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Written by Landis Jackson
Do your employees know the behaviours they are expected to display?
Performance management is like a puzzle, employees need to know the individual role that they have been hired to perform, to how this role fits in the team, to handling change when the pieces change.
To offer a positive, engaging culture, requires transparency on the performance of the employee.
When building a strategy for your performance evaluation process, think about the following:
· Clear Metrics
· Proper Training
· Career Development Opportunities
· Continual Coaching and Mentoring
There should be metrics created to serve as a baseline for the outcome of the role. Remember, what gets measured, gets done! Train the managers and the employees on how to give and receive feedback so there is a basic understanding in the organization. Complementary to this should be discussions about career development between managers and employees. Every employee should be challenged to think about the competencies they possess and areas to grow their skills. Specific feedback needs to be focussed on the positive performance and the areas that require further development. Continual coaching and mentoring should align the corporate strategy with the employee’s performance. As engagement increases, you’ll see the passion ignite within your employees. When performance is not met, tough conversations need to be scheduled with the manager identifying what performance is not acceptable, additional training that needs to be completed and next steps. Human resources teams have the ability to influence the organization on performance management. This topic connects with other functions of human resources, such as: talent acquisition, learning and development, succession planning, retention and engagement.
A clearer understanding of the role that an employee holds, the performance expected and the accountabilities of the role will feed into the culture.
Tips on bettering Performance Evaluation Process in your organization
(following the questions from the Webinar on March 27th):
- Feedback provided is more effective when not included in a sandwich, rather share positive feedback in a timely and specific manner. Constructive feedback should be discussed on its own so the employee can focus on the performance that needs to improve, steps to improve and how the performance improvement will be measured.
- Timing of feedback should be moving away from the annual performance review and be more consistent throughout the year. This will provide opportunity for conversation with the manager and employee. These conversations need to be specific with performance measures outlined.
- Situational leadership does affect the way that employees are managed; both from the manager and the employee’s work experience, communication style of each and the role that the employee is expected to perform.
- Feedback to employees should be more than just focussed on the mutually agreed targets, as employees are expected to work as a team, adapt to change, display core competencies and engage in the culture. If feedback is focussed on all of these topics, the employees will appreciate that their job is more than performing tasks.
- Frequency of performance management discussions need to be scheduled more regularly for new employees, for example at the end of their first week, and throughout the probation period. Longer tenured employees should be receiving ongoing feedback on their performance as well as quarterly conversations.
- Training for managers should include a number of different methods, culture of learning to provide opportunities for managers to grow, coaching to practice the intention of difficult conversations on performance management, articles or links to additional resources and mentoring from the human resources team.
- Employees who are not performing need to be managed as soon as lack of performance or behaviour is causing concern. After providing additional training, if there is no improvement, then a decision needs to be made to find a better role in the organization for the employee or have the employee leave the organization.
- Culture alignment should determine the type of performance rating scale for the performance annual review process. There should be a clear understanding of the scale in the training offered to the managers and employees.
- Schedule the compensation discussions separate from the performance discussions. Employees need to understand that there is more to motivation than compensation.
- Strategic discussions between human resources and the leadership team addressing the distribution of performance ratings should align with the corporate vision, mission and business strategy. The human resources team should create additional, meaningful rewards or recognition based on the sector, worth of the job to the organization’s structure, team involvement and individual contribution. We no longer have to treat every employee the same way.
- Contingent employees are an important part of the workforce, and therefore need to receive performance management. They have an impact on your organization brand, so expectations need to be established, met and rewarded. If the performance level is below average, then difficult conversations need to be scheduled.
Written by Susan A. Anthony
Hands up if you have either designed or been required to launch a diversity program. Has diversity improved?
Business needs compelling reasons to be diverse. Red Teaming is as compelling reason as you will currently find when all the arguments about how important it is to have diversity of thought seem to fail. Red Teaming is creeping into business from the military and it doesn’t just benefit from diversity, it utterly and completely needs it, or it will not succeed.
Bryce G. Hoffman’s excellent book, Red Teaming, is a thorough treatise on this technique which is essentially an opportunity for contrary thinking, devil’s advocacy, smashing through biases and every way of seeming to swim against the tide. Red Teams study a proposal or plan to find out how it might fail, or how it could succeed; they find the holes in the logic. They are that voice in the room that, as HR people, we are sometimes asked to discipline for being disruptive, not a team-player, but not anymore, contrarians are exactly what we are looking to hire.
To build a Red Team you need plenty of candidates to choose from and hiring the same type of person over and over again isn’t going to help. HR can do the same or they can role model diversity hiring. We can work with eager managers and design programs with them rather than for them. Their programs. Their hires. Their success.
