As part of preparing the Performance Management (PM) Report 2021, we interviewed Dave Donaldson, Performance and Development Manager EMEA from Ishida. We wanted to find out how our customers supported their people and continued to drive performance during 2020 and how they intend to maintain it in 2021.
How can you measure performance management without the tech?
The report identifies that over 50% of those surveyed don’t have performance management technology and also don’t have access to any data on how their people are performing. Data is something that Dave feels is crucial to supporting their people.
Dave has been championing performance development at Ishida, by encouraging a culture of regular feedback, meaningful check-ins and prioritising wellbeing. Having access to the tech and data has helped Dave identify managers that need support, as well as give confidence to managers to develop their teams’ performance when working remotely. According to Dave,
“Because we have tech, we can guide managers who lack confidence in remote management to clearly identify goals and targets. When we send people to work, we measure their output. If they are achieving their output but managers lack confidence that they aren’t as effective, we have the data. Trust issues are minimised with accurate recordings from the data we have. If they are achieving what they are set out to achieve, and managers believe that’s not enough, we can explain that it is enough, because they have achieved what was agreed for them to achieve.
Dave explained that at Ishida, the support of the Clear Review and having objectives has enabled managers to set clear measures of what needs to be achieved.
“Although some managers don’t have the skills to manage as strongly as others, they’ve been given the support of the tech. We have stated that we don’t need presenteeism, we need you to agree with colleagues what it is they need to achieve. Given their objectives, if they achieve them in less time, we have productivity to manage. We’ve got to make sure we balance the work. The pressure is on the manager to make sure that the objectives are set. We are no longer in the Victorian era where we need to stand behind people to make sure they work. We need to trust them. And that’s why we hear of software that tracks people on their laptops, because managers don’t trust their people to work — it’s madness.”
Hybrid working can only work if you have technology
The future workplace for many is going to be a Hybrid environment, that’s part remote and part workplace based. However, shockingly the PM Report 2021 found that 40% of HRDs surveyed thought that working remotely was negatively affecting performance. Hybrid working for many is here to stay and we need to learn how to drive performance, trust our people and support them to continue to work in differing environments.
Dave explains how having access to the Clear Review system has encouraged people to have more conversations and manage remote and hybrid working better.
“One of the key things has been that Clear Review has put the subliminal force on the managers to have the conversations with those who were remote working. Otherwise it would be easy to lose sight. Our company has continued to perform strongly. And I think a lot of it is down to the fact that Clear Review has overcome quite a lot of the cultural resistance to hybrid working. This is because I can demonstrate that people are doing their jobs. Having the tech has enabled us to effectively manage hybrid working more.”
Coaching conversations should be the new normal
The PM Report 2021 found that HRDs, managers and employees all want coaching conversations to be taking place, but 40% of HRDs don’t think their managers have the skills or training to have development conversations.
At Ishida, coaching conversations have been crucial in normalising wellbeing conversations. This is something that has been embraced by everyone in the organization. Dave explains,
“HR directors have always had a focus on wellbeing , but Covid has accelerated the efforts we made into wellbeing and mental health. Coaching has helped give the managers and supervisors the confidence to address wellbeing, start conversations, and understand how their people might be suffering. I’m proud to say that we are a traditional engineering company in the West Midlands. If you want to stereotype on that, you might think ‘rough and ready’, ‘spanners and electrical boards.’ But the reality is so far from that. The whole concept of managing people’s welfare from home has been so utterly embraced by all sections of our company — It’s quite something to see.
“We have hired an L&D specialist who — as part of their role — focuses on developing skills, coaching, and performance management skills, because you can’t just stop. Our L&D Specialist has come in to do regular sessions e.g. every 3 weeks or every month, rather than one all day course. It’s been embraced by managers, who want to get the best out of the business and its people. We can’t assume that when we return to normal it will be exactly the same. We have to make this our normal. We have to be responsive and dynamic.”
Dave’s insight supports the findings of the PM Report 2021 and also highlights the need for organizations to invest further in performance management in order to support people and also drive productivity. Getting the right performance management software, accepting our new Hybrid working future and supporting managers to have coaching conversations, are all areas for improvement according to the report, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Download the full report to get all of the juicy insight and hear how Virgin Money and Amthal Fire and Security invested in performance management to support their people too.