Talent and Performance Development
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Talent and Performance Development
Making sense of performance and talent development systems to create & sustain high performance in organizations. For the BEST of the BEST curated news in performance, change, agile learning, innovation, motivation, social media and careers, SUBSCRIBE to Reveln.com/Tools/
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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN

Adobe’s New Approach to Abolishing the Yearly Performance Appraisal: The Details

Adobe’s New Approach to Abolishing the Yearly Performance Appraisal: The Details | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

Adobe is blazing a trail.  Rosemary Arriada-Keiper, Head of Rewards at Adobe reviews several of the compensation details of their new program.

1)  Has Adobe completely done away with performance appraisals (evaluating past performance)?

Rosemary: Yes, we no longer have performance appraisals.  While we still believe we need to evaluate performance, we believe this should be done on an on-going basis through regular feedback provided during “check-ins”.  These are on-going discussions between employees and managers about goals, status against them, what is working, what is not, whether goals need to be modified or reprioritized given the environment, etc.   ...These “check-ins” are not written. ...We encourage at a minimum that "check-ins" happen quarterly but we typically see monthly in practice.

2) Has Adobe completely stopped giving performance ratings?

Rosemary:  Correct, we no longer provide a rating.  ... because of  “check-ins” both managers and employees should have a very good sense of performance by the time managers need to make compensation recommendations.

4)   You mention there are rewards for key talent.  How are key/high performers selected...? 

Rosemary:  We have a separate process for that whereby discussions about key talent happen with leadership in the respective organizations.  We do identify who they are and they are “tagged” in the system as Key Talent (yes/no) but no rating per se. 

Key talent receives stock although occasionally they get cash.  Both managers and individual contributors are eligible.  The total pool is no more than 2% of the employee population.

5)  What has been the response from both managers and employees about this change in program?


Rosemary: Very positive. There’s lots of relief around not having to write annual performance reviews and label employees a certain way.  That said, the conversations managers have with their employee has had to shift from “these are the guidelines given to me by HR [to} push[ing}  managers to own their decisions and be able to articulate them (and defend if challenged). 

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Adobe made a huge jump away from their reviled stack ranking system, a move that even raised their stock prices.  

These are four (4) highlights from a longer article by Compensation Café shows how the revamped review, now called "check-in" without documentation, and the compensation system is now handled at Adobe.   Gone are the rankings, the yearly appraisal and ratings.

According to the head of "Rewards" at Adobe, it's been received quite positively.   It's certainly a step in the right direction.  It isn't really all that new.  The APOP or "Annual Piece of Paper" process described by an article in Fast Company in 1998 is very similar.  Here's the link.   I'll have more to say about it in my next blog post on REVELN.com.

~  Deb

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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN

The SILOS: Integrated Talent Management, What Is It and Why Should You Want It?

The SILOS:  Integrated Talent Management, What Is It and Why Should You Want It? | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"Start with three (3) well-intended but ineffective scenarios of siloed talent management.  Add in, organizations are still struggling to understand what integrated talent management is."


  • Talent Management Processes Are Aligned to the Talent Strategy
  • Talent Management Processes Share Inputs and Outputs 
  • Competency Model as a Common Language
  • Technology Enablement for Talent Management
  • Change Management as a Foundation

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Integrated lessons being learned here:  Do-able?   Any take-aways for smaller organization looking to avoid performance and talent snafus in building their systems? ~  Deb

Maya Mathias's curator insight, June 8, 2013 8:00 PM

If talent management is silo-ed, no wonder our workflow and throughput is too.  Organizations need to speak the same talent management language, and align their hiring/training/rewarding/firing goals with overall corporate strategy.  If a big organization like GE can do it (based on popular literature), there's no excuse for the rest of us!

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, August 5, 2013 12:18 AM
Getting the language clear (well-defined, accessible) helps a great deal, as well as seeing who is doing it well. Thanks for the comment Maya
Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN

Pay-for-Performance, A trade-off for Trust & Commitment

Pay-for-Performance, A trade-off for Trust & Commitment | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it
Paying your employees more for hitting specific targets may backfire, according to HBS professor Michael Beer .

..."I think there is an implicit negotiation going on between what management wants and expects, and what employees want and expect," observed Beer in his talk to HBS faculty. This implicit negotiation is "embedded" in the context of pay-for-performance, but often goes undiscussed and unacknowledged, he suggested. Misunderstandings about goals are the result. Pay-for-performance may also have a natural life cycle that managers are unaware of, he said.

Financial rewards in a fast-changing business environment could undermine a company's ability to build trust and commitment unless management and employees have an honest discussion of their mutual expectations, they added. This is "very difficult to do."

Related posts by Deb:

A History of Performance Appraisals: Letting Go to Power New Culture

Choices for High Performance Teams, Groups and Psuedo-Teams: Achievement Is How You Say It!

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

In my experience, pay continues as a satisfier, never a motivator. This HBR working knowledge article classic illustrates the nuances as well as the nusances of attempting to reconcile the hierarchy barriers of expectations in pay-for-performance.  Compensate fairly, motivate systemically & holistically. ~  Deb

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