Archive for the ‘performance management’ Category

So its November, time to evaluate 2016. Did we reach our goals? Did we perform according to company values? Did we cooperate and help others? Are the goals even relevant 11 months later?


No? How surprising. We all know the world is static, so why should we not reuse same old goals year after year. If they were good enough for Grandma, right?


What we do is important, and in a world going mad faster and faster we need to keep up. Adjust, realign, not be stuck. Throw out the 5 year plan. Reevaluate all the time. Make sure your performance management helps you, not holding you back. Can you adapt to change, continuously? Or is a mid year review as agile as it gets?


Are your goals yours and yours all alone? Then what are you? A hermit on a space station without a radio? no one is alone. No one is performing in a vacuum. Cooperate or be overrun by those who does. Do your performance management process promote cooperation?


Are you doing it the right way? Yes your customers care not only what you do but how you do  it. Do you? Or is the end result all that matters? Then reevaluate. Your customers do. They reevaluate you, all the time. Make sure you measure how you do it. That your team performs not only at their best in what they do but how they do it.


And do you have millennial aboard? Don’t forget they why yes good old how and what are I.portsnt, but these youngsters also ask why? Dr o you have an answer? And no the answer can not only be about EBITDA.


So summary

  • What, ever changing, change with the reality, realign, reevaluate targets. Stay focused and on top.
  • How, others what’s how you do it, make sure that what they see is good. Measure it, reward good how behaviour.
  • Why, not just profit, don’t n the tale. Motivate your team. With a good why the rest will follow. 


Oh dear our old 9-box just went 3-dimensional, make sure you can handle that. Next time let’s discuss why ,9-box, or 25-boxes are wrong. Say hello to 16 and 36 instead.

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So you set goals, and even adjust them mid year, and also assess progress so far. Good start, with a long way to go.
You have identified that goals set in January might not be relevant in December. Good, so why is a 6 months planning period so great?
We live in a world gone mad, Everything changes all the time. So we have to adjust. Some ne goals might be spanning 18 my months, some a year, and some next 3 weeks. So look up.am realise goal setting, adjusting and reviewing us a continuous process. Not something you do in Jan, June and Dec and be done with it. Either make it part of daily life or get rid of it.
Goals are set all the time, they might be individual or collaborative. Your employees know that, and if you fail to embrace that your employees will not trust your process. It’s simply outdated and old-fashioned. So shape up and be sure you support an ever changing world and your employees that work in it.
You are there to support them, not the other way around. whatever you say, talent management is a tool not a business goal. Very few companies make revenue directly from talent management. But if you do it right it will support the employees making revenue on the core business.
So stay ahead, and here and now, or be part of the company problems, your Choice.

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I have been working in the talent management industry for 19 years now, and if I have learned anything it is that we don’t know much and repeatedly fail.

We have been setting goals, more or less successfully, more or less aligned. Sometimes even relevant goals. But so far it seems the most enthusiastic people are the talent management evangelists. The employees are not convinced, and the managers have to much else to do. We spend time to explain goals need to be smart, and employees simply want us to go.away and do their job.

We do succession planning, and then when we hit a bad quarter we fire our bench.

We try to measure competence. But we can’t even agree on what it is and even less measure it consistently.

We try to convince our employees to define career plans, and they are, they just don’t include current employer.

Unless we get the employees motivated and the managers really sees a benefit, it won’t work. And so far I have not seen that happen.

But now we finally see a new way of working. Where conversation is also between coworkers, Facebook style. Where we can openly show appreciation and praise each other. Where employees get involved and managers get real data out of the system.  Some call it gamification. I just observe that when we look at how people use their computers, tabs and phones, and learn from that. Then the chance they will use our TM software increases. When we build usability that does not require a 50 pages instruction document (Facebook is self explanatory) then the employees stop complaining it’s to complex, because it’s not anymore.

So we have a chance now. Let’s take it and finally get this beast to roar like it has been supposed to do all these years. 

Cross breed a simple process with good usability and easy too use collaboration and great transparency, and we might actually succeed.

