I have just watched an interesting webinar on employee engagement and performance management.Mention was made that younger staff want to be engaged "in a progressive way"Ie making use of mobile applications and social media for feedback and real time appraisal opportunities, wherever they are.I presume the organisation referred to has employees out and about, perhaps travelling a lot of the time.So far, for me, appraisals have always been expected to be face to face, 2 way discussions, but if the webinar is right the younger generation are less bothered about face to face interaction for this purpose.They are far more familiar and proficient with distant, virtual relationships and communications, so i guess it may well suit them.

The idea of interacting more frequently, perhaps informally as well as formally, and providing feedback and coaching in this way isn't so ridiculous if it is how they are used to operating. The more i think about it, the more beneficial i think it might be.What do others think? Can mobile apps and social media be used for performance management?

Would performance management need to be redefined in order to use these tools? Might this approach bring about positive, beneficial engagement?I am a dinosaur, still grappling with the term "mobile apps" (does it mean iPads and iPhones?), but i'd love to hear other's views on this - both oldsters and youngsters!

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  • Engaging Today's Diverse Workforce - webinar by "Success Factors"

    The company is called Success Factors. They have a number of webinars as well as blogs on their site. This one was called Engaging today's diverse workforce. A chap called Venki Krishnamoorty (excuse spelling - it's probably very wrong) is interviewed as well as a lady called Elizabeth Dupledge. After their presentations there is a Q & A session. The bit I referred out to in my post was mentioned in the answer to the 3 rd question ( it was Venki answering) . I found the whole webinar really interesting, hope you do too :)

  • Just had a thought about this.

    Perhaps the statement was made about the young people in a different country. There could be a cultural difference to be taken into account. Perhaps i should listen again to see where the speaker works.

    I have the url but haven't worked out how to create a link here. As soon as I do I'll share it.
    • Hi Alison

      Really interesting discussion -  if you click on the LINK box under your original discussion you can just paste the url in and you're done!

      • Thanks ever so much Debbie. All is clear now - I have realised that this function isn't available on my mini iPad. I have moved across to the pc now!

        I have added the link which will help regarding the context of the original comment :)

  • Just to add a little bit from me as well.

    Regardless of whether its an app/social media or not where the focus should be is integrating different types of feedback and creating the ability to collate and demonstrate work / feedback etc this is imperative.

    In an old place of work I used to have to go out to my peers, reports and managers and ask them for feedback based on my performance this was then put with my own reflections and my managers observations or experience of working with me. I would also have some feedback sent on email from various people with nice or development feedback depending on what we had done together (more in the moment stuff)

    I'd review my performance based on my quarterly / annually objectives etc and it would be a comprehensive adult to adult conversation which i don't think could be replaced - it needs to be face to face I whole heartedly agree with others.

    Where I do think things will change and this will involve social media (social tools) and mobile apps is through enterprise networks. There is a big increase in social / collaborative tools being deployed across organisations to try and unlock knowledge and encourage sharing.

    If people can like, share, reply and also gives things like 'kudos points' to people who answer questions or provide help to others it will also allow people to get feedback in real time on value they add to others and across the organisation. You could increase people's engagement through these sorts of tools which may (or may not) appeal to the younger generation and even have an internal badging system - similar to Top Collaborators.

    I do think we'll see more of this in the future

  • Have you got a link to the webinar recording Alison? Id very much like to take a look

    • Am I allowed to put the link? It was a webinar on the page of a software supplier - I was looking up SAP at the time. I wasn't sure of the etiquette of linking out to business websites. I meant to ask you actually Mike, but have been a bit busy recently and forgot.

  • Hello again Alison.  We keep bumping into each other on topics of interest!

    I love the idea of social media and engagement internally.  However, I'm also with Steve.  I'm not a fan of using any other form of discussion for an appraisal other than the good old face to face approach.  I think the appraisal should itself have some effort from all involved to commit to quality face to face time.

    However, outside of the appraisal itself I can personally see how mobile and social media apps have some relevance to the appraisal piece.  Take for example someone having reached a height of their expertise and your appraisal reveals a talented individual.  Can social media and mobile apps have a place in helping this individual to share and teach their knowledge to others in the organisation?  Most appraisals usually have a "developing self and others" type competency.  Can the development needs of an individual on the flip side be supported with them discovering and developing their skills and knowledge from the talented sharers in the social and media community?  I guess on both counts this would make sense.

    So whilst not necessarily tools for the appraisal itself I feel, a great blended approach to support the overall development / performance management process could be the order of the day?

  • Hi Alison

    I think there is definitely a place for mobile apps & social media in the workplace as they are great ways to engage with people quickly and when on the move, however, i do have to say that i think there is real value in face to face meetings.  Espcially when it comes to performance appraisals.  Also if staff do work remotely there is a benefit of meeting face to face occasionally to maintain the manager/employee relationship. Personally i much prefer having an appraisal face to face in the same room but i often have 1-1s with manager over the phone, as we often aren't on the same site. 

    I think social media could be used effectively in the interim, e.g. using Skype for a 1-1 or messenger type apps for quick check ins/questions.  Thinking about it apps could be a good way to conduct surveys, (we use SNAP software) and if developed properly it could be used for feedback to some degree...i just wouldn't want it to replace human contact completely!


  • I have just been thinking about what might constitute " mobile app" for this purpose.

    Perhaps an app that was open to the individual employee and his/ her line manager, upon which they both made daily notes - and could open a live chat at any time. A bit like the learning page on this site for example.

    The notes could be made on any suitable template ( probably depending on the nature of the work) perhaps styled along Situation- Task -Action-Result (STAR) lines or similar, perhaps to include project-objectives-actions-results- obstacles encountered- what went well.

    If the employee updated this frequently - at least daily or more often (as required by the manager)- highlighting areas they wanted specific feedback or help, or using different coloured highlights to indicate different things eg green for jobs completed successfully - so for feedback only, and orange for those where managers help is needed.

    The manager would be expected to keep an eye on his/ her team's logs ( and chat start ups) and to provide constructive feedback on jobs done and provide advice or help as requested and look out for coaching opportunities. The info could be used to score or tick off against a competency framework.
    If this frequent ( or at least daily) feedback became the norm then maybe it would work and be motivational to both employee and manager.

    The app could be used for two way discusions and for a whole team to share problems and ideas - so discussions a bit like this site, where the whole team could get involved. Dialogue could be used as the basis of further discussion (in face to face meetings) or it could lead to team training exercises where the need was spotted and so on.

    The headings could be those used in a standard team meeting agenda, and everyone is expected to contribute prior to a sceduled " live meeting" which could also be online of course ( or it could be in a room togethe r) .

    Such an app could be a useful tool to engage managers, as well as employees, especially if the managers' managers were looking to see the level and quality of engagement that everyone was engaged in and had benchmarked their expectation....
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