Ready to explore a new way to grow your business? Here are some tips, tools and stories to help you on your way.
Across the energy sector, there’s been a cultural shift over the last decade. At Contact Energy, that meant an overhaul of processes and leadership around health and safety. The result? A huge change in organisational culture.
“Our people are more empowered to make their own decisions, and assess risk - without the fear of blame or judgement if things go wrong.”
“AskYourTeam allowed Oil Intel to easily distinguish what areas employees felt needed to be improved.
AskYourTeam enabled us to pinpoint those areas that were most important to our people”
Read how Smith&Smith achieved better productivity and business performance by taking the guesswork out of leadership.
“As a leader I don’t guess anymore. I know exactly what to focus on to get the biggest improvements out of my team.”
Read how Swanndri built a more collaborative workplace and accelerated their growth curve with AskYourTeam.
“It allows for everyone to have an equal voice, not just management or the vocal few.”
Learn how the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce built a culture of continuous improvement with AskYourTeam.
“It reinforces that continuous improvement is a really important part of any business.”
Workplace culture starts with involvement
Productivity grows out of involvement. If you want to build a more productive workplace culture, involve your people more meaningfully in your business.
How do we get balance in all respects?
How to get more women into senior roles? How to better celebrate the achievements of women? How to balance the demands of family and career? Jen McKay discusses how do we get a better balance in all respects.
Collaborative teams are units that bring together individuals with unique, disparate skill sets for a defined goal. Jude Manuel discusses how best to facilitate collaboration in an agile world.
How #MeToo has changed HR forever
The impact of the #MeToo movement has been far-reaching. What started as a campaign to build a conversation around sexual violence has gone on to permeate many aspects of our culture.
Beating the bullies
New Zealand has a shameful history of workplace bullying but there’s a growing movement among workplace culture experts to stamp it out. AskYourTeam CEO Chris O’Reilly investigates.
Today’s businesses are moving on from engagement, focusing instead on their employees’ experience of work and tapping into what they think, says Jude Manuel.
Checking the pulse
A new breed of digital HR tools in creating a people-led business revolution and providing a content read on the HR health of an organisation.
What is this thing called workplace empowerment?
When a person is genuinely empowered in their job and involved in their organisation, they will become highly engaged, productive, loyal and keen to share their ideas and talk about what they do with colleagues by default.
Attraction and retention of millennials through learning and CSR
Business success depends on having an effective career development strategy in place, but what role does workplace learning,and CSR play in the attraction and retention of millennial?
Creating a culture that inspires employee loyalty
Helping senior leaders to understand that they are an integral part in inspiring employee loyalty enables them to acknowledge the value of other people’s ideas and input.
From talent to team: HR’s generational change
Talent is no longer regarded as a raw material in the economic equation to be retained for the productive working life of a human, but something to tap into according to the changing needs of the organisation at any moment.
Are you implementing a culture of empowerment in your organisation?
Genuine cultures of empowerment can only come about when leaders realise that empowerment isn't an act of benevolence toward those lower down the pecking order than them.
How to make Continuous Performance Management work?
Performance appraisals are widely unpopular with both staff and managers. People are now querying whether annual performance reviews and ratings are best serving the needs of organisations and individuals.
A time to reflect, redefine and upskill
In an age of disruption and transformation, career transitions are the norm. Equipping people with the skills to move on will differentiate an organisation in the eyes of those who remain.
The dictator is dead. Killed by technology.
The industrial age command and control leadership is dead. It was killed by digital technology that allows people throughout an organisation to have their say in how it should be run.
Anonymity key to overcoming unconscious bias
Unconscious bias is the great unsolved problem of modern HR and one of the intractable barriers to building a truly diverse organisation. Almost all people hold subtle biases based on gender, ethnic and other differences and we are surprisingly powerless to do much about it.
Digital tools create a people-led business revolution
In the past decade, the operations side of business has been revolutionised by digital connectivity. Now the smart businesses in every industry are looking for the next advantage by redesigning their organisations using a new class of digital tools and analytics driven data.
Wisdom from Women -New Zealand women leaders on leadership
What makes a great leader? Watch four inspirational New Zealand female leaders sharing their views and thoughts on the topic this International Women’s Day.
Building workplace cultures where unsafe behaviour is not tolerated
The consequences of allowing bullying to survive in a workplace culture can be profound. From mental health issues to lost productivity and talent retention problems, bullying has the potential to undermine an organisation and cause serious harm to its members
Why the future belongs to HR
There has been a seismic shift from management by engagement to leadership by involvement that is changing the way we think about everything from the war for talent to how we build organisational culture.
Strengths and Weaknesses of New Zealand Leaders
Powerful new benchmarking insights have been made available for the first time from leadership survey AskYourTeam into the strengths and weaknesses of Kiwi leadership.
