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The Importance of Feedback and Recognition at Work

Welcome back to the Five Features to Include in Performance Management in 2021 series. This weekly series will help you transform your organisations performance management systems by focusing on a culture led employee experience. This post focuses on how you can use agile goal setting during these uncertain times to transform your workplace culture.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced organisations to implement a structural change to where work is done, overnight. Many HR departments championed more flexible work arrangements and were met with resistance for years. While the structural change occurred overnight, the changes to how work is done continues.

Think back to the last time you received feedback or recognition from a colleague or manager. Where were you working? How was it delivered? Chances are it was in an office and face to face. Our research indicates organisations that do not have a feedback and recognition culture have seen a reduction in frequency (both giving and requesting) since the shift to working remotely. The reason why probably will not surprise you. Many employees and managers are not comfortable giving or requesting feedback and recognition. Despite this discomfort, 80% of employees want to receive feedback weekly or monthly.

When organisations started working remotely people were uncomfortable with the idea – expecting collaboration and productivity to decrease. The longer we work remotely and practice collaborating with our colleagues and accomplishing business objectives we become more skilled and comfortable in new ways of working – transforming our cultures. Becoming skilled and comfortable providing feedback and recognition is also a skill which can be developed over time the more we practice.

Here are three important benefits of including feedback and recognition in your performance management system.

Create a learning culture

Giving employees feedback and recognition can increase self-awareness about opportunities to develop and strengths they can lean into. Providing opportunities for employees to learn and recognising their effort and time spent focusing on self-improvement can be the foundation of a learning culture.

Increase happiness

A workplace where positive reinforcement and constructive feedback is embraced creates happy employees. Happy employees are productive employees. Recognising individuals and teams can boost their confidence, promote collaboration, enhance loyalty, and boost the overall morale of the organisation.

Improve employee retention

Hiring an employee is a significant investment. Once they are hired, they need training, development, and motivation to perform. A great way to show appreciation to your employees and keep them motivated is creating a rewards and recognition program.

A culture led employee experience can transform your performance management systems and inspire your employees to reach their potential and your organisation to improve overall performance on metrics you can measure.

Next week we’ll be back with: Check-in’s.

Welcome back to the Five Features to Include in Performance Management in 2021 series. This weekly series will help you transform your organisations performance management systems by focusing on a culture led employee experience. This post focuses on how you can use agile goal setting during these uncertain times to transform your workplace culture.

Over the last decade, hiring managers and recruiters have included in job postings with greater frequency words and phrases such as flexibility, adaptability, and ‘comfortable with uncertainty/shifting priorities.’ Although some are searching for candidates who have these desirable capabilities, their organisations remain locked into inflexible and restrictive processes rendering these capabilities ineffective. The traditional performance cycle is one of those processes which needs to become more agile and the place to start is goal setting.

This year proves with increased uncertainty comes increased difficulty in creating long term business objectives or employee goals. The volatility and ambiguity caused by the crisis spreading across the globe has meant shutting down sectors, leading to businesses rapidly shifting priorities, which in turn affects goals. Organisations and employees rely on goals to provide focus and clarity on the work that needs to be undertaken to improve performance.

It makes sense organisations want to improve performance as it has a dramatic affect on business results (increased revenue, increased profitability, share price, etc.). How can organisations be agile and prepare for continued uncertainty?

Put employees at the centre of goal setting

Employees should not feel like goal setting is something out of their control. When placing the employee at the centre of goal setting, you can achieve their buy-in for agile goals which will increase the probability they are achieved. It will also inspire commitment and provide a sense of ownership.

Link individual and business goals

It’s important for employees to understand how their goals are linked to business objectives. Employees are more effective and likely to achieve their goals if they see how they fit into the bigger picture. More importantly, it can provide employees with a sense of purpose, understanding the impact of their performance, and alignment with the organisation’s mission.

Adapt goals as circumstances change

Goal setting should not be a ‘set it and forget it until the end of year’ exercise. Goals should never be static and incapable of being updated. Goals should be dynamic and evolve as circumstances change. Frequently revisiting goals throughout the year and adjusting them will motivate performance despite facing uncertainty.

By placing the employee at the centre of goal setting and creating a culture led employee experience you can transform your performance management systems. This will inspire your employees to reach their potential and will help your organisation to improve overall performance on metrics you can measure.

