Engaging Executives: HR’s Responsibility to the Higher Levels

Engaging Executives: HR’s Responsibility to the Higher Levels

Engaging Executives

When experts talk about employee engagement, most people imagine lower-level employees and middle managers. These workers have minimal authority over their daily tasks, they are the least job-secure, and they tend to receive the lowest pay and worst benefits packages, meaning they are most likely to be disengaged from their work. As a result, the web is filled with engagement solutions to keep lower-level employees around.

Yet, while HR professionals devote the bulk of their energy to engaging this portion of the workforce, executives are suffering. Though they have greater responsibility and greater remuneration for their efforts, executives can still disengage from their work, lowering their productivity, and endangering the entire business – including those workers at lower levels. However, the engagement solutions that work for lower-level employees rarely apply to higher-level business leaders. Therefore, HR professionals need an entirely different strategy for executive engagement.

Understanding Executives

HR typically doesn’t pay much attention to executives for a couple reasons:

  1. Executives already earn high salaries, and they generally have more control over their schedules and tasks. Therefore, the monetary rewards and engagement strategies HR is most familiar with don’t work.
  2. Most HR reps can’t relate to executives.

Most HR professionals have more in common with low-level employees than upper-echelon executives. Most HR reps earn respectable salaries and average benefits; they complete daily tasks that have little bearing on the greater goals and direction of the company; and only the CHRO and similar top-tier HR workers ever interact with executives. Thus, few members of HR comprehend the lifestyle and struggles of working in the higher levels of an organization.

The first step to engaging executives is understanding executives. It is important to consider that although executives might boast different responsibilities, they are still human. As such, they experience stress and concern for their jobs, their subordinates’ jobs, and their families’ well-being. Further, executives have interests and hobbies, they consume media, and they take pleasure in small joys like the rest of us. Remembering this, HR reps should find it easier to empathize with higher-level workers.

It might also be useful to know what executives discuss with one another – which is not nearly as disparate from the lower-levels as HR reps might expect. Alongside infrequent discussions about business direction and organization design, executives lament their full schedules and intrusive meetings, gossip and chat about mutual acquaintances and people within the organization, and generally talk about what work needs to be done. A savvy HR professional will note that their discussions are nearly identical to those of lower-level workers.

HR’s Responsibility to the Higher Levels

Engaging Executives

Aside from their wealth and authority, executives aren’t terribly different than anyone else within a business. Therefore, HR reps only need to determine what motivates individual executives to develop effective engagement tactics for the upper echelon. Some common higher-level motivators are:

  • Need. Executives have finely honed talents, and they want to know their talents are integral for business success.
  • Passion. Like everyone else, executives want to like what they do.
  • Chemistry. Workplace culture is important; even executives want to like the people they work with.
  • Challenge. Executives tend to be competitive. If a job isn’t challenging enough, most will disengage.

It isn’t difficult to develop engagement programs around executives knowing how simple and common their needs and wants truly are. To stimulate their need motivation, HR reps can institute a “thank your boss” day, where higher-level employees receive executive gifts. To improve chemistry around the office, HR can organize team-building exercises that are mandatory for the C-suite.

Another useful tactic for engaging executives is to connect them more closely with their subordinates. While some high-level managers are naturally proficient at seeking out and befriending low-level employees, most executives maintain a boundary between themselves and the grunts. HR should strive to coach executives in their behavior toward lower levels, revealing their blind spots when it comes to leadership methods and results. HR should lead by example, placing people first and exemplifying how executives should interact with other members of the organization.

If necessary, HR should encourage executives to enroll in leadership training courses; just because they’ve reached the higher levels doesn’t mean they can’t acquire new skills and knowledge. If an organization invests in its people, its people will invest in the business – even executives understand the value of that.

About the Author:

Tiffany Rowe

Tiffany Rowe is a leader in marketing authority, she assists Seek Visibility and our clients in contributing resourceful content throughout the web. Tiffany prides herself in her ability to create and provide high quality content that audiences find valuable. She also enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content in various niches. With many years of experience, Tiffany has found herself more passionate than ever to continue developing content and relationship across multiple platforms and audiences.


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HR Specialists Talk About Their Stances On Time Tracking | Featured Image

HR Specialists Talk About Their Stances On Time Tracking

HR Specialists Talk About Their Stances On Time Tracking | Main Image

The exponentially growing digitalization of business and life itself is disrupting almost any industry in every country, and it didn’t bypass their HR departments either. Until recently, HR has operated relatively separately from the other parts of the organization, but the evolution of HRMS and SaaS solutions made the HR embedded in everyday business just as much as Marketing or R&D. On the other hand, just like new technologies have created new forms of organizing work (think about digital nomads and virtual organizations), so must the way of managing those employees differ from the conventional ones.

In my attempts to understand the challenges of managing people in large enterprises, as well as the shift in the approach that technology brings in this area, I spoke to a couple of experts in this area – a director of HR department in a large corporation, and a CEO of HR software developing company, about their views on employee time tracking as a business practice. Their rich experience in “both sides” of human resource management allowed them to discuss the benefits of this concept, but also to elaborate their objections.

