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The Story of Adobe’s Revolutionary Performance Journey

By Tiffany Lam
June 27, 2017
2 minute read

In 2011, Adobe’s managers were spending an average of 17 hours per employee completing annual performance reviews. Today, with their revolutionary new Check-in model, the company has saved an estimated 100,000+ hours on their performance process.  

With a transformation like that, Adobe has positioned itself as a top leader in continuous performance management. At this year’s Goal Summit, our CEO sat down with Donna Morris, CHRO of Adobe, to discuss the story of Adobe’s revolutionary performance processfrom ditching annual reviews to the ins and outs of their new Check-in model. Check out the full session here: 

As Donna put it, “ratings and rankings are a buzzkill for productivity and performance,” which is why Adobe decided to drop its traditional annual reviews process. The company quickly realized that driving high performance and engagement requires an ongoing dialogue between managers and employees: if something’s not going to work out, people want to know what’s going on right away, not just once a year.

Spearheaded by Donna, the company moved to its new Check-in model, where managers and employees have frequent conversations/check-ins about expectations tied to corporate priorities, ongoing feedback and career/personal development. [tweet text=”Instead of one annual review, it’s all about an ongoing dialogue.”]“Instead of tying an employee’s performance to one annual review, it’s all about an ongoing dialogue based on business mechanisms,”[/tweet] says Donna. 

Adobe’s Check-in process has been entirely game-changing for the organization, with employees empowered to actively participate in their own success. Technology can be a great enabler to ensure that objectives are documented and feedback is being given regularly, adds Donna. In fact, multiple groups within Adobe continue to ask for more structure, guidance and ways to facilitate the execution of these feedback processes. Here at BetterWorks, especially as we see more and more companies begin to follow in Adobe’s footsteps, we’re excited to witness what’s next in the company’s revolutionary performance journey.