5 Tips for Transitioning from an Engagement Survey to AskYourTeam
After years of using a traditional engagement survey, Smith&Smith made the transition to AskYourTeam. Pati Bloor, Smith&Smith's People and Leadership Director, shares her top five tips for a successful transition.
AskYourTeam: A System Your Leaders Will Love
Throughout my years as an organisational development specialist, I've noticed leaders are sometimes less-than-enthusiastic about 'HR' initiatives such as engagement surveys. I think that's understandable.
Engagement: Does it Matter Any More?
In the early days of ‘staff surveys’ we measured staff satisfaction. We then deepened our questioning to understand what made our employees feel committed to go that extra mile or ‘stay, say and strive’. It worked well for some organisations, but many have plateaued.
Are You Measuring What Matters?
As leaders, it’s easy to measure what we're comfortable with, instead of what will actually have the greatest impact on the success of our business. But without a systematic approach to measuring what really matters, your business is unlikely to reach its true potential.
You Don't Have All the Answers (and that's OK)
Leadership is no longer about the visionary guru leading the charge. That idea belongs to a time when businesses operated in a slower world. Command-and-control leadership was the norm. Times have changed.
Why Smart Businesses are Focussing on Performance Before Engagement
The traditional way of thinking about engagement is linear - employee engagement leads to improved business performance. But recent research is pointing to a much more circular model.
How to make Continuous Performance Management work?Tuesday, 10 July 2018
For many decades in HR, performance management has been centred around annual performance appraisals. These occurred at both the individual level (the dreaded annual review), and the company level (the engagement survey which staff never saw the results of). Both processes are based around the practice of looking back and attempting to measure past performance. However, the value of this model has been questioned by both research in human resources and a number of leading organisations around the globe.
Performance appraisals are widely unpopular with both staff and managers. Many people are now querying whether annual performance reviews and ratings are best serving the needs of organisations and their people. Yet employees still want some sort of feedback and review and business still want intel on who their star and at risk people are. While it is still seen as good practice to be providing employees feedback on how they are doing, there has been movement away from using rating scales or internal comparisons to do this. Many large companies in the US, UK and beyond have either dropped annual performance reviews or are planning to rethink their performance management system.
Current best practice in human resources promotes regular conversations about performance and development between managers and their staff. This reflects a shift in focus from assessing the past to actively building the workforce you need. Many businesses are replacing or supplementing annual reviews with frequent, informal check-ins between managers and employees.
In this blog post we unpack the key aims of a performance management process and offer some tips for how to innovate existing processes to promote staff engagement, motivation, retention and development.
Disrupting the old model - Why move away from performances reviews and ratings?
Research suggests that both managers and staff often view performance management processes as time consuming, subjective, demotivating, and ultimately ineffective at improving employee performance. As such, one key motivation for moving away from annual reviews is that they hold people accountable for past behaviour at the expense of improving current performance and building future talent. As explained by Deloitte, organisations increasingly require data which helps the business respond to changing businesses needs and career trajectories as they happen. Increasingly, businesses want to be able to respond to change rather than follow a plan. Teams are more likely to rely on collaboration, self-organisation, and self-direction. Staff need to be enabled to partake in regular reflection on how to work more effectively to respond quickly to feedback and changes in requirements.
Alongside the critique that existing annual performance reviews occur too late to influence performance in real time, there is a convincing body of research which shows performance ratings are biased. Research on appraisal scores shows ratings are affected as much by who the rater is as they are by actual performance. Whether conscious and not, personal biases influence our appraisals of other people, resulting in ratings revealing more about the rater than they do about the ratee. Such research refers to the ‘the idiosyncratic rater effect’ to describe the bias of the rater on the rating given to an employee. Taken together, these factors might help to shed light on why managers consistently report they do not see the value in performance reviews.
Looking forward to new solutions
Beginning in the early 2000s, there have been tentative shifts in some businesses towards the relinquishing of annual performance reviews in favour of more regular, forward-looking, manager check-ins. Businesses are looking to methods for evaluating performance that are less costly and time consuming, and more effective. Over 70 percent of companies surveyed in Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends research reported they were in the process of reinventing how the performance process is managed in their organisation. A plethora of point systems have been developed specifically to cater to the new model of performance management so that employees and managers are getting feedback more regularly and are able to act more quickly to address issues.
Businesses want the information generated to be used for productive change and growth rather than simply reflecting on past performance. HR commentators suggest that if companies want engagement and retention among their staff and the ability to capitalise on their existing talent, their performance management processes need to be future-oriented, user friendly, and have an immediate effect on workers’ performance.
Best practice for performance management
The old (annual reviews; looking back) and the new (regular coaching; looking forward) approaches to performance management represent a ‘tug-of-war’ between staff accountability and staff development respectively. That is, the shift in emphasis to improving and developing existing staff as opposed to holding them accountable for past performance reflects a position that staff performance is not fixed or predetermined for each individual, but able to be enhanced through effective coaching and management. The shift to this approach has emerged through a labour market which requires employers to be able to develop their workforce, be agile in response to change, and to utilise teamwork.
