From earthquakes and hurricanes to Apple (briefly) becoming the world’s most valuable company, 2018 has been quite a year. So too with HR; in January annual reviews were still, if not in vogue, default. HR teams were more readily associated with three-ring binders than with state-of-the-art analytics suites, and executives were just waking up to the idea that people investments pay the greatest dividends. Oh, how much has changed.
Here are our favorite stories from this whirlwind year. Happy Holidays from all of us at Betterworks, have an amazing 2019!
Human Resource Executive
Research continues to find that once a year, bi-annual, or even quarterly check-ins aren’t enough, reported HR industry journalist Danielle Westermann King. To properly assess, motivate and engage employees, companies need Continuous Performance Management (R) – a term that has led to some confusion and not a few implementation mistakes.
From Fortune 500 board rooms down to marketing technology startups, it became clear that old performance management processes weren’t keeping pace with digital demands. Nobody knows this better than Randal Vegter of NewsCred. As he explained in an article, the very concept of an annual review process seems “absurd” compared to what his team now uses instead.
In our first Continuous Performance Management Survey research report, 90 percent of the 800 professionals we talked to said annual reviews aren’t delivering results. One third think they’re too subjective, one third that they hinder performance, and one quarter think they repulse top talent. Everyone’s idea for the fix, however, was unanimous: Talk More.
The old way of reviewing employees, it was found, simply doesn’t work. “I’m not ‘in’ HR, but I truly care about how I motivate each and everyone on the team,” wrote Jeff Cash, Vice President of Architectural Fabrication, upon realizing that the company’s archaic, once per year planning sessions didn’t allow teams to align around goals or measure progress.
In September, we ordered an industry-wide CAT scan to explain why, in a world where a majority of employees feel checked out, some companies are able to keep theirs engaged. We then tied those factors back to actions HR teams can take today to keep their employees motivated and aligned around the work that matters most.
Nobody has more influence on employees’ performance than their manager, to whom they look for culture and performance queues. In a wide-ranging study on Continuous Performance Management, we discovered that managers serve as something of a linchpin for performance, and if HR teams focus on helping them manage better, results follow.
Yesterday’s year-end appraisal has become a plethora of new practices falling into what we call “continuous,” said Josh Bersin, who took the new paradigm of coaching and development one step further: With more than 85 percent of stock market capitalization in services, intellectual property, and brands, what if employees (line people) are more important than their managers?
The software giant Adobe reported that it doesn’t conduct annual reviews, and a survey it conducted found 58 percent of respondents consider annual reviews “a needless HR requirement.” But the ongoing development discussions and feedback Adobe uses instead are frequent, informal, and can’t be saved in Sharepoint. The company needed an HR tech overhaul.
Human Resource Executive
Engagement can be a vague term, but BetterWorks CHRO Diane Strohfus defines it as “an end state where your employees are ‘all-in.’” To get there, teams must work backward to implement the infrastructure to make it possible: frequent communication, firm goals, and measurable expectations. And the most important ingredients? Time and frequent conversations up, down, and across your workforce.
Ready to turbocharge your performance in the new year? Check out our brand-new Ultimate Guide to Utilizing OKRs featuring tips and strategies from NY Times bestselling author John Doerr.
If you missed the last recap, read it here: Souring on Reviews, Setting Goals, and Does Personality Affect Engagement?