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EMI Music Case Study

EMI Music is one of the world’s leading music companies, and is home to some of the most successful and best known recording artists. Its global record labels include Virgin Records, Capitol, Parlophone and EMI Classics, with assets including The Beatles’ back catalogue.

The Challenge

In 2007 the company was acquired by a private equity firm and a number of new people were introduced to the business, many from outside of the music industry.

“There was an influx of individuals, who had experienced high-quality performance management elsewhere and seen it can really help people know which priorities to focus on, how they are performing against expectations, and how they need to develop to progress in their career,” explains Helena Karlinder-Ostlundh, Head of Organisation Development.

However, when EMI Music first introduced performance management, the initial system was complicated and elaborate, and the response was not entirely positive.

“The system was unnecessarily complex for a business of this size,” says Karlinder-Ostlundh. “It asked people, who were only just getting used to doing performance management, to rate achievement on a number of different percentage scales, and it fitted these ratings to a forced distribution curve. The feedback was that the process was too complex and distracted people from the most important component of performance management: the conversation between managers and their team members about how it’s going and what is important going forward.”

Within the music industry, there has historically been resistance to the imposition of structure and process, based on a perception that it stifles creativity. But, like the rest of the industry, EMI Music needed to nurture the skills required to embrace a fast changing marketplace – not least the rapid growth of digital business. It was clear that a robust performance management system was needed to recognise talent and offer career development, while building the skills that would support organisational growth and drive success.

The Solution
The Result

PlusHR is a unique organisation in terms of its skillset, understanding of our business and approach to the task in hand. They were pragmatic and theoretical, driven to go above and beyond and fully accountable for their support and recommendations. They are also a great bunch of people to work with, listen to and to drive a project forward.  I fully endorse them!

Steph Henshaw
EMI Music

EMI Music

What EMI Says...

EMI Music has benefited from a streamlined, more professional approach to HR that delivers structured employee objectives and provides a platform for high quality performance management conversations. It has transformed the attitudes of the workforce and unlocked significant benefits to organisational performance. As a result, the system has now been rolled out across 2,500 users in 20 countries and five languages.

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