The frequent check-ins throughout the year that are increasingly replacing annual appraisals mean that employees are constantly receiving feedback on their current work. Research suggests that the most effective team leaders conduct regular check-ins with each team member about near-term work. These brief conversations help to set short-term expectations, review priorities, provide feedback on recent work, and keep both parties informed on progress. Regular check-ins promote frequent communication between manager and employee to empower people rather than micromanage them. In short, best practice points to having frequent feedback discussions rather than or in addition to annual ones, and to focus on forward-looking coaching for development rather than backward-focused rating and ranking.
Regular assessment and feedback into performance management allows the capture of multiple data points, which are referred to in some organisations as “touchpoints” or “snapshots”. While managers might still have an end-of-year discussion with staff, this is a summary of many prior conversations and opportunities for change. This model emphasises speed, agility, constant learning, and an individualised approach.
As well as reconsidering the process and structure of performance management, organisations have also sought to innovate in the ways in which performance data is collected. For example, Deloitte has sought to eliminate rater bias by asking managers to evaluate their staff not in terms of what they think of the individual, but what they would do with each team member. Instead of asking what the team leader thinks of a staff member’s skills, they ask what actions the manager would take in relation to their performance in terms of money and hiring. These both measure performance and highlight differences among team members in a ‘moment-in-time’ capture of performance.
Developing the new process - how can businesses innovate performance strategy?
Ideally, a performance management process should be able to do three things: measure performance, reward performance, and improve performance. Performance management systems should be able to not only assess and recognise talent, but to stimulate performance improvement and growth.They should provide a process for evaluating the work of an organisation’s people, and using this to develop, promote and compensate them accordingly.
While annual compensation decisions are still important, these can be augmented with faster and more frequent captures of performance data. Aggregating regularly captured performance data over time can support businesses decisions in relation to succession planning, development paths, and performance-pattern analysis. The quick attainment of these data points enable businesses to respond to the information (e.g. promotions) rather than draining resources to ascertain that information through meetings and discussions. It provides a rich basis for understanding, improving and recognising performance in your organisation.
A frequent, ongoing check-in approach to performance goes hand in hand with the realisation that an annual engagement survey is not enough. Many companies are either introducing pulse check surveys to sit alongside an annual engagement survey or investigating throwing it out completely. Again, there are multiple solution providers in the market that will provide mobile-friendly, easy-to-use, functionally-rich tools that can sit alongside your core HR technology platform.
Essentially, these tools do the same job as a traditional engagement survey, but they offer the ability to get the results immediately, and to survey the pulse of a small group or the whole organisation as often as required. Kiwi company AskYourTeam has extended the workplace survey beyond issues of organisational culture into operational areas. The system gathers the data from every member of an organisation about where and why the organisation is performing well and poorly. Smart HR practitioners are using this data to develop performance plans with managers and many are seeing immediate improvements in their organisation’s performance measures. Productivity improves, and employees who provide the raw data are empowered by the Continuous Involvement System process. They are more motivated, more engaged and less likely to leave the organisation.
Diversity & Inclusion: Anonymity key to overcoming unconscious bias
Diversity and inclusion are priorities for every HR pro today, but too often we shy away from conversations about the biggest barrier to creating more inclusive organisations - unconscious bias.Download Discussion Paper
Deloitte: Global Human Capital Trends 2017 Report
Deloitte’s 2017 Human Capital Trends survey of leaders from around the world identifies the critical trends shaping the HR agenda.Download Report
Becoming Irresistible: A New Model for Employee Engagement
Josh Bersin, Principal with Deloitte Consulting, on why the traditional employee engagement survey - devoid of modern, actionable solutions - has passed its used-by date.Download Paper
AskYourTeam for Business
We analysed the world’s top leadership models to understand what the most successful businesses have in common. Then we built an independently-verified system to help you get to the heart of how your business is doing in each of these make-or-break areas. Find out how AskYourTeam generates breakthroughs in business performance.Download eBook
AskYourTeam for the Public Sector
We’ve created a system especially for public sector organisations that assesses performance against the Performance Improvement Framework (PIF) and Leadership Success Profile (LSP) models. Find out how you can take your organisation from good to great with AskYourTeam for the Public Sector.Download eBook
AskYourTeam for Membership Organisations
No matter the industry or the size, all membership organisations face similar challenges around growth, retention, and nurturing active involvement from their members. Find out how you can create a voice for your members with AskYourTeam for Membership Organisations.Download eBook
AskYourTeam for Local Government
In consultation with EquiP, we've developed a system especially for New Zealand’s Local Government sector. AskYourTeam for Local Government optimises the underpinning processes of the Local Government Excellence Programme. Download the ebook to find out how AskYourTeam can transform your council.Download eBook