Illumiti Innovation Blog

SAP SuccessFactors Talent Management: Spotlight on Performance Management, Compensation, Succession and Development Modules

Date: March 21, 2023
By: Sheila Miller

Tools to Stem Quiet Quitting, Engage Employees

In an earlier post, we introduced the Recruiting and Onboarding modules of SAP SuccessFactors [include link], a cloud-based solution for human experience management (HXM). Together these two modules are the first step in tapping into the full potential of your human capital. In today's post, we take a closer look at three additional Talent Management modules in the SuccessFactors suite: Performance Management, Compensation Management, and Succession and Development.


Performance Management Encompasses Continuous Performance

SuccessFactors Performance Management module provides a forward-looking approach that impacts future employment and employee performance through goal guidance, dialogue, and development. Give weekly just-in-time feedback. Support two-way communications, whether you're the manager or the employee who is driving those communications. Look three months out and link to your present business needs. With SuccessFactors you have the flexibility to create the performance mix that works for your organization.

Design a process that considers your culture, your industry, your region, your size, management style, even your business model or workforce demographics. SuccessFactors allows organizations to simultaneously deploy different performance processes to meet the varied needs and performance cultures within an organization. The result is employees and managers who are more engaged. They're able to take ownership of the processes and derive value from it based on their actual needs, rather than it being a top down, HR-driven initiative. And it connects performance with other talent processes: learning, development, calibration, and succession.

In addition to setting yearly performance goals and yearly development goals, SuccessFactors takes it a step further. With Continuous Performance, employees are able to set up activities whereby the employee and manager can track the steps that the individual has taken: "I'm taking these classes towards my certification" or "I just renewed my credentials for another three years" or "I successfully executed the safety policy review."


Continuous Performance can feed performance and development goals or feed right into Performance itself. And performance reviews can take a variety of forms, including self review, manager review, performance improvement plan, and 360 review.

The Team Rater feature gives a manager a view of competency ratings across team members. The manager can drill down to read comments as well or add comments. And just like setting your spellcheck to run automatically, SuccessFactors will automatically do a Legal Scan of your comment to pick up on inappropriate language that you need to modify.


The Writing Assistant is a great help when writing comments on performance reviews, providing feedback, or even developing candidate questions for an application. SuccessFactors has over 19,500 pieces of pre-delivered content, things like your different skills libraries and competency libraries. You can select content, then edit or add to it to make it your own. It takes the work out of finding the right words to ease the performance review process.


Connecting Compensation to Talent Management Processes

Your bonus plans, merit increase policies, and benefits need to be consistent across your entire global organization. At the same time, you may have local labor contracts and compensation practices that require some flexibility and adaptability—not always an easy compromise. With SuccessFactors Compensation Management, you can:

  • Establish a global compensation system, storing all of the data in one place and breaking down the silos
  • Build a good global reporting line and strengthen governance at the global level
  • Give more power and accountability back to your managers

SuccessFactors gives you the ability to customize planning options according to the region or unit needs—without compromising any of the corporate governance. Provide compensation planners with tools in their local currencies, local languages, and appropriate time zone formats to ensure accurate, consistent compensation decisions on a global basis.

Traditionally, Excel was the application of choice for compensation. SuccessFactors has taken the same look and feel that Excel users are accustomed to and created the Compensation Management module.


Looking at compensation from a manager's point of view, the manager can see her budget for merit/lump sum and view the metrics behind the numbers utilizing the same performance data discussed earlier. She can drill down for rich detail: What is our 9-box looking like for pay and performance metrics? What are our merit increases and the average increase amount based on performance ratings?

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With the Compensation Management module, you're able to put in merit guidelines and can build in the workflow and approval processes. In addition to salary, compensation detail can include equity, as well as variable pay. Recognition is also part of the module. If we want to do a recognition, appreciation, or reward, it can be included in the compensation worksheet as well and push directly over to your payroll system. Finally, the Insights Quick Action provides summary views of things like average compensation by department or by performance, cost of unscheduled absences, average days to fill or time to fill—really anything you can think of can be included in Insights, again with drill down capability to the detail underneath.

Planners can now make the best compensation decisions with a streamlined, automated planning process, always working from the most up-to-date information. They can leverage the embedded intelligence that provides HR with recommendations on how to optimize the alignment of budgets with their strategic goals, providing managers with performance-based recommendation guidelines. Compensation is no longer siloed but rather connected to other talent management processes. This holistic view makes for more informed decisions.

Succession and Development for Engaged, Productive Employees

SuccessFactors makes Succession and Development an integral part of the talent management process. All of the Compensation information and Performance and Goals tie directly into Succession and Development, making sure that you as an organization are ready for that handoff.

Organizations first need the ability to understand what is happening. That's where your rich people data—all of your transactional HR data—comes into play: Which employees are leaving? How many candidates are accepting offers? What percentage of training is completed? How long does it take your new hires to get to full productivity?

By listening and collecting experience data from employees at each meaningful touchpoint, you're able to spot the hidden trends in terms of what's happening within the company culture—Are employees engaged? Do they feel challenged—and take action. Continuous development creates an ongoing dialogue to ensure development stays on track, with embedded intelligence to enable a proactive approach and empowering employees to take control of their careers.

Building on the different Org Chart views in the system, using the Succession Org Chart capability, Geoff in this example can see the incumbents and successors for each position on his team, where they fall within the organization, and their talent information.

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Mentoring Programs are an important part of SuccessFactors Succession and Development offering. Geoff, for example, can indicate his availability to mentor, his mentoring preferences, see the mentees he already has, and sign up as a mentee as well.

Let's say that Geoff is looking at becoming an Executive Manager. A Career Worksheet comes into play where he can see the job description, role details, skills and competencies, as well as add in learning pieces.


When Geoff looks at the competencies for an executive manager, he sees that he needs to grow in the area of "thinking globally". He has two development goals specific to that competency and he's also able to add in New Learning.

SAP SuccessFactors and Illumiti

With SAP SuccessFactors, effective Performance Management together with Compensation provide an avenue to reduce "quiet quitting". And Succession and Development ensures that your key employees stay engaged and productive. Watch for a future post where we will profile SuccessFactors Learning Management, another vital piece of the Talent Management suite.

SAP Platinum Partner Illumiti has been the number one SuccessFactors implementer in North America for two consecutive years and is a leader in implementing custom-fit SAP software solutions in over 120 countries. Learn more at

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Sheila Miller

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