If we want to embed a culture of regular, meaningful conversations and feedback, we know that we need to give managers the skills and confidence to have those performance management conversations – that is a given.
However, we also need to have a framework that empowers conversations rather than undermines them, we need to have technology that supports the conversation framework and helps to build new habits, and we need to have visibility of conversations and hold managers accountable for making them happen. If we get those right then we can transition from a culture of performance management to one of performance improvement.
How do we know this to be the case? Over the last 2 years, we at Clear Review have worked with over 100 organisations who have successfully moved away from an annual form filling exercise to a culture of meaningful conversations and feedback. And this is not something that only works in specific industries such as tech – these organisations come from sectors as diverse as the public sector, financial services, consulting, retail, education, law and even film studios and football clubs. All of these organisations have created their own conversation framework supported by our technology platform.
Where’s the evidence?
One clear example that demonstrates this level of success is Clydesdale & Yorkshire Banking Group (CYBG).
In October 2017 the organisation changed from an annual appraisal model to a new framework of ongoing conversations and feedback. They carried out experiential training with their managers on how to have great conversations and give effective feedback. They also recognised the importance of technology to support the process and provide insights into their data.
The results have been outstanding. In just the first six months after they launched:
• 15,000 check-in conversations had taken place covering 99% of their 6,500 employees.
• 78,000 bits of feedback were given
• 100% of employees had clear goals
The impact of this change is best described in the words of one of their branch managers:
“Our previous approach to appraisals felt like a company-led agenda and encouraged poor behaviours and poor outcomes for the customer. Now we are doing it from the staff’s view of the world, with regular performance conversations. The quality of interactions has improved – face to face conversations are backed up by the system, which is really clear and easy to use.” - Gary Hare, Manager Dumfries High Street Branch
If I have made performance management sound simple, then that’s good, because it doesn’t have to be complex or difficult if you have the right framework and supporting technology.