Performance Portability – The Future?

Paul Hebert Career Paths, HR Technology, Paul Hebert, Performance, Recognition

Luggagefollow Some people spend their weekends pulling weeds.  Some watching sports.  Others, with mental problems like me, cogitate on work.  This past weekend, the idea of performance portability was on my mind.

The idea stems from some unrelated items.

First of all, with the health care issue hot and heavy on the front page, I think about the employee’s right to their medical history and their medical facts.  The employee owns them, and laws protect that information.

Second, with the economy in turmoil (hopefully rebounding) there has been a lot of press about shrinking retirement packages, which made me think of the fact that my retirement money is “portable” and travels with me from job to job, company to company.

Third – many companies have peer-to-peer recognition programs where I can be recognized by fellow employees for exemplary work.

Fourth – (I know – it’s getting somewhat complicated) the advent of social media has shifted a lot of power from the company to the consumer.

And fifth – (I promise to get to my point soon) the plethora of social networks is driving the openID movement where you can create one login that travels from one network to another so you don’t have to remember 100 different user names and passwords and your info associated with that id follows you.

These things somehow connected and I asked –

“Why can’t I have a single location where all my performance data resides – both from my boss as well as from company sponsored recognition programs such as a peer-to-peer program – that is owned by me and is portable?”

Do I own my performance data?

Whilst this was running through my head, my google alert served me a PR release from a company called Meritbuilder.  From the release:

“One of the primary elements of MeritBuilder’s employee recognition software is its portable and permanent nature. Employees can take their online based profiles with them as they move throughout their career whether that means changing jobs or relocating within the company or if it means a transition out.”

Sound familiar?

Is this the future?  Will all future talent management tools include an API that connects to an employee file, owned and managed by the employee who moves with them throughout their career?  Will employees now have the power?  Will “references” be passé?

First of all I have to ask – is it a good idea (a good part of me says yes) and second, I have to ask, how would this affect the performance reviews managers prepare?  Would they put more time and effort into them knowing they could possibly be shared?

What are some of the problems with this?  Is performance data “company owned” or individually owned?

I’m not sure where this will land, but on the surface, I really like the idea, a lot!