Next week we’ll be back with The Importance of Feedback and Recognition at Work.

This year challenged organisations for a myriad of reasons. The COVID-19 pandemic continues across the globe leaving in its wake a trail of destruction affecting everyone and everything. Organisations that weathered the crisis reacted quickly – accelerating long term strategic plans to introduce more remote work – seemingly overnight to 100% remote work. The key is not whether the structural changes were made, it’s whether new ways of work are embraced, and culture transformed. One part of the employee experience which many organisations evolved over the last decade is performance management and the crisis brought more attention to why it needs evolution.

A new archetype of employee was created during the pandemic – those deemed essential workers, kept our healthcare systems, food supply chains, and other services operating while the majority stayed at home. The traditional performance management systems no longer seem fit for purpose if a manager at the end of the year tells an essential worker they are underperforming. Yet, they were the ones showing up day in and day out, doing their part to keep our services open.

HR has an opportunity to transform archaic practices which do not create the cultures we have so long aspired. Korn Ferry’s research indicates “performance management as the second highest ranked area of change for the next two years.” [1] So, if you are responsible for transforming your performance management system, what will it include? What will you design to help your employees reach their full potential and improve organisational performance?

If you’re honest with yourself, the answer is probably not the dreaded annual performance review. That outdated process launched by HR, sent to employees and managers who spend countless hours filling out a form providing evidence to justify performance ratings, all the while anxiety mounts before meeting in person to discuss performance (issues) better addressed in proximity to the time of the event when something could actually be done. Does that sound like a great employee experience for either the employee or the manager?

I’ve got great news for you. By focusing on a culture led employee experience you can transform your performance management system. Here are five features to include in performance management in 2021:

  • Agile goal setting
  • Feedback and recognition
  • Check-ins
  • Surveys – 360 and Pulse
  • Coaching Reports

Over the course of the next five weeks we’ll dive into each feature to give you insights on how to put the employee at the centre of employee experience and create a system that inspires employees to reach their potential and your organisation to improve overall performance on metrics you can actually measure.

Stay tuned.

[1] Korn Ferry. (2020). Optimizing Rewards in a Changing World. https://www.kornferry.com/lp/whitepaper-optimizing-rewards

Free eBook – The Resilience Toolkit

Download your copy of The Resilience Toolkit: https://hr.ourtandem.com/resilience-toolkit

We recently hosted a series of conversations with leaders in the fields of employee experience, performance management and HR to discuss the impact of the most significant changes in work practices in over a century. We compiled the highlights, tips and tricks, frameworks and inspirational thoughts from the world’s foremost thought leaders in HR.

Aisling Teillard, Tandem CEO shared her insights on the new toolkit for managers:

“One of the things that I think we we need to consider is what is the toolkit for managers will be when they return from all of this, you know, because it’s almost like we can’t go back now and pretend we didn’t see into each other’s homes and that we didn’t experience this dramatic set of events together and that we’ve all been slightly traumatized together. And we’ve lived through this new experience. So perhaps the things that we relied on in the past will not work for us in the future. And I’m thinking of those managers in particular who relied on tactics like presenteeism or micromanagement, and they’ve kind of been at sea for the past few months. You know, I was talking to HR consultant the other day and she was working with some clients and they were literally the last people to obey the government’s lockdown rules because they just didn’t want to leave the office because they didn’t know how to manage without an office you know? They were catapulted into this future of work world that they were so unfamiliar and at sea with. These sorts of people, I think they just need a new direction. They need a new toolkit, they need a new way of managing their people. You know what? Y ou don’t have to manage them the old way anyway, and we can see now that it doesn’t work. And I suspect what’s going to happen is you’re going to see a whole new host of demands coming from employees.”

Download your copy of The Resilience Toolkit: https://hr.ourtandem.com/resilience-toolkit

Free eBook – The Resilience Toolkit

Download your copy of The Resilience Toolkit: https://hr.ourtandem.com/resilience-toolkit

We recently hosted a series of conversations with leaders in the fields of employee experience, performance management and HR to discuss the impact of the most significant changes in work practices in over a century. We compiled the highlights, tips and tricks, frameworks and inspirational thoughts from the world’s foremost thought leaders in HR.

