In a time of rapid change, adaptability is a key competency. But are traditional performance management practices up to the task of helping employees adapt to change? In a word: no.

Several years ago, Bank of America wanted to understand why some call centers outperformed others. It equipped call center employees with sensor-enabled ID badges and discovered that when workers took breaks at the same time, they were happier and completed calls 23 percent faster than their counterparts with staggered break times. By shifting mandatory break times, they achieved a 75 percent reduction in the call center’s burn rate and saved approximately $15 million annually.


As digital technologies revolutionize the way we attract and retain talent, they also open the door to new ways of managing people’s performance. Analytics and machine learning can provide more information to supervisors and employees, provide insights into gaps in skillsets and generate customized training programs.

Simply put, traditional performance management isn’t cut out for the tailored approach that’s needed today. Insurers must be able to mount quick, nimble responses to shifts in the market—and that requires the capability to engage individuals, help them grow and equip them to adopt new behaviors in the face of change. Traditional methods take effect too late, aren’t able to quickly match the right people to the right business needs, and are largely focused on efficiency and process.

Technology is reinventing performance management

Technology-enabled performance management goes far beyond giving workers apps and tools. It’s a comprehensive, holistic way of looking at worker performance with the goal of maximizing people’s development and improving their performance—and, ultimately, that of the entire organization. The ability to help workers adapt will become increasingly important as intelligent automation (IA) becomes more widely adopted.

As discussed previously, Bank of America used wearable technology to enhance its performance management capabilities. And earlier in this series, I shared how AT&T retrained 140,000 workers to fill much-needed gaps in cloud computing, programming and cloud computing expertise. Part of their internal solution included a self-service portal where employees could look at current job postings, identify the skills they needed to qualify, and enroll in programs to fill in the gaps.

To learn more about how technology-enabled performance management can help your organization improve business outcomes, download Technology Reinvents Performance Management, written by Payal Vasudeva, Tim Good and Johan Eerenstein, my colleagues at Accenture Strategy. To discuss how Accenture can help your organization reinvent performance management, contact me.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *