Talent and Performance Development
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Talent and Performance Development
Making sense of performance and talent development systems to create & sustain high performance in organizations. For the BEST of the BEST curated news in performance, change, agile learning, innovation, motivation, social media and careers, SUBSCRIBE to Reveln.com/Tools/
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Ditching performance reviews for annual conversations that really work

Ditching performance reviews for annual conversations that really work | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

Reimagining performance in organizations results in astounding leaps in focus, growth and productivity.  "There are alternatives, and it might be easier than you think."  This scoop summarizes how it works, from HopeLab. 

   

Excerpted:

     
"Like Adobe, we have also dismantled the traditional performance review and replaced it with ...the Annual Conversation... It's intended to inspire ...generative conversation about performance ...at a deeper level than might occur in regular supervision meetings throughout the year, " says Chris Marcell Murchison, Vice President Staff Development & Culture at HopeLab

 

________________
   
As a result, some staff, including managers, make astounding leaps in focus, growth and productivity.”

________________
   
   
  

Results   “Our staff look forward to their Annual Conversations and the impact on our culture has been profound. Employees report that they feel seen, heard, appreciated, and supported. As a result, some staff, including managers, make astounding leaps in focus, growth and productivity.”

    

How it works:

   

Questions We've created questions to help guide Annual Conversations. …We crowdsource questions from the entire organization and employees can add any questions they like to the basic list.


Examples include, 

"What are you working on when you feel the most purposeful? 

Why is this activity meaningful to you?" 

"What would you attempt to do in the next year if you knew you could not fail? 

    

Location Employees choose a location for the meeting.

    

Time …Typically most last anywhere from two to four hours.  …The manager and employee to decide what works best for them.

    

Non-evaluation The Annual Conversation is not an evaluation of past performance; it's a chance to reflect [and] understand… what's working and what's not, with an eye to setting future goals and enhancing growth and performance. There are no lgrades or performance rankings of any sort.

    

Merit …The Annual Conversation is not coupled to merit or incentive pay. These decisions are made separately and communicated outside the framework of the Annual Conversation.

    

Manager. There is nothing for her to prepare. [Her role is to] focus her attention on her direct report, listen, and ask questions to help deepen reflection.  

As for all Scoops, click on the photo or title to see the full article.

Related change & performance posts by Deb:

            

      

    

    
  • Curing ONE of the Seven Deadly Diseases of Management, Performance Appraisals

             

  • Stay in touch with the monthly Best of the Best news, taken from Deb's  9 multi-gold award winning curation streams.  Preview it here, via REVELN Tools.

 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I'm hopeful in 2015 that more organizations will be able to make the commitment to a multiyear process of letting go of industrial age (inspection oriented, 20th century) performance practices to give practices like the Annual Conversation a try.  It's possible to jump even further away from a manager, individual employee model.  Find out more here.   ~  Deb

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Performance Management Reinvented: Five Factors for Success

White Paper:  Performance Management: Five Factors for Success By Russ Silva, EVP Enterprise Solutions, LSA Global.


Related posts by Deb:
     

Curing ONE of the Seven Deadly Diseases of Management, Performance Appraisals

       


A History of Performance Appraisals: Letting Go to Power New Culture

       


Choices for High Performance Teams, Groups and Psuedo-Teams: Achievement Is How You Say It!

   

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Pros:  Correctly identifies the wide-spread corporate cultural problems of boss-ism.  


Cons:  Has a Taylor-esque (Industrial Age) management and staff flavor of thinkers and doers.    


Silva covers a lot of ground in a few pages and gets to the nuggets of talent and performance development problems in performance management.  ~  Deb

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Creativity and Innovation IRONY: Sample Performance Review Phrases

Creativity and Innovation IRONY: Sample Performance Review Phrases | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

From Deb -  copy and paste your creativity and innovation performance review phrases here:

  • Emma’s ability to change direction when required is an asset to the team.
  • Tom is an innovator at heart – his skill at inspiring new ideas is an asset to our team.
      
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:
Consider:
  • Creativity,
  • Innovation,
  • Performance Reviews.  


One of these is not like the others.

Is this the best we can do, capturing stock phrases from a book to get us through the performance review ritual?   There is research on the Innnovation & Institutions curation stream that creativity, displayed to your co-workers, actually makes people squirm.

