GeneralHr Library

Managing Performance: Revolution or Evolution? – A Point of View

Source |  |  BY:Ollivier Blum , Chif Hr officer at Schneider Electric 

Creating an environment for High Performance is among the leading priorities of executives. In a business environment that is becoming more competitive every year, this is simply because ultimately only people and their performance can provide a competitive edge in the long-term. The question that remains is what can be done to constantly engage, motivate and challenge people to keep performing and innovating?

Increasing clarity

It is stating the obvious, but let us just say that managing performance during a constant ‘war for customer and talent’ is certainly not simple!

What is clear and not debatable any longer is the diminished utility of performance management processes that are activated once annually to ‘assess performance’, ‘set future goals’ and ‘reward or punish’.

So, it is no surprise that many organisations have found that their ‘current systems are flawed’ and that ‘managers and employees are not satisfied with how performance is managed’. This has led some to completely abandon their existing practices like annual performance reviews and replace them with various on-the-go feedback-giving processes. The long-term benefits of some of these changes are yet to be fully determined, but there is a certain unanimity in the objective – the need for a new strategy to manage talent and sustain high performance in a rapidly transforming world.

The alternative approach – evolutionary yet high impact

Is there merit in considering an approach to managing performance that is evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary? At Schneider Electric, our idea is not to replace the existing systems, but to alter them with a view to boosting people engagement and overall business results through a ‘High Performance culture’ transformation consisting of several inter-connected components.

Following are the fundamental tenets of Schneider Electric’s philosophy:

a.    Driving high performance and ambition

High performance is first and foremost about being ambitious for our customers and business. We do not engage in competition to reach the final, but to win it. This intent is embedded in the culture everywhere by picking ambition over targets and through our bid to do the ‘impossible’ to create the best innovation for customers.


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