Kevin Empey, Managing Director of WorkMatters shared his insights on resilience and agility:

“I know the concepts of resilience and agility are thrown around a lot and sometimes they’re used interchangeably. Sometimes people use one or the other or both. I think it’s helpful to separate them and particularly from an HR perspective and a leadership perspective, even as an individual as well, to decide upon what is resilience? What is Agility? Resilience is typically about that capacity to absorb shock isn’t it? Resilience is the mental, the physical, the emotional capacity to deal with difficulty if you like. It’s a survival instinct kind of thing. It’s a survival capability, like the roots of a tree that look like they could survive anything, no matter what’s thrown at them. But the thriving bit is probably more the agility. It’s more forward looking, isn’t it? It’s about sensing and responding to what’s going on. It’s about forward movement and momentum towards towards making things better. And towards making positive changes.”

Download your copy of The Resilience Toolkit: https://hr.ourtandem.com/resilience-toolkit

Free eBook – The Resilience Toolkit

Download your copy of The Resilience Toolkit: https://hr.ourtandem.com/resilience-toolkit

We recently hosted a series of conversations with leaders in the fields of employee experience, performance management and HR to discuss the impact of the most significant changes in work practices in over a century. We compiled the highlights, tips and tricks, frameworks and inspirational thoughts from the world’s foremost thought leaders in HR.

John Fitzgerald, Founder of Harmonics shared his insights on how to move from survival to attachment emotions:

“What we do as humans we trigger our self preservation. So we have five survival emotions, fear, anger, disgust, shame and sadness. It’s interesting actually, that disgust was derived from our a way that we preserved ourselves from infection, believe it or not! So those emotions are very prevalent in our environments right now. And they’re being triggered not just once, but quite often. I know that I found myself staying away from the nightly news and trying to self regulate myself away from being triggered back into these emotions. And when I hear the nightly news or hear sky and it’s it’s consistently drama unfolding, I start to go into those anger, emotions or sadness, emotions, and I we all as humans have the ability to self regulate and to move over to the attachment emotions of excitement, joy,and love and trust. This is where we want all organizations to be is in this space but we’re struggling with the survival emotions at the moment.”

Download your copy of The Resilience Toolkit: https://hr.ourtandem.com/resilience-toolkit

In a world of dispersed teams, remote working, shifting priorities and agility at every level of the world we live in, is it time to reconsider how we drive the employee experience. The employee experience has grown in relevance over the past number of years and unlocks the keys to building inspiring cultures. It’s fair to say that it looks different in every organisation. It encompasses every aspect of HR because everything we do in HR inevitably has an impact on our peoples’ experience. This has been the great opportunity but equally the great challenge with employee experience. It’s covered everything from the way we work to how we work to how we measure it.

Defining a New Era for Employee Experience Outcomes

The Covid-19 world has accelerated the need to bring this space to an entirely new level. Arguably, the role of the Head of Employee Experience is now the key instigator of driving cultures that can shift and readjust with the times we find ourselves in, inspiring the people within them to optimise performance, delivering the agility and resilience that is so pertinent today. This can be a defining new era for how we manage the role and the outcomes of Employee Experience.

To focus solely on one aspect of the experience is too narrow in focus. Choosing the employee engagement survey or even the regularity of a pulse survey as a sole focus narrows the view to one measure. It’s time we looked across the holistic experience, incorporating all the key drivers of experience. While it’s interesting to pulse the mood with ongoing engagement surveys, the reality is that our peoples’ mood can be influenced by a myriad of changing realities, internal or indeed external to the environment and the opinions can be transient capturing a moment in time rather than a true reality. That’s not to undermine the role of pulse surveys, they have a key part to play but shouldn’t be the only measure. The true measure is to consider what is the organisation doing to drive the experience. There’s a great quote that when a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower. Employee Experience has the opportunity to do just that, create the right conditions for people to grow, flowers are optional!

Taking a Broader View by Using the Key Drivers of Experience

Broadening out the measure could incorporate taking the key drivers of the experience including purpose, growth, leadership, voice, appreciation and let’s not forget trust! By taking this approach you can use a range of measurements to analyse what is the organisation doing to drive those experiences. The measures range from simple questions such as ‘does everyone have a development goal’, right through to the more complex questions such as ‘does our leaders provide the right level of direction and coaching to our people’. This would be measured by determining how many managers had a check in with their people in the past two months and what was discussed. There are many means of analysing this beyond the outcomes of an engagement survey. When we look at these wider measures, it can be a powerful means of moving the strategic agenda of employee experience.

