Performance management and employee engagement go hand-in-hand. A study conducted by Gallup found that high-performance managers create strong, positive teams as well as focus on high performance and accountability:
- Emphasizing one approach while ignoring the other put them at risk of alienating team members, lowering engagement, and damaging performance
- Teams with high levels of employee engagement experience 22% higher profitability and 21% higher productivity
- Teams with high levels of employee engagement experience 65% lower turnover and 10% higher customer ratings
The three panelists discussed people and development, process pitfalls, and the importance of providing a team with essential knowledge and resources to thrive and grow in their career. The panelists included:
- Tim Foley, Director of Organizational Effectiveness at Navistar Inc.
- Dorie Blesoff, Chief People Officer at Relativity
- Bob Tweedie, Learning and Development Leader at Deloitte Global
Our panelists discussed various ideas related to the topic of performance engagement:
- People are the biggest contributor to success. In order to grow a business and increase sales, companies need to hire and invest in the right people.
- Create an environment focused on inclusion and encouragement to retain employees and help employees grow in their role, particularly in large organizations where it’s easy to get lost in a sea of people.
- Understand the crucial specifics of goal setting and how to tie culture and core values back to the company’s main goals, the department’s main goals, and ultimately – the employee’s main goals.
- Identify pitfalls that often become routine and learn how to navigate those among a large group of people managers and employees.
- Conduct assessments of departmental needs and correlate how they relate back to specific areas of measurement. Before setting goals, managers should consider which KPIs they would like to measure success against and how they fit into the bigger picture.
1. Managers are key in paving the way for employee growth
Employees won’t have the opportunity to succeed unless they are provided with the appropriate tools and resources; this includes feedback on performance and expectations. If managers aren’t clarifying expectations and aren’t providing sufficient feedback, employees will have a hard time understanding where they can improve. In turn, this can lead to low retention and motivation.
"If we're not managing [employee's] expectations, we're not maximizing the investment we could make on the only thing that matters - the people".
-Bob Tweedie, Learning and Development Leader at Deloitte Global
Deloitte has a very new and detailed performance management approach in place. Up until a year ago, the company was only conducting performance reviews once a year. Now, Deloitte has a 5-point process in place:
- Frequent manager/employee check-ins
- Quarterly pulse surveys to gauge engagement and motivation
- Quarterly performance snapshots
- Career coaching outside of manager/employee relationship
- Talent review that dives into high performers, lower performers, manager population, etc.
2. Slow and steady wins the race
“You have to crawl before you walk before you run,” said Foley. “Let teams learn new things without expectations. Learn it and get the value out of it. Layer on targets after it’s already learned.” When managers roll out new performance management tools, they are sometimes too quick to leverage metrics. Instead, managers should take their time and slow down a bit, especially since there’s sometimes a learning curve for new technologies and implementations.
As Blesoff noted, “use technology as an enabler, not a distractor.” Learning management systems (LMS) provide us with everything we need to track success, weaknesses, strengths, etc. But, it’s the managers who drive growth and development, helping put goals in place that mirror business goals – that’s not something a machine can identify.
3. Continue to build relationships
“’The Big 4’ deliver all the same solutions,” said Tweedie. “It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it. We have a culture based on relationships.” However, one of the main troubles among people managers is having difficult conversations. And often times, managers will hide behind an LMS to avoid situations in which they have to deliver negative feedback.
Additionally, Blesoff discussed the importance of “equating core values to equal results and goals in all talent processes.” It’s such an important factor in Relativity’s performance management approach because, as a rapidly growing company, they have to make key decisions on how to emphasize core values. Culture will always grow and change, but it’s the core values that need to remain the same and need to continue being a part of goal structure.
4. Simplicity goes further
Foley provided insight into focusing on simplicity. He noted that people want to be confident in what they do. They want autonomy. They want to work with people. Managers should engage people with one to three goals and let them make a difference among their colleagues. Instead of setting numerous goals at once, it’s important to provide them with the tools and resources to do a couple of things really, really well.
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