UPS Tranforms Its Talent and Performance Management Process

Performance Management Process changes and training included three distinct areas: Performance Evaluation, Leadership Competencies, and Scoring.

By Margery Weinstein

Over the last few years, UPS has transformed its Talent Management and Performance Management Process to align job models and leadership competencies to attract, develop, retain, and reward its future leaders. In late 2009, the company implemented training to all U.S. full-time management to give them a clear understanding of why the changes were made, demonstrate the link between performance and pay, and to help everyone identify their skill gaps and areas of strength.

The changes in performance management included the creation of job models that focus on both job duties and job-specific competencies. They were intended to help set goals related to an employee’s work and aid in developing appropriate performance measures. Performance Management Process changes and training included three distinct areas: Performance Evaluation, Leadership Competencies, and Scoring.

Here are the key elements of UPS’s revamped Talent and Performance Management Process:

  • Performance Evaluation: The Quality Performance Review, or QPR, has been the standard review for UPS management since the late 1990s. It was changed in 2009 to better align performance goals with job responsibilities, assess leadership competencies necessary to achieve profitable growth, and simplify the scoring formula.
  • Leadership Competencies: The nine leadership competencies include: Integrity, Customer Focus, Business and Financial Acumen, Breadth of Perspective, Managing for Results, Communication and Influence, Decision-Making and Problem-Solving, Development Orientation, and Partnership. Each competency is applicable to all management, but expectations are different, depending on the level of management. For example, Communication and Leadership is defined as “demonstrates basic communications skills” for a supervisor. An executive is expected to apply advanced communication and influence skills in complex situations.
  • Scoring: The company moved from a five-point to a three-point rating scale to eliminate ambiguity. The scoring is now:

0 – Development needed

1 – Fully Acceptable

2 – Exceptional Strength

It simplified the rating task but also was a process change for management.

Results: In March 2010, all 35,000 U.S. management closed their QPR using the new methods and processes. Skill gaps were identified and development plans were put in place to improve performance.

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Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.