HR have never had greater opportunity to influence employees’ experience than now. This is a pivotal moment for each person in a HR role – as now is the time to re-imagine every aspect of our culture and challenge the practices that ran the pre Covid-19 world. If there’s ever an opportunity for every Head of Employee Experience voice to be heard, it is now!

Free eBook – The Resilience Toolkit

Download your copy of The Resilience Toolkit: https://hr.ourtandem.com/resilience-toolkit

We recently hosted a series of conversations with leaders in the fields of employee experience, performance management and HR to discuss the impact of the most significant changes in work practices in over a century. We compiled the highlights, tips and tricks, frameworks and inspirational thoughts from the world’s foremost thought leaders in HR.

Aisling Teillard, Tandem CEO shared her insights on agile goals:

“Even on a wider basis, what we’re hearing a lot of is Pulse Surveys are going out regularly. So once every two weeks organisations are checking in on people – not to be an annoyance, but like very short, sharp interventions, like four to five questions on just ‘how are you doing?’. And then bringing that down to the team level, so they can see are there specific things as a team that need to happen as opposed to just the bird’s eye organizational view? Managing feedback in a much more structured way is definitely a thing because as people gear up for interim reviews, and people are kind of that little bit uncertain about where they stand, you know, putting some structure in about your feedback processes right now and giving managers recommended toolkits around that I think is really, really valuable. What you should be giving feedback on? Should you be using the normal rating scales or not? Should you engage in the normal performance practice or is it a softer check in approach? That’s a big trend that we’re seeing right now. There’s an awful lot of goal reorientation happening with people reshaping their goals and making them much more short term by nature so that the long range goals that they might have set at the beginning of the year are a little bit displaced right now. A lot of people are just kind of condensing their goals down into, okay, here’s what we’re going to focus on in the next few months. So a much more agile approach to setting goals is really is really common right now.”

Download your copy of The Resilience Toolkit: https://hr.ourtandem.com/resilience-toolkit

Free eBook – The Resilience Toolkit

Download your copy of The Resilience Toolkit: https://hr.ourtandem.com/resilience-toolkit

We recently hosted a series of conversations with leaders in the fields of employee experience, performance management and HR to discuss the impact of the most significant changes in work practices in over a century. We compiled the highlights, tips and tricks, frameworks and inspirational thoughts from the world’s foremost thought leaders in HR.

Alison Hodgson, Director of People at Tandem shared her insights about business priorities:

“There are only so many hours in the day. What has really happened is that prioritization and laser focus have totally taken on a whole new perspective here. You get to what matters most first. And so I think by by process of evolution, you’ve got to be fit. That’s what’s happened here. The priorities and the activities and the projects and the stuff that people were doing, it was survival of the fittest in terms of those priorities. So only those that really mattered and really made a difference actually cut through.”

Download your copy of The Resilience Toolkit: https://hr.ourtandem.com/resilience-toolkit

Free eBook – The Resilience Toolkit

Download your copy of The Resilience Toolkit: https://hr.ourtandem.com/resilience-toolkit

We recently hosted a series of conversations with leaders in the fields of employee experience, performance management and HR to discuss the impact of the most significant changes in work practices in over a century. We compiled the highlights, tips and tricks, frameworks and inspirational thoughts from the world’s foremost thought leaders in HR.

Aisling Teillard, Tandem CEO shares her insights on the importance of shaping culture:

“I think HR always have a role to kind of navigate the culture and the environment by which people operate in by putting triggers in place to make those things you want to happen almost, whether there’s symbolic triggers or actual changes to processes and the way we do things. Now is the time, you have the opportunity to experiment and try new stuff. But also now is the time to kind of get brave and transformative about things, because the agenda that HR would have wanted to serve probably was always in this direction. And now you have that burning platform to allow for those new processes and support structures to enable you to do that. HR have a great opportunity to lead from the front here and transfer, redirect and transform the organization and the culture that they that they have in front of them.”

Download your copy of The Resilience Toolkit: https://hr.ourtandem.com/resilience-toolkit

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