Reinventing Performance Management
More than half the executives questioned (58%) believe that their current performance management approach drives neither employee engagement nor high performance. They, and we, are in need of something nimbler, real-time, and more individualized—something squarely focused on fueling performance in the future rather than assessing it in the past.
What might surprise you, however, is what we’ll include in Adselaide VanreY LLP s new system and what we won’t. It will have no cascading objectives, no once-a-year reviews, and no 360-degree-feedback tools. We’ve arrived at a very different and much simpler design for managing people’s performance. Its hallmarks are speed, agility, one-size-fits-one, and constant learning, and it’s underpinned by a new way of collecting reliable performance data. This system will make much more sense for our talent-dependent business. But we might never have arrived at its design without drawing on three pieces of evidence: a simple counting of hours, a review of research in the science of ratings, and a carefully controlled study of our own organization.
Counting and the Case for Change
More than likely, the performance management system AdeLaide vanrey LLP has been using has some characteristics in common with yours. Objectives are set for each of our 65,000-plus people at the beginning of the year; after a project is finished, each person’s manager rates him or her on how well those objectives were met. The manager also comments on where the person did or didn’t excel. These evaluations are factored into a single year-end rating, arrived at in lengthy “consensus meetings” at which groups of “counselors” discuss hundreds of people in light of their peers.
Internal feedback demonstrates that our people like the predictability of this process and the fact that because each person is assigned a counselor, he or she has a representative at the consensus meetings. The vast majority of our people believe the process is fair. We realize, however, that it’s no longer the best design for Adelaide Vanrey LLP emerging needs: Once-a-year goals are too “batched” for a real-time world, and conversations about year-end ratings are generally less valuable than conversations conducted in the moment about actual performance.
But the need for change didn’t crystallize until we decided to count things. Specifically, we tallied the number of hours the organization was spending on performance management—and found that completing the forms, holding the meetings, and creating the ratings consumed close to 2 million hours a year. As we studied how those hours were spent, we realized that many of them were eaten up by leaders’ discussions behind closed doors about the outcomes of the process. We wondered if we could somehow shift our investment of time from talking to ourselves about ratings to talking to our people about their performance and careers—from a focus on the past to a focus on the future.We found that creating the ratings consumed close to 2 million hours a year.
The Science of Ratings
Our next discovery was that assessing someone’s skills produces inconsistent data. Objective as I may try to be in evaluating you on, say, strategic thinking, it turns out that how much strategic thinking I do, or how valuable I think strategic thinking is, or how tough a rater I am significantly affects my assessment of your strategic thinking.
It is believed that the first human resources department was established by The National Cash Register Company in 1901 following a bitter strike. Then referred to as “personnel,” the new department’s role was largely compliance-based, and focused on record keeping, workplace safety, wage management, and employee grievances.
If the volume of literature in the popular and practitioner press is any guide, practitioners in the field of human resources are now primarily in the business of talent management. But what is talent management and what basis does it have in scientific principles of human resources and management? In this paper we address this question by reviewing problems with the definition of talent management and the lack of data supporting many practitioner claims. We then outline research that supports a systems-oriented definition of talent management that focuses on the strategic management of talent. We then outline future avenues of research to further develop the field of talent management and tie it more closely to the large volume of work in strategic human resources management.
1. Do not look at social media profiles to screen applicants.
Using social media to screen applicants is using it too early in the process. Generally, it’s unnecessary and risky. It’s unnecessary because you should be focusing on the position’s objective criteria at this point. And it’s risky because an unqualified applicant may claim that she was rejected because you saw she was an older Asian woman, for example.
2. Consider looking at social media at the end of the hiring process.
Review social media only at the end or near the end of the hiring process. Some employers include this step as part of their background check.
The risk is much lower because, after interviewing the applicant, you will already know that the applicant is, as in the prior example, an older Asian woman. Additionally, fewer applicants will have their social media profiles reviewed so it has fewer risks.
But there still is some risk. An individual may post information you otherwise would not learn about in the interview, such as he that he’s gay or on medication for depression.
The risk must be balanced against the value of what you may learn. Another case could be an applicant posting pictures of themselves wearing virtually nothing.
