oil slick model. They raised the question: “Who wants to help make progression management a reality?” A group of people stepped forward to take up the role of change enabler. All of them ‘believers’ of the progression management project and wanted to join forces to make sure the project is a success and actual change takes place. In this group, employees of all levels of the company were included.

At the same time discussions were held at senior manager level, to promote the project within the management committee and convince each of them to take an active role in the setup of progression management in their business. Not a one size fit’s all format but an approach that can be translated and adapted to the different businesses.

In this way, both at the top and the bottom of the company you gain support for the new ways of working and that’s the secret to success.

Learning journey – blended learnings to facilitate the roll out

To make sure the new way of working is incorporated in the day-to-day workflows, integrated change management and communicationwas key:

Internal training:KBC heavily invested in training and coaching. Both employees and managers are guided through the new ways of working by focussing on four pillars which were identified as the keys to success. Setting the right goals, aligned with the company strategy. Having frequent dialogueswith every employee about growth and progression towards development and goals. Providing valuable feedbackto others and coaching employeesto reach new levels of performance and prepare them for the future.

Internal awareness movies:Different videos were made to promote progression management and SAP SuccessFactors. The promotion video for the progression tool specifically focuses on mobile support, as a mobile applicationis incorporated as well.

Train-the-trainer and other courses:Train-the-trainer sessions and other communication channels were set up for everybody who’s part of the change team. One of these trainings focussed on enabling all members to give a demo about the functionalities and the practical use of SAP SuccessFactors Performance Management. During this course, they all learned how to maximize the use of the progression tool to generate added value.

Author:Lena Dirks, HR Business Consultant

Are you planning to redesign your Talent processes? Looking for a partner to help you with your (digital) HR Transformation? We're here for you, so get in touch!

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