Webinar: Making Feedback Less Painful

si_fb_version1

We all know feedback is good for us. Effective feedback, both positive and negative, can help employees keep track of performance, feel more involved in the workplace and enhance employee engagement. Yet Gallup reports that, only 13% of worldwide employees are engaged at work.

So how can we leverage feedback to foster better communication and engagement?

Jason Lauritsen explains that most feedback processes fail due to a disconnect in how businesses and employees view the employment relationship. Employees nowadays don’t view work as a contract where compensation is exchanged for manual labor. Instead, they experience work as a relationship. Most approaches to performance management are traditionally designed with a “contract fulfillment” mindset – often at the expense of the relationship.

Join Jason as he explores how we can modify feedback processes by designing them to foster healthy relationships. His “relationship test” will illustrate how traditional feedback approaches have been damaging rather than building relationships, and help us better understand how we can make performance management more human-friendly.

Register for our 30-minute webinar

January 31st, 2017 – 10am PST / 1pm EST / 6pm GMT


jasonheadshot
Presenter: Jason Lauritsen is an employee engagement and workplace culture expert who will challenge you to think differently. A former corporate Human Resources executive, Jason has dedicated his career to helping leaders build organizations that are good for both people and profits. http://www.JasonLauritsen.com

 

 

6 Expert Tips On How To Help Your Managers Succeed

Choosing the right managers is one of the most critical decisions an organization makes. But what makes someone a great manager? While a lot of research have identified qualitative traits of great managers and the different ways they contribute to business success – there is still a lack in understanding of what great managers actually do on a daily basis.

Our most recent panel in the Helping Managers Become Better Managers series was held in Berlin. We welcomed expert speakers from TAM Trainer Akademie (Lorenz Illing, MD), Marley Spoon (Cindy Rubbens, Head of Culture & People Operations) and SoundCloud (Jennifer Beecher, Learning & Development) to discuss the importance of managers in organizations. Below we’ve summarized a few key takeaways:

What behaviors do great managers exhibit?

panel_berlin_2

Continue reading

The 2017 HR Hitlist #5: Treating Technology as the Solution

jasonheadshot-2The time is upon us for human resources to step up as a practice and lead. Never before has the work of HR been so critical to organizational success. To meet this challenge requires that we break some old habits. This is the fifth in a series of guest posts from thought leader, Jason Lauritsen, called the 2017 HR Hitlist. Each of the five posts will outline one practice or behavior that HR needs to eliminate, and what they should do instead.


“Golf is a hard game. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it throughout my life.”

There have been times when I’ve wanted to be good at golf. During one of these times, I became convinced that a buying a new, state of the art set of golf clubs was the solution. If I got better clubs, surely I’d play better.

So, I saved money and ultimately made the purchase. The clubs were spendy, but they were also beautiful. It felt good to show up at the golf course with these fancy clubs. Just owning them made me feel like a more confident golfer.

But when I played with them, I still sucked.

The new clubs didn’t fix my lack of skill. They also didn’t make up for lack of practice.

Golf clubs are tools. And regardless of how fancy or expensive, they are only as good as the hands that hold them.

HR technology is just like those golf clubs.

The explosion in technology innovation means that we have a virtually endless array of technology products to buy and implement within our organization. There are technologies for every problem you can imagine in HR—from employee engagement to new hire paperwork. Continue reading

Getting the most out of 360 feedback

Guest blog post by Beth Steinberg. Beth has over 18 years of experience in organization development, talent strategy and leadership development. Her focus has been to help leaders and companies with complex organizational and growth issues. Beth focuses on driving useful employee programs, leadership coaching, executive development and organizational development.


 

Few concepts in psychology have been written about more uncritically and incorrectly than that of feedback.. . . Actually, feedback is only information, that is, data, and as such has no necessary consequences at all. – Latham & Locke

360 feedback has continued to gain popularity over the years.  Once a process used only for senior executives, new technologies, and transparent company cultures have propelled the process to include many levels of the organization.  While much of this change is positive, there are many things to think about when you embark upon a 360 feedback process for your team.

Shipit_week_August_2016_IMG_6247.jpg

Traditionally 360’s have been done for the following reasons:

  • To understand how the employee is viewed across an organization, including peers, key stakeholders and direct reports as part of a company feedback process.  It can also be used as “upward” feedback on a manager.
  • As an intervention designed to look at an employee’s performance when the manager has a concern that the employee is not performing well, does not align with the values and behaviors of the company, or to gather data on specific issue.  
  • To gather feedback to help the person succeed and develop in their career for development purposes.

During my career, I’ve observed many different reactions to the 360 process. Many times, I’ve seen 360’s go well, and watched the employee benefits from the process.  I’ve also seen the opposite.  Occasionally, I’ve seen total denial and a lack of trust in the feedback and the process, especially if it was used as an intervention, when the manager was looking for negative feedback.  The reaction has depended on why the 360 was being done, how it was delivered, and what happened after the feedback was given.   Continue reading

The Importance of Early Feedback for New Employees

To ensure that your processes in recruiting, onboarding and accelerating new team members into the organization is having the desired effect, it’s critical to get candid and data-driven feedback.

