Performance management should be all about people – how to motivate them, engage them, and develop them.
While our software provides the framework to support the process, it is the people behind it that bring it to life, be that the administrators who own the process, the managers and employees who use it or our team who understand and build it for you.
The Appraisd Community is about bringing people together, allowing clients to meet the Appraisd team as well as other clients. Our first session at the British Film Institute on London’s Southbank involved a workshop discussing how to get employees to buy-in to and engage with performance management. This is something we know many of our clients grapple with, so it seemed the perfect topic to kick off with.
The attendees were split into two groups, one facilitated by our Founder and CEO Roly Walter and the other by our Head of Customer Success, Richard Brereton. Other members of our CS team, Rosalind Bygott and Emily Birks, joined in each group and Amira Kohler, our Director of People and Change, introduced the topic and assisted in the workshop with some insights.
The conversation covered a wide range of topics and it was brilliant to see everyone being so keen to share their experiences and hear other peoples. We’ll be collating everything into a document to share with both the attendees and everyone else who couldn’t make it, but here are a few selected highlights:
How to help employees engage with performance management?
- Be flexible – a willingness to make adjustments so the process is relevant
- Hold honest conversations – making sure the employee understands the process and feels comfortable with it
- Structure the reviews in a way that is relevant - Ensure the most important questions on your review template are covered at the start instead of an afterthought at the end
- Make the process feel personal – understanding what is important to an employee inside and outside of work
- Create a community-based focus – making people feel part of their team and the wider business
- Make reviews contextual – create a process that is relevant to your specific industry and the employee’s role
- Link employees objectives to business objectives – knowing they are actively contributing to the success of the business connects employees to a wider purpose
How do you engage senior leaders with objectives?
- Make their objectives visible to the rest of the business – ensures senior leaders have a level of accountability and demonstrates they are following the same process as everyone else
- Encourage senior leaders to talk about their objectives with their teams – this make sure everyone is clear about their priorities
- Go larger and talk about the importance of objectives at company wide events like town halls
How can you gather honest feedback on your performance management process to improve it?
- Create an anonymous feedback channel so that people feel they can be candid
- Send out a dedicated performance management survey annually to employees so you can check what’s working with your process and what could be better
- Include a section on your performance management process in your exit interviews to check if any element is not working as it should
- Hold regular stay conversations to assess if employees are getting what they need through performance management:
- + Are their development needs being met?
- + Are they having career conversations?
- + Is there a record of their career ambitions?
- + Have they got a productive relationship with their line manager?
- Make a point of getting feedback from new employees once they have been through one review cycle for their thoughts and a comparison to performance management at their previous employer to get a fresh perspective.
Common mistakes that can damage employee buy-in
- Don’t include questions in your reviews that you don’t need – allow managers to have a degree of flexibility so they can exclude questions that are irrelevant
- Don’t assume people know how to have good conversations – give them prompts and tools to help those that lack confidence and provide structure
- Don’t think just because you ask people to give regular feedback that they’ll do it – provide guidance and training on how to do it well
- Don’t overlook the value of casual conversations, you can learn a lot about your process for chatting to colleagues informally
- Don’t forget that HR should act as facilitators not owners of the process – it must belong to managers and employees if you are going to achieve true buy-in
This is just the tip of the iceberg, the conversation could have gone on all evening. Thank you to everyone who was able to come along. We really appreciate you giving us your time and your knowledge.
We are launching a new Accelerator Workshops, led by Amira, designed to help organisations take a deep dive into their current performance management process and examine ways to enhance it to drive better employee development and help the business to thrive. If you want to know more, click here for more details or ask your Customer Success Manager for further details.
We are planning many more events for the Community. As we have customers all around the world, some of these will be online to give as many people as possible a chance to join in and contribute. Will be releasing more details soon.