But, what about those who want to hire clones of themselves? How do you get them to hire blind? That’s it exactly, you work with them on selecting for the characteristics of a red teamer:
As the HR lead, you design questions to explore these capabilities; commission objective tests to establish this is who they are and then, like lab rats almost, you lay them out:
Strong – Intelligence
Weak – Imagination
Then you help the leader select the best candidate from the short-list you have assembled.
The managers will always need to meet the candidates and you can’t block all their biases but if you can get the final candidates to match the criteria then you are objectively determining fit for the team rather than the buddy system.
However, remember that the Red Teamers themselves can easily be clones of each other based on the criteria but the chances of you finding exactly similar matches to the skills list are low. Some will be more intelligent, some more creative, key requirements are an open mind and self-confidence otherwise they will struggle to function within this type of team.
But, if the leaders aren’t ready for what the Red Teamers have to say to them, then no amount of clever selection will help. Leaders have to work to build confidence within the Red Team that they will be heard. Their voices combined with effective leadership will take the company from disrupted to disruptor!
Written by: Shelly Bischoff RN OHNC COHN(C) CHRP CHSC
In a recent CPHR Alberta webinar, "Workplace Impairment Risk Management", we addressed barriers to managing impairment risk in the workplace. A different approach was explored to manage impairment risk in the workplace.
Causation factors of impairment risk which create impairment risk in the workplace were reviewed. The focus on drugs & alcohol, especially the current spotlight on cannabis is creating a high degree of risk for organizations who do not consider all causation factors for impairment.
The traditional perspective of identifying impairment risk in the workplace, needs to be challenged to validate the full spectrum of risk, which extends beyond drugs and alcohol to include fatigue and illness. The poll question asking whether represented organizations address the full spectrum of impairment in their policy framework, verified 79% of participants do not address impairment factors beyond drugs and alcohol. This is consistent with my work with organizations. Organizations are reminded that the identification and control of all hazards in the workplace is required by legislation and that needs to include all forms of impairment. I offered my concern that impairment due to fatigue surpasses the risk from drugs & alcohol to constitute the greatest risk for organizations.
The webinar also explored how organizations equip frontline leaders to address “in the moment” situations where they suspect or know impairment is occurring in the workplace. Leaders need to be engaged in a way that is meaningful to them, with regard to being comfortable intervening in situations of impairment risk in their work environment. Rather than providing content based on the organization’s perception of need, the training model should focus on facilitating conversations with frontline leaders based on their experience and specific needs for support from the organization.
Another topic explored in the webinar was training employees in impairment risk management in the workplace. Traditionally organizations only provide training to senior middle manager and frontline leaders. Unfortunately, this practice excludes a very important stakeholder in the management of impairment risk in the workplace. Organizations share the drug and alcohol policy with employees and may ask for written acknowledgment that they have reviewed it, however this is not adequate to actively engage employees in an acceptable accountability standard related to fitness to work. Employees need to understand how impairment risk is managed in their workplace with a highlight on their role and responsibilities in regard to ensuring their fitness to work. A poll question in the webinar indicated 82% of participants do not provide training to frontline employees in the management of impairment risk in the workplace. Inviting all stakeholders to the conversations is more conducive to sustainable risk management outcomes than the directive approaches currently being utilized in industry.
The webinar did not have enough time to address questions such as addressing non-culpable impairment in the workplace. An example is an employee who is the father of young children working in a safety sensitive position and suffering from severe fatigue related to lack of sleep. This situation definitely constitutes a hazard in the workplace and requires immediate action on behalf of the organization. The approach should be proactive and reinforce reporting the risk of impairment is safe to do in the workplace.
The most appropriate action in this scenario is for the organization to address the impairment risk and meet with the employee and mutually agree on an action plan for him to implement in order to ensure he addresses his impairment risk. This may include the removal of the employee from the safety sensitive position for a period of time so he can implement an action plan and obtain clearance to verify his fitness for work before returning to his own position.
Changing the language, policy framework and the training approach can position an organization to adequately address impairment risk management in the workplace.
Written by: Caroline Power, CEO of Canadian HR Academy
The question is -- will a star performer who is hired from the competition continue to be a star with their new employer?
Acquiring High-Performance Talent is a core objective for hiring managers everywhere. Research is clear on the benefits of high performing workers - they contribute to profitability and they are a key source of competitive advantage.
But activating star performance is not as simple as it may seem. How can leaders increase the odds that stars will continue to perform well when they begin their new job?
Research has borne out that the portability of Talent is complex and that, in fact, Talent may not be as portable as many think. Two key variables for determining success with regard to the porting of Talent are (i) the culture of the new organization, and (ii) the capability-mix of the individual in whom the company has an interest.
As we reflect on our careers many of us can think of top Talent who were hired away from industry-leading organizations only to fail in their new role.
