Jeanne Achille, Founder and CEO, The Devon Group


Jeanne AchilleJeanne Achille chairs the Women in HR Tech Summit at the Annual HR Technology Conference (#HRTechConf). Jeanne is the Founder and CEO of The Devon Group, she has more than 25 years of HR technology sales, marketing, and PR experience. She has helped design and launch thousands of products in the HR tech category including sourcing, recruiting, onboarding, HRMS/payroll, relocation, talent management, succession planning and coaching solutions. Follow her on Twitter @jeanneachille and LinkedIn at


What is currently missing in the way overall employee performance is being managed?

In many instances, it still isn’t being managed. Employees are keen to receive feedback about their performance, as well as their overall objectives. Despite significant advances in performance management technology, there are employers that have not aligned their technology investments with their performance management requirements. Moving from an annual performance review to more frequent feedback has been helpful but adoption isn’t uniform and across the enterprise yet.

Given that a company’s workforce now has a significant proportion of virtual and freelance workers, how should performance management include them?

This is a tricky situation. Theoretically, performance management should include them; however, misclassification of their employment status could be argued. Performance expectations should be set forth from the onset, whether via a statement of work or the rules of the engagement. What companies should have is a line of sight into the skills of their gig workers as often this talent pool represents an excellent place from which job candidates can be sourced. Additionally, there are plenty of instances when gig workers should be deployed versus traditional W-2 employees hired.

What are employees, managers and decision makers looking to make performance management more effective?

This is a multifaceted situation predicated on the respective audience. Decision makers are looking for aggregated information that comes from reporting and analytics. Managers need to know if KPIs are being met, individually and on a department/business unit level. Employees want to know about career development and how to successfully create a path to their desired next level.

What are some of the new things being introduced in Performance Management that are working/not working?

There’s aspiration to make performance management a daily occurrence. I’m not confident that’s realistic, especially given the accelerated pace of business. Performance management needs to be prioritized in terms of the nature of the job as well as how the employer-employee relationship is structured. For example, sales reps are performing against a set quota; therefore, their performance against goals is apparent to all. It becomes more challenging to measure performance when a number of external variables impact job performance – such as a truck driver whose ability to make on-time deliveries is thwarted by bad weather or road construction.

If not periodic appraisals, then what & how?

If employers truly want employees to be engaged, they need to treat their employees in a manner similar to a valued customer or prospect. Personalized communications and adhering to the agreed schedule of touchpoints goes a long way to reinforcing employee confidence in the company’s overall direction.

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