CWS 3.0: January 15, 2014

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New Year, New Performance Plans

The beginning of the year means it’s time to review your goals from the previous year and evaluate your contingent workforce program’s performance according to those goals. Was it a great year, or did you barely meet expectations? This is also the time to use past performance to help set goals that are achievable yet challenging for coming year. We do this for ourselves and we do this for our program suppliers and other program partners.

Supplier performance. The first thing to consider is the criteria on which you measured them in the previous year. Because programs grow and mature, it’s important to determine if those criteria are still relevant. Did you have a new program where the goal was to pare down your primary supplier and niche suppliers and cut out the nonperformers? Was the goal to evaluate your requirements and drive to a consistent rate card for your most frequent positions? Was cost control the goal?

So consider what you want to evaluate and clearly articulate why it is important to the program as well as why it is important to the hiring managers and your suppliers. Both the supplier population and the hiring manger population will need a “what is in it for me” understanding of the goals. You can do this year after year without changing the nature of your supplier agreements, and use it as a vehicle to communicate what is important to the program for that given period and how their successful operations within the program impact the overall success of the program.

You can look at goals as they would affect the entire program and/or adjust goals on a department basis if necessary. For example, say you have a department that is in a development cycle that means it will need many resources over a period of time. The goal to measure success for that department could be based on the interview-to-start-ratio. Another department could be concerned with cost management, which would drive you to measure rate card compliance instead.

The most important steps to consider when planning for your New Year supplier/partner evaluations are as follows:

1) Review last year’s goals, did they provide criteria that was in line with the goals of the program?
     a. What are the primary goals for the coming year and how do you expect the program to be affected by those goals?
     b. What measurement criteria will you use to evaluate your supplier and partner success?
     c. How will you be able to show how that measurement criteria affects the success of the program?
2) Develop a communication plan to communicate the goals and measurement criteria to the program owners, the users and the suppliers/partners of the program
     a. Ensure all parties understand how their own performance impacts the goal
     b. Ensure all parties understand the consequences of nonperformance
         i. Will you terminate for nonperformance?
         ii. Will you develop a development plan for nonperformance?
3) Schedule a review cycle to evaluate performance against goal on a program basis and a supplier/partner basis. Gain buy-in that the evaluation is sound and the measurement criteria delivers the right picture of the situation.
4) Provide timely feedback in the event of a performance issue during the year, do not wait until the end of the year.
5) Develop a complete performance review of the year to share with the program owners and suppliers/partners.
6) Manage through any development plans and communicate to the suppliers/partners the results as well as the program owners while showing the impact of their positive performance against goals.

It may seem like a lot to take time out of the busy start of the year to do a proper evaluation, but it will be worth every minute spent. The more you take time to affect each other’s success, the more willing your suppliers/partners and program owners will be to do what it takes when the going gets tough.

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