Prior to making recruitment and selection decisions, particularly executive-level ones, leaders need to think strategically about key elements of their company's culture and the associated likelihood of successful outcomes when top external high-performers are brought on board. Similarly, top-performing professionals who are thinking of accepting roles with new employers should take the time to gain information about how work gets done within these workplaces and use it to assess the likelihood of their success when they navigate that change.
Economist Gary Becker identified two types of Human Capital capabilities: general, which have potential value to more than one employer, and company-specific, which are useful to a single employer only.
General Human Capital capabilities raise portability and company-specific ones erode it. Human Capital capabilities ordered from most to least portable are General Management (skills, knowledge and traits required to lead entire organizations, units or divisions), Strategic (specific experience in cost cutting, driving growth, rightsizing, and so on), Industry-Specific (skills and training useful in one industry but not in others), Relationship (interpersonal relationships within a company), and Company-Specific (knowledge of an organization’s routines and procedures).
To assess portability of a candidate for success in a particular role, company leaders are best to gain clarity on the following questions:
- Does the role rely extensively on teamwork?
- To what degree will the candidate require sponsorship or buy-in from colleagues in order to be effective?
- To what degree will the person be engaged in knowledge-sharing?
- To what degree does the role require that the person be reliant complementary functions or departments?
- Is the role primarily engaged in external relationships with customers, suppliers, partners, or others?
- Does much of the value of the role come from unique capabilities, team building, an understanding of workplace culture or other intangible qualities?
The insights gained from answers to the above questions can be used to determine what proportion of the star's capability-mix is generic and what proportion is company-specific.
Candidates with more generic leadership capabilities will be better able to port their Talent across from one organization to another, unlike those with more company-specific capabilities. However, if the company with that new job is very similar, in terms of organizational culture, to the one that the candidate is about to leave, then porting their Talent has a higher likelihood of success.
Written by: Cindy Lynn Roche, MA CPHR
People don’t know what they don’t know and that fact is just one of the reasons the subject of respect in the workplace is such an important discussion. Organizations and teams are made up of individuals, and each individual has a lived experience unlike anybody else’s life story that may influence how they interpret situations, their interactions with others and the things they choose to say and do. The part of being respectful that we sometimes forget is that there may be no visible signs or obvious reason for why somebody is as they are, and we just don’t know what we don’t know.
Consider for a moment what your colleagues and boss know about you. Think next of the things they have no idea about and would never expect of you. Imagine finally that every person you meet may have some unspoken story framing how they see and experience the world.
Respect involves recognizing that anybody you meet could need an extra measure of understanding, compassion or acceptance. They might not, but if you extend the courtesy of awareness that they may not be working from the same starting place as you, you’re likely to find that your working relationship becomes more productive as each of you comes in to the interaction prepared to offer a little more and work just a bit harder. That kind of a stance doesn’t negate what the other offers but anticipates that what we’ll bring may be different, informed by the standpoint of our experience, values and fears.
- A member of a minority group that was systematically sanctioned for their difference and otherness, as justified by who their ancestors had been and grudges against enemies from long ago… she struggled to learn the common language and suffered the embarrassment of her linguistic mistakes along the way.
- An immigrant who experienced the worry of having the right papers in hand, her presence validated and justified by a long approval process… she is proud of that journey and proud of the citizenship she holds.
- A nomadic childhood spent moving from town to town every couple of years resulted in bullying that gave way to terrified shyness… That’s what that deep breath is about when she speaks up in a meeting and it’s the reason that so much of what she says sounds more like suggestions for consideration.
- She has Lupus, Fibromyalgia and/or depression or or or... Every day she copes with pain and a myriad of symptoms, grateful for her ability to work on good days and self-loathing when she can’t make it in… She hopes nobody notices when she’s moving slowly and tries not to give in to the chronic fatigue. Invisible illnesses, whether chronic diseases, mental health challenges or some nefarious and long-lasting bug, are never a choice. Doctor appointments, pain, brain fog and frustration at one’s inability to be “normal” are balanced against delivering results in the workplace, getting things accomplished and not letting anybody down.
- She is half deaf and a hearing aid won’t help her hearing so she must position herself to hear people with her good ear, finding it easiest if she’s face-to-face with them even as she isn’t conscious of reading their lips. She gets overwhelmed when there is too much going on or if she’s caught in the middle of a crowd; not being able to distinguish exactly where sounds are coming from leads to a kind of vertigo and it is exhausting.
- “She” is one woman who believes all those challenges make her stronger (except when they remind her that they own her strength). She works harder than many because she fears she being found out, fears not keeping up with expectations, and fears that if she ever gives in to her weaknesses that she will let the people who count on her down… She doesn’t want to let you down.
I’m not making excuses for her or anyone. I’m not even suggesting you put up with excuses. But I do think we would all be well served by remembering we don’t always have all the facts about people. I’m asking you to consider that “different” exists even when it isn’t obvious and to respect that there may be more at work than you know.