The human resources field is changing rapidly. This blog will discuss different strategies used by HR directors from various companies featuring Colleen Clark, Head of Optimistic People at Life is Good; Sophia Mills, HR Coordinator at Apcera; and Heather Howe, Associate Director of Human Resources at Visual IQ.
How does culture influence the way you direct your human resources performance management?
Colleen Clark (Life is Good): We start with the idea that every employee has ‘superpowers’— simple things like creativity, authenticity, fun, humor, etc. This idea has been with us since the founding of the company and is embedded in our culture from the interview process to the review cycle.
I also approach performance management with the idea that conversation is the culture. The culture reflects what the founders and leaders talk about every day. If that conversation is about profit, but the leadership wants the culture to reflect the values, you’ll have a disconnect.
Sophia Mills (Apcera): We also have core values at Apcera, such as integrity and teamwork. But we struggle with continuous feedback because managers don’t always have time to do weekly 1:1s. I’m currently looking for a tool or a way to provide trainings that empower managers to give that feedback every day and and check in with employees more regularly.
Heather Howe (Visual IQ): Communication is key. Without communication employees can’t grow, and managers can’t understand employees as individuals and professionals. The last thing you want is to get to your annual review and find out all of these things you could have been doing for the past year.
We moved to quarterly conversations, so that there are no surprises. We’re making communication, transparency, and culture a priority to enhance Visual IQ as a whole and make sure employees understand where they are on a monthly, quarterly, and every day basis.
How are you planning to take performance reviews to the next level for your next cycle?
HH: We’re still just starting the process. Our last cycle was the first time we had performance reviews in a software instead of in Excel. We’re focusing on educating the managers on the importance of giving feedback on a more continual basis.
SM: I’m working on moving performance management away from being a totally HR-driven process. I want to push it back to the managers to create it. They know their teams and their expectations better than I do. Competencies like “integrity,” while a great quality to have, are too broad and should be specific to the individual teams rather than to the broader company.
CC: We put out a culture survey twice a year with basic questions from Gallup mixed with our own questions. Then we have what we call “jig jams” to share the results and craft questions for next review cycle from the issues they raised. This gives employees the opportunity to continually share their voice on things that matter to them.
Doing all of these things is time consuming, as a result Synergo creates an easy to use and user friendly HR Performance management software to help companies be more effective and productive.