Giving and soliciting this type of feedback is the best way to ensure your investment in the employee experience is paying off and driving company ROI.

Recruitment and onboarding are key processes: get them right the first time and you save yourself the expense of repeating them a few months down the line. A study by the Aberdeen Group found that 86 percent of employees decide whether to stay or go within their first six months.

Read on to learn why early feedback supports new hire success and how to best implement an efficient and scalable process. Continue reading

How to give and receive peer feedback – the startup way

Ongoing communications are vital for employee engagement and productive teams. We all know that without feedback, neither our peers nor we can learn and grow. Just an annual performance review feels like scarcely scheduled feedback overload. So how and how often should feedback be best provided? How much does company culture play a role? And how can we improve on requesting and being open to constructive feedback ourselves?

In an insightful and honest hangout, the SUPPORT OPS team discusses team member reviews. Below are some learnings with regards to feedback:

Buffer is famous for their radical transparency. Revenues, salaries, purchase history, it’s all public. They are now taking this a step further. Carolyn Kopprasch, Buffer’s Chief Happiness Officer shares how they are exploring Small Improvements in their quest for ‘transparent performance feedback’.  Continue reading

Performance Pain Points – The Prescription

perf_pain_presecription

Previously, I played the part of PM-D…Performance Management Doctor (The Diagnosis). I talked about the symptoms of an unhealthy performance management process based on feedback from the Impact99 HR Summit Toronto. I had a closer look at the pain points that people described and realized that they, and the remedies, followed a path from start to finish.

Traditionally, most organizations fail to communicate the true purpose and expectations of the performance review process. Therefore, most employees consider it to be a negative experience; waiting to hear about how they have not achieved the expected level of performance. By default, most people see the process as merely a means to an end…that end being salary increases or promotions. What do you consider to be the purpose of the process? What are your expectations? Have you clearly communicated those expectations to your entire organization? If your people expect one thing but receive another, there is a disconnect that undermines the process.

So, let’s ask ourselves what connects people to the process? Is your process one that is typically pushed from the top down?  Even if it isn’t, is there a perception that it is?  For example, what  would your employees say if you asked them “who owns the performance process, who benefits from it and how?”  Would they see themselves in the process?  Would they see themselves as the owners, the drivers, the ultimate beneficiaries? If everyone takes ownership of the process – exec’s, HR, managers & employees – then it will cease to be a process that people “have to do” and will become something that people are motivated to do because it’s their own! It becomes part of the culture.

Transparency, reciprocal trust, collaboration and alignment result from ongoing discussions and will also draw people into the process. Discussions about the organizational vision results in productivity and pride in one’s work.  Communicating expectations assists in setting reasonable objectives. Someone who is enrolled in the business, who has clear objectives, and understands their contribution is someone who is eager to set their goals and measure their results in a performance review.  If the performance process relies on open discussions so that nobody is left in the dark, and there are no surprises at review meetings.

As I mentioned in Feedback: The Guidance System for Performancemore frequent performance check-ins are a much better use of time and effort than the traditional “year-end review” meeting. People perform on a daily basis, so why wait until the end of the year to discuss accomplishments and challenges. There’s no better time for improvement than the present. Organizations and individuals can become more agile by making small adjustments in their performance as they go along…not 10 months from now!

OK…you’ve just had your performance check-in with your manager. You’ve discussed your accomplishments, areas for improvement and set your objectives going forward. Now what? You have to keep them connected to the process; you need to follow-up. This shows integrity – aligning one’s actions with their words – and reinforces the trust you created through ongoing dialogue. If a need for more training was requested by the employee or manager, it would be a colossal fail if nothing was provided. If an employee has set an objective and doesn’t formalize it and provide updates…#fail again.

Expectations, ownership, discussions, check-ins and follow-up. Combine all these things and you have a process that is productive and meaningful. People within an organization want to know that their performance process actually means something, individually and for the bigger picture. Especially the younger generation. Organizations need to realize that this generation will expect meaningful work, which includes ongoing feedback and discussions. They will want to know how they are performing and how they can continue to perform at their highest level.

Wrap all this up in a simple process where individuals and teams are aligned with organizational goals, and people will be confident that they are part of something bigger. Best of all, you can elevate the level of overall engagement. A great performance process shows that the organization’s leaders actually care about their people. Recent studies (like the 2013 Spring report from Globoforce) have shown that leaders recognize engagement as one of the top challenges within their organization.

We are constantly looking for ways to improve the way we manage our performance. We look for new and innovative tools and methods to increase engagement and productivity. Sometimes the best thing for our organization is right under our noses. Try writing your own prescription.