Feedback in real time
As we have said many times over: Just having an annual employee performance review is inadequate - people today want feedback in real time which calls for much more frequent check ins. By now we are used to new technology and the increased speed of which we receive information and feedback. The incorporation of social media in our lives has brought with it this expectation of real time feedback on whatever we put out into the world: a new profile picture on Facebook gets a like, the article you just shared on LinkedIn gets a comment, a friend Tweets about your company event. The list goes on.
This is especially the case with Millennials, who grew up with this new technology and connectedness. They've grown accustomed to being able to ask questions, share opinions and provide commentary whenever they feel like it - it’s no wonder that they also expect the same in their workplace. To Millennials, not receiving a response is actually a bad sign - a sign of people not liking our profile picture, not being interested in the article we just shared and not finding the event worth sharing. The same goes for their performance in the workplace - no feedback is not something they take very well and research shows that only 17 percent say the feedback they do receive is meaningful. Read more about Millennials in our blog post here.
This development has had and is still having a massive impact on performance management. If managers just go by every day without ever giving feedback, they signal that they don’t really care about what their employees do or how they perform.
The fact is that employees will not go to work every day and not be recognized for what they are doing - at least not if managers want to keep them around. Remember, one of the biggest challenges for companies today is talent retention.
Employee Experience (aka HR in general)
There is more to HR than practical things such as payroll, employment contracts and leave balances. These are of course all important aspects of supporting employees, but when it comes to retaining the workforce of today there is much more to it. Employee Experience (EX) is all about people and how to keep them happy, motivated, engaged and productive. People are seen as people - not just employees. Which leads me to the other side of EX: the emotional side. Emotional HR is about engagement and personal development.
“We define employee experience simply as seeing the world through the eyes of our employees, staying connected, and being aware of their major milestones.” Susan Peters, Senior Vice President, Human Resources at General Electric.
Read more about EX in our blog post here.
Employee Engagement and Personal Development are key elements of the emotional side of HR. Emotional Human Resources can be approached from two different angles: from a corporate angle and from a day-to-day management angle. These two angles could be called:
- People Analytics (and)
- People Management
These two angles make up two different levels of Emotional HR in an organization. People Analytics is about the overview of all the people in the organization through surveys and the insights obtained from these surveys. This is where you gain perspectives that enable you to see the patterns of behavior and opinions in the organization.
People Management is about execution. This level deals with the day-to-day issues of managing people, which is primarily based on frequent 1-on-1s between the manager and the employee. It’s simple - in order to fully understand your employees you must talk to them, hear what they have to say and give them your feedback as well. Preferably in private conversations, such as 1-on-1 meetings, so you don’t miss out on getting to the core of what really matters. Keep yourself updated on aspirations, issues, conflicts, mental health etc. and work towards a happy workplace. This will influence performance in the long run and play a big part in keeping it at a high level.
Tech helps: Powerful people insights and frequent 1-on-1s
Even though this is a relatively new area in business, a range of tools have been developed to assist managers in catering to the needs of their employees. You can recruit new employees with IT tools, use virtual reality (VR) for training, or use online databases to share knowledge throughout the organization. From training to performance management, these HR tools are here to stay and embracing them can make your life so much easier.
When dealing with performance management, technology and innovative platforms have of course already made a huge impact and are reshaping how companies approach this from a strategic perspective. Managers can now, with the aid of technology, accommodate the needs and wants of their employees and by leveraging more than one technology platform can improve the outcome even further.
Culture Amp - on-demand employee feedback platform
The employee feedback platform, Culture Amp, enables organizations to collect, understand and act on employee feedback easily. The platform currently offers:
- Employee Engagement
- Employee Effectiveness
- Employee Experience
Results can be shared directly from the platform to nominated managers and employees, and organization-level insights and heat maps are also available.
The employee engagement insights can help uncover areas where improvement is needed, for example communicating how decisions are made and how each individual contributes to the company’s success. Individual, manager and team effectiveness results can spark conversations on things like career development, collaboration, empathy and leadership. Employee experience surveys allow for gaps in onboarding and other employee stages to be quickly identified and discussed in a 1-on-1 before they have negative impact.
The survey questions provided by Culture Amp are shaped by extensive research and designed by in-house organizational psychologists. A team of data scientists ensure that the platform quickly and accurately surfaces insights with a range of easy-to-understand heat maps and tools. Suggestions for actions are surfaced by an Inspiration Engine which includes hundreds of inspirations from the world’s most innovative organizations.
Managers can easily access reports and insights to shape how they lead their team and individuals, and HR teams and executives can monitor progress.
Duuoo - the future of 1-on-1s and people management
Duuoo focuses on what matters to the individual as opposed to an organization’s employees as a whole. The platform is designed to help managers get the most out of the 1-on-1s, while also assisting with the logistics - such as scheduling the next meeting and sending reminders to prepare for the 1-on-1s.
A challenge for many managers regarding 1-on-1s can be to come up with new and relevant questions to go over with their employees in the recurring meetings. Duuoo takes care of this by providing managers not only with relevant Talking Points for each meeting, but also bite-sized Manager Insights that let them know why these questions are important to ask and how they could follow up and dig a little deeper if noticing that this topic is something the employee in particular cares about.
The Talking Points suggested in the 1-on-1s are based on Duuoo’s internal Conversation Engine and makes certain that all six themes of employee engagement that Duuoo suggests are covered all of which are both personal and work related.
In addition to taking care of the execution part of 1-on-1 meetings, Duuoo directs attention towards the education of managers on a continuous basis. The manager is coached both via the Manager Insights and with the monthly Duuoo Academy, that is curated for each manager and presents them with specifically tailored content for them, their team and their industry. The Duuoo Academy provides a summary of recent actions made within the team, resources for further learnings, as well as quick advice which functions as the manager’s monthly leadership course.
A combined approach to people and performance management
What is really unique about these two platforms is that they are both based on scientific research within psychology, making them credible means of addressing people and performance management. Both the Culture Amp and the Duuoo platform are carefully developed to give companies and managers the best way of listening to what’s important to their employees in the most effective ways.
As can be seen in the example model underneath, the more extensive surveys are not conducted as often as the shorter 1-on-1 conversations, but a combination of these two platforms would make it possible for companies to support their managers from both the organizational level and the individual level.
Culture Amp creates an overview of the cultural state of the organization and development opportunities for individuals, teams and managers via the surveys that help show managers where they need to focus in order to improve their own managerial skills, as well as their employees’ motivation and performance. Duuoo focuses on the recurring individual feedback at 1-on-1 meetings as a source of learning and working with employees as to what motivates and helps them perform better. Duuoo additionally educates managers on how they can improve their managerial skills and provides them with educational content from relevant research in their field.
The combination of extensive survey data and the more personal 1-on-1, gives both managers and organizations a better and more profitable way of approaching people and performance management. This type of combination of new technologies would also be in line with what the workforce expects from their workplace today with regards to knowing how they’re performing and what the plans for their further development are.
On the bottom line, an adaptation of these platforms meeting the demands of the workforce of today could play a big role in increasing the overall productivity and performance of the company and be the crucial part in attracting and retaining employees.