The photo with this excerpt is ironic because, if you read most of what I Scoop or post on this stream, you'll see that creativity and innovation does not lend itself to be captured by an industrial age vintage practice that pretends to be effective at facilitating performance management.


Major issues:
     

The numbers are dismal for the practice, though we keep trying to fix it (companion ScoopIt on this curation stream).

    
Managers need continuous training deal with wide variation in their feedback and appraisal practices in order to attempt to create consistency in ratings.  
    

Staff largely dread the practice, although they hope for good data and feedback to help them succeed in their work.

    

Overall, the return on investment for this embedded organizational practice is low, to the point that the end of performance reviews is predicted by one of the people who first coined the term, Aubrey Daniels.


Slideshare here:

From Chaos to Creative Performance Development in a VUCA World (Ending Performance Appraisals)

   

~  Deb

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Three Reasons Performance Management will Change in 2014 & Beyond

Three Reasons Performance Management will Change in 2014 & Beyond | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

Key Change for High Performance? => An agile, social and mobile work environment."


Excerpted:

Activity lists are being replaced by composite dashboards, lengthy reports by simple performance heat maps – yes, pictures, literally replacing thousands of words.


____________________________

A shift in focus from process to outcomes. Burn the forms.

____________________________


Key Change for High Performance?


A shift in focus from process to outcomes. Burn the forms. With technology finally up to the task of producing meaningful information, managers can turn their attention to driving performance outcomes rather than being bogged down in laborious processes.


Excerpted:

  • You will set dynamic goals and adjust them in response to change;
   
  • your manager will provide just-in-time coaching wherever you are;
   
  • skills and knowledge you need will be recommended and streamed to you;
   
  • your performance journal will continuously capture and cluster feedback, ideas and suggestions from your peers and customers;
   
  • your formal annual performance review will be permanently deleted from your calendar…and
    
  • you will finally be in a position to manage your own career.

 

As always in our ScoopIt news, click on the photo, video or title to see the full version of the Scooped post.

    

Related posts by Deb:

    

   
     

 

  • Stay in touch with the monthly Best of the Best news, taken from Deb's  9 multi-gold award winning curation streams.  Preview it here, via REVELN Tools.

        

  • Are you local to SE Michigan?  Find out more about horse-guided leadership development sessions (no fee demos) for individuals by contacting Deb, after reviewing her coaching page here.  


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Refresher:  There's hope that the old management activities of the past, tied to Taylor's industrial age, are finally waning, aiding letting go of the annual performance appraisal aided by useful tech tools like "heat maps."  ~  D

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Let's Invert the Performance Review

Let's Invert the Performance Review | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

"...even well-executed performance reviews are glaringly one-sided."


Performance reviews ...[are] ...a great opportunity to synchronize manager and employee expectations, jointly set goals, and evaluate progress toward those goals. If you're a manager and not doing these things, you might as well skip the review process -- and reconsider whether you're fit to be a manager.


But even well-executed performance reviews are glaringly one-sided. They review employee performance on terms set by their managers. Why don't we see the reverse: employees reviewing the performance of their managers?


...Invert the performance review. Make the primary focus upward rather than downward.


Reasons:

  1. It's usually harder to judge managerial performance than individual contribution. Individual contributions mostly have tangible, attributable results. In contrast, managerial performance is largely reflected in how the team perceives the manager.

  2. Managers are key reason that employees decide whether to stay at a company or quit. 

  3. Without a formal review process, it's easy for managers to not get meaningful feedback from their employees. 
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I wish I had a nickel for every suggestion I've received over the years for upward performance review of managers.   It's an evergreen request only implemented, in a limited way, through multi-rater feedback.   Still, systemically, it's worth inclusion on this curation stream because


1) It's mentioned as an idea, seemingly new;


2) It's an article on LinkedIn, a large, professional network;


3) It makes the point about execution problems and 360 feedback;


4) It relates to team performance.  Managers are often connected to a team concept of all those needed to execute on a goal successfully, especially those who report to them;


5) I'm a big fan of any Dilbert comic on this topic.


Best, ~  Deb

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The Biggest Career Killer of All Time: The Performance Review

The Biggest Career Killer of All Time: The Performance Review | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

[Here it goes:  Jenny's}  annual performance review.


