- To cultivate empowered, collaborative, cross-functional teams, GE has been experimenting with a new approach to performance development. Teams were among the first to adopt it as part of a pilot, and GE has used it to drive a fivefold productivity increase in the past 12 months, according to an article at Harvard Business Review.
- GE is now rolling it out throughout the company, and it will replace the company's legacy Employee Management System (EMS) by the end of 2016.
- Rather than a formal, once-a-year review, managers and their direct reports hold regular, informal “touchpoints” where they set or update priorities that are based on customer needs, according to authors Leonardo Baldassarre and Brian Finken.
The aging concept of performance reviews has been a hot topic, as many employers are abandoning the end-of-the-year review.
GE is taking a new approach, one mentioned by many experts - the idea of keeping performance on the radar screen in a much more ongoing manner, giving employees and their managers a chance to plan and adjust with much more flexibility.
While GE still used a year-end review as part of the process within the pilot, the co-authors, who work in GE's Oil & Gas area, note that a simple, contemporary smartphone app, developed internally by one of the company’s top IT teams to support the new approach, accepts voice and text inputs, attached documents and even handwritten notes. The sole aim is to facilitate more frequent, meaningful conversations between managers and employees and among teams, they write.