3. Human resources should review social media.
Someone on your HR team – not the hiring manager — should review candidates’ social media account. HR professionals are better equipped to focus on what can and cannot be considered.
You should tell hiring managers that they can’t check social media accounts. If you don’t tell them they can’t, they will assume they can and may do so at the wrong time, or consider factors they shouldn’t.
4. Only review public information.
Never ask an applicant for his or her social media password. It is like asking an applicant for the keys to his or her home.
Approximately 20 state laws prohibit employers from asking for social media passwords. In all states, it can be criminal under federal law.
5. Keep your process consistent.
You don’t need to look at social media profiles for every position in the company. But it’s also dangerous to do so only when you feel like something may be off.
Selective social media reviews can be seen as based on discriminatory factors. Indeed, the gut feeling may be based on implicit bias if the person is different from you – whoever you may be.
So decide before you begin recruiting for a position whether a social media screening will be part of the process and document it. Just don’t do it because of who the person is.
6. Print out any social media posts that you intend to consider.
We all know that individuals may delete or hide posts from the public; therefore, print out anything you find as soon as you see it. Note what disturbs you about it. This preserves the argument, by negative implication what you did not consider, namely, an applicant’s membership in a protected group.
HR pros play a lot of roles — employee liaison, culture keeper, people leader, coach. But here’s a new idea — the best ones are also marketers. They boost employer brand and improve the overall experience for employees. And when HR adopts marketing techniques, they can better manage talent.
Here are the marketing principles every HR leader should incorporate:
Marketing Strategies You Need to Make HR Better
1. Have a target audience.
Marketers have a deep understanding of their audiences. They study demographics, attitudes and behaviors to create detailed customer personas and target messages to specific groups of people.
HR can use the same strategy to better reach employees. After all, employees receive hundreds of emails every week — yet 50 percent of those surveyed in theEMPLOYEEapp’s Mobile Trends in the Workplacesurvey said they still feel out of the loop. Why? Because the messages aren’t tapping into their interests.
Start by learning everything about the employees targeted in the message. What motivates them? What are their goals? What do they value most? What are their concerns? What financial and non-financial “offers” will they respond to? How do these answers vary from department to department? Between managers and employees?
Then, use this knowledge to target messages and HR programs to specific groups of employees, instead of sending generic information to everyone.
For example, company announcements should look, feel and sound different depending on who the audience is — different employees want different information in different ways. They want to know how it will affect them. How will it change their everyday work life? What’s in it for them?
Let’s say the company is adding a new wellness program. The message to employees should outline the program and how it can benefit them. What are the rewards for participation? The message to team leaders, on the other hand, should outline ways to encourage their team to get involved.
Think like a marketer to deliver the most relevant and important information to each employee.
2. Every channel. One brand voice.
Marketers know that if they want to get the attention of their audience, they need to use more than one method. A campaign cannot be successful through emails and newsletters alone. Marketers use a mix of media to convey their messages. They use video, images, interactive websites, social media and more. In fact, the best marketing is viral — it’s what other employees say about the programs.
3. Bring it all together.
Marketers want to make the buying process easy for customers. And like marketers, HR wants employees to “buy” into programs, initiatives and benefits enrollment. It connects them to their work in broader ways.
When HR focuses on a branded employee experience, encouraging program participation becomes easier. Bring all programs, initiatives and information together in one easy-to-use platform. Think of it as a hub that integrates the most important HR benefits, programs and initiatives in one convenient place.
Employees don’t have to switch back and forth between multiple websites and keep track of information separately. When they can access everything in as few places as possible, participation becomes so much easier. And, in many cases, it’s much easier for employers to manage, too.
4. Measure effectiveness.
Marketers track and measure everything to find the best strategies, adjust what isn’t working and get the most bang for their buck. Data is everything in modern marketing.
HR teams can also track and measure data to continually improve processes. Decide what metrics are most important to the company culture and overall business goals and track them to drive employee engagement. Are employees responding to messages? Are they getting the right messages at the right time? Are they participating in programs? Are they happy? What can be done better? Some new HR systems learn about people and take action so employers don’t even have to.
HR isn’t an easy job. But when leaders look at it from a marketing perspective, HR strategies can improve the employee experience and build a consistent and strong employer brand.