Do you know where this was happening?


At Starbucks.


Her manager is giving her the results of her year-end performance in a public coffee shop. I know, because I was sitting at the table next to them as an innocent bystander.


What do you think Jenny is thinking right now while her manager is telling her this?


“Adobe ended performance reviews in 2012, after the employer noticed greater employee turnover after the annual reviews. [Their HR exec. said]...the reviews were an outdated process and made people feel like they were labeled.”


Schedule regular check-ins. I go out of my way to get feedback from my manager every two weeks. I put this on my client manager’s calendar as a recurring event.


Related posts by Deb:

    

     

     

    


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

There's more in the article about getting on your manager's schedule, asking questions.  I think you can go even farther than that, beyond "check-ins" - to act systemically.  Yet it is a significant step in the right direction toward ending what W. Edwards Deming called one of the "7 deadly diseases affecting management."  I've written about how to end, and begin anew.  Is it time for your organization?   Perhaps it's time to have a conversation.  If you'd like, you can contact me here for ways to begin.   ~  Deb

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Are Annual Performance Reviews Like the Hotel California? You Can Never Leave?

Are Annual Performance Reviews Like the Hotel California?  You Can Never Leave? | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

[The] diosyncratic seasonal events [for] HR .... the annual performance appraisal:

       

  • They are time-consuming, involve too much paperwork
           
  • HR would even do better to drop them altogether and find a better performance-management tool. 
       
  • ...Management consultancy Hay Group found half of public sector workers and one-third of business leaders describe appraisals as a box-ticking exercise. 
      

A recent US poll of 2,677 people (1,800 employees, 645 HR managers, and 232 CEOs) by San Francisco-based rewards-and-recognition consulting firm Achievers revealed 98% of staff find annual performance reviews unnecessary.

    

  • Among the 2,677 respondents, a quarter were HR professionals.

    

Edward Lawler, professor of business at University of Southern California, reacted by declaring: "Performance appraisals are dead." But he also unveiled research showing 93% of companies use annual appraisals, and only 6% have considered dropping them.

   

As always in our ScoopIt news, click on the photo, video or title to see the full Scooped post.

    

Related posts by Deb:

    

     

        

       

   

     

          

  • Are you local to SE Michigan?  Find out more about horse-guided leadership development sessions (no fee demos) for individuals by contacting Deb, after reviewing her coaching page here.  
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The song by the Eagles, regarding our long ties to performance reviews:  "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

In this post, it's useful to read the comments, most of which are about still attempting to tweak performance management systems.


A final commenter suggests:

"...The fundamental false assumption is that performance is due to the people when research and case studies show that it is due almost wholly on the system, i.e. the way the work works.

Replacing appraisals with a different approach frees people to do what they really want, deliver better service, reduce costs and increases morale. What more do you want!"

As for who is actually doing this, I've listed links above to help.   ~  Deb 

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Why Are We Managers So Poor at Feedback? It’s Like Trying to Explain How to Use a Towel to a Fish

Why Are We Managers So Poor at Feedback?  It’s Like Trying to Explain How to Use a Towel to a Fish | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

Is the manager’s most important job to give feedback to employees? ....Study after study point to managers who are poor at giving feedback as the major reason why performance appraisals fail.


Excerpts:

"...most managers are so poor at it which means the feedback is infrequent, poorly timed, of poor quality, or all three."

Sibson Consulting reports that HR professionals are frustrated because managers don’t give constructive feedback and 58% of HR professionals give their number one feedback tool, the annual performance review, a C grade or below. 


Study after study point to managers who are poor at giving feedback as the major reason why performance appraisals fail.


...[The] ..four big reasons (barriers) why feedback is poorly done now:


  • …what managers call feedback is not feedback at all. It is criticism. Feedback is data from a process that is used for learning.
    
  • Second, current HR polices require managers to give the feedback. Why not give employees the ability and autonomy to collect their own data? ... Why not provide autonomy and trust to employees instead?
    
  • Third, the work environment most often discourages open and honest feedback. …How can managers give feedback to something they can’t see?
    
  • Fourth, most managers intuitively know….Attempting to provide feedback on the behaviors of employees without studying the entire system (the context) is like trying to explain how to use a towel to a fish.
   