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This is going to be a short post about what it is, later I will explore them in greater detail. But here are the basics.

A talent conference is when your managers gets together to compare and adjust their assessment of their subordinates. They might also together make plans on how to develop a certain employee.

Reason to perform a talent conference is usually to align assessments throughout the organisation so you get comparable results.

Usually you have someone experienced to facilitate the conference, might be someone from HR-department. But can also be the managers manager if she/he is experienced. 

This was the short of it.

Next up we will explore the details and the why, how and when of talent conferences.

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I attended a Globoforce webinar about Crowdsourced Performance Reviews. The topic is highly interesting but the webinar was more about why and what you could gain, not the HOW. But I guess that’s what happens when you want to promote your book.

Anyway, if you want to get to the next level of Performance Review, and it’s really time for you to consider that if you are still stuck into the old system from the 1960:s. You really need to reconsider if having one person making all judgment calls once a year is the best way forward or not. I can offer a few reasons for why you want to question that approach

  1. Once a year? Your younger employees will have left by then without feedback. And feedback that comes 9 months after the event is meaningless, you need more immediate feedback. Ever tried to tell you dog it did wrong 3 days ago? No did not think so.
  2. Having one person doing all feedback? Is the manager omnipotent and all seeing? You have a different breed of managers than everyone else then. Let the people that have feedback to give to give it.

So what are we to do?

Firstly, make sure that anyone can give feedback to anyone. Facebook does it with the Like button. You might wanna keep a simple approach like that just to add the probability that it might get done, or you might wanna add a bit more of a functionality  like a text box to give some free text words. You do NOT wanna make it overly complex, if you make a full questionnaire out of it no one is going to use it.

You then wanna make is accessible all the time. I see someone do something good, or walking the extra mile. I give feedback.

You make it public. What’s the use of feedback if no one sees it. “Wow Alex really did something good there”.  Alex feels good for everyone sees the good feedback, the rest sees it and tries to be Alex next time.

You make sure your manager can use it for performance reviews. Yes someone need to formalize it every once in a while. And that’s still going to be that manager. But with easy access to all feedback they will have input to guide them. They might see that a lot of people have given good feedback that they never thought of just because they are not the ones dependant on Alex job.

So to summarize.

  1. Whenever needed
  2. By whoever wants to give it
  3. Public for all to see
  4. Input to managers more formal review

And off course, as a HR professional you probably want analytics and reporting to go hand in hand, but I won’t go into these details right now.

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Are you doing performance as a secret thingie, just with you and one employee at a time?


What law says that it must be secret? Or that the best pair is the manager and one employee at a time?

Why not let the employees cooperate? Comment on each others goal, get them to help each other out.

First you actually need to publish the goals, so that everyone can see what goals everyone else has. In doing so you will get more productivity. For who knows best if that person can contribute to a goal? The employee with the goal? The manager? The HR Administrator?

No the employee that can do the contribution.

So if you let your employees share their goal, access their peers goals, put comment to them, suggestions, addition and ask question. Do you know what you will get?

You will get a cooperative environment where temporary groups will form spontaneous around goals. And you can easily see that 1+1 indeed is 3.

All you sacrifice is a bit if secrecy.


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We are doing a lot of goal setting in Talent Management today. And a lot of that is using the SMART methodology to set goals


  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time bound


And yes, these 5 factors are all really really important, but there are even more important factors.


Employee owned

If a goal is felt being set by the manager and owned by the manager the employee might just don’t care. The goal must be owned by the employee, or at least have a serious dose of buy in, or the goal is just something entered in a system to get ”good” statistics.


Employee influence

Goals that are set centrally and assessed centrally. Often budget goals are not really anything the employee cares about. If the company has more than 5 employees most employees feel they cant really influence the outcome anyway. They can do their best, but not reach it anyway.


So ease back from the process on how to define SMART goals and make sure the goals are the right goals first. Otherwise don’t bother, the employee is not a fool and with goals that are not owned and influenced by the employees all you get is ”good” statistics saying that everyone has goals (that no one cares about)


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