Related posts by Deb:
      
Curing ONE of the Seven Deadly Diseases of Management, Performance Appraisals

       

From Chaos to Creative Performance Development in a VUCA World (One that is Volatile, Uncertain, Chaotic and Ambiguous) - Slideshare

        


photo:  by deepwarren Flickr cc 


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This helpful article points to the systemic source of problems in performance appraisals and feedback.  It also implies that data and business intelligence have a bigger role that managers could help happen.  

Getting data in the hands of those who could best use it for, direct, untainted, well-timed feedback relieves managers of a burdensome, low-value task and empowers them to direct data tools to where they can do the most good.  ~  Deb

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Classic: The Top 50 Problems With Performance Appraisals

Classic:  The Top 50 Problems With Performance Appraisals | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it

 In 1996, Frederick Nickols estimated the cost at just under $2,000 per employee. ...includ[ing] manager preparation time, employee time, HR processing time, opportunity costs, and advances in technology, still puts the process cost at over $2,500 per employee per year.

Partial list of the 50 Problems cited.


Most Serious Performance Appraisal Problems


1. Don’t assess actual performance — most of the assessment that managers complete focuses on “the person,” including characterizations of their personal “traits” (i.e. commitment), knowledge (i.e. technical knowledge) or behaviors (i.e. attendance). While these factors may contribute to performance, they are not measures of actual output. If you want to assess the person, call it “person appraisal.” Performance is output quality, volume, dollar value, and responsiveness.


2. Infrequent feedback – At the very minimum, formal feedback needs to be given quarterly, like the GE process.


3. Non-data-based assessment — most assessment criteria are “fuzzy” and subjective.


4. Lack of effectiveness metrics — many accept that the goals of the process are to recognize results, provide feedback to address weaknesses, determine training needs, and to identify poor performers. Unfortunately, rarely do process owners ever measure their processes’ contribution to attaining any of these goals. Instead, the most common measure relating to performance appraisal is the percentage completed.


5.  Lack of accountability – ...One firm attempting to remove a troublesome employee found that the manager had rated the individual the highest within the department and awarded them employee of the year.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The comments on this blog post are also very helpful.  Look at Robert Bacal's contributions in particular, as well as consider the recent, "Beyond Performance Management"book that delves into the "Why" of any system including performance management.  ~  D

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Instead of Performance Appraisal, Encourage Self-Appraisals & Accountability

Instead of Performance Appraisal, Encourage Self-Appraisals & Accountability | Talent and Performance Development | Scoop.it
For performance management to truly be effective accountability must be present...in the form of ...self-accountability driven by authentic, accurate self-assessment.

[How to] promote adaptive, constructive behavior and performance with the goal...for the employee to recognize his role

The manage ...can reinforce the employee's efforts by offering incremental reinforcement as incremental gains are made.

Self-assessment factors to explore:

Communication contributions 
  • What messages do I send?
  • How do I offer them?
  • What communication skills do I employ?
  • To what extent do I seek and offer feedback during communications?

Perceptual lens 

  • To what extent do my motives, values, interests, attitudes, past experiences, current expectations, etc. color or affect my behavior?
  • How can I gain insights about these factors to behave differently?

Role expectations 

  • What aspects of my role (e.g., tasks, responsibilities, boundaries, parameters, etc.) influence my behavior? What can I do manage these role expectations so that my behavior is more constructive?

Work area norms 

  • What beliefs or assumptions exist within my work area or team that impact the way I behave?
  • What latitude do I have, as an individual, in ways that reflect my unique perspective?

Organizational culture 

  • In what kind of organizational setting do I work? 
  • What does the organization (and its leaders) say about the vision, mission, and values we are to uphold and pursue? 
  • How does my behavior compare with these espoused elements?

Ultimately, both managers and employees need to realize the simple fact that people differ in the way they perceive the world.
Photo:   Photo, credit to Konrad Glogowski, Flickr.com CC
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

When you are in it, you can't see it.  Teaching and reinforcing self-assessment can help us grow out of that big blind spot.  

The research photo, credit to Konrad Glogowski on Flickr, provides self-assessment guidance transferable to self-assessment and self-appraisal in performance setting.  


Use such an approach at the beginning of any review cycle.  


Provide easy-to-use supporting tools for data gathering and review.  ~ D

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