It’s not for everyone

The first professional I talked to is Sonja Jovanović, head of HR in Serbian branch of accounting and advisory company Ernst&Young. Besides using manually filled timesheets for tracking revenue streams, and punching cards system for checking in and out of the building (although this serves primarily as a security measure), the company does not use any other forms of time tracking, nor do they intend to in the future. Working hours are flexible, remote work is allowed in some circumstances, and their company culture simply doesn’t leave much room for implementing this type of business practice.

The very nature of the industry of providing high-quality services to business clients requires a substantial level of professionalism and severity of their personnel. It takes a tremendous amount of confidence, followed by the strong and thorough selection, to entrust a client to a group of employees. “ […] Therefore, I do not see a situation in which a time tracking tool could bring any value to our organization,” says Sonja.

In EY, performance reviews and feedbacks are being conducted through the complex network of department managers and counselors, and though the employees do use computers, their performance simply cannot be seen nor measured by the amount of time spent on particular computer activities. “Our HRM is digitized in many ways, but tracking time does not fall into that. It simply isn’t applicable, because you cannot gauge the scope and quality of intellectual work by time,” she explains. “The more you try to frame people and their creative process, the greater the set-down will be, and the poorer results you can expect. This simple principle is something that many discipline-obsessed managers fail to understand.”

It’s about culture and priorities

In order to find which companies do find time tracking useful, or even a must have solution for their business, I spoke to Ivan Petrović, CEO of WorkPuls, a company providing time tracking solutions for businesses around the world.

“When it comes to implementation of time tracking solutions in medium and big companies, there are two basic factors that affect this. The first is the company culture, and the way productivity is understood in the company. The second factor are the individual views of managers, especially the HR Directors and their priorities”, says Ivan. WorkPuls works with various companies, from BPO companies, software and video gaming companies to construction companies and e-commerce businesses. While they think that there are certain patterns that one might observe among use cases of different customers, they say that there are also differences among specific goals different managers want to achieve.

“If you are in charge of HR in a company that has more than 500 employees like one of our clients, and your top level management has an initiative to increase productivity, or just wants to gain better insights into current ongoings, you might sometimes feel that it is impossible to know what everyone is working on currently, how happy or productive they are, and whether some teams or employees might be too loaded with work. So you want to find a way to get your insights efficiently, and this is what a good time tracking solution should provide. Such software gives you an easy overview of what your employees are doing at any given time, if this is what you want to know, but also whether they are getting more or less productive over a specific period of time; if they have too much work to do, whether they are “morning birds” or “night owls” and so on. With these insights, it is easier to work together with your employees to optimize workflow, provide a better working atmosphere, and consequently bring up the productivity of the whole company. Of course, all under the condition that your employees’ work is dominantly computer-bound,” explains Ivan.

Smaller companies, however, seem to have a different motive. “Speaking of smaller to medium size businesses, many times owners or managers look for an easier way to monitor whether everyone is working as promised, or they want to use insights to reduce the waste of time,” explains Petrović. “But there have also been cases where business owners used time tracking to see whether their employees needed any additional training with the tools they use. If some of your employees are spending way more time on those Excel sheets or Google Translate then the rest of the team, that might suggest that it’s time for additional training in that specific area.”

Since large companies already have their own payroll accounting solutions and punch in/punch out systems, the analytics side of time tracking software here becomes much more significant. Ivan mentions security related questions, along with the need to integrate time tracking data with other data in the company.

“There is an increasing need in this field to provide ever more flexible solutions, balancing the transparency for the employees with solid protection of security and privacy, within the company, but also towards the outside. Integration with other systems is also important.”

Control or motivation?

The overall impression was that for companies like these time tracking would not be yet another control mechanism, but a tool for improving the insight of HR professionals in everyday work and interactions of their people as well. It seems that if you are willing to dig deeper into the metrics, you might discover some remarkable ongoings which would hardly be detected in traditional ways of performance management. For many managers, this feels like a big step forward.

Although the digitalization of HR activities has opened great opportunities in terms of increasing the speed and quality of analytical processes and providing greater insights into organizational affairs, while at the same time reducing costs, there are still some downsides to be looked after. Downsizing the HR departments or burdening HR professionals with technical details are the first threats to successful adoption and modernization of people management. The serious threat to privacy that technology presents is the main reason why the initiative for using such tools should and must come from the HR. Bearing all this in mind, we can conclude that the basic challenge of the profession will be to recognize, develop and exploit the positive potentials of digitalization, while at the same time avoid, or at least minimize the concomitant risks.


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5 Ways HR Can Harness the Power of SMS

5 Ways HR Can Harness the Power of SMS

Today’s Human Resources departments have been irreversibly transformed by technology and the evolution of a global economy. These changes have brought about many key challenges facing modern HR departments, including management changes, organizational effectiveness, and development. The key to facing these challenges effectively is improving communications. Strong communication processes allow an HR department to manage change on the fly, know who to train and what to train them on, and improve the organization’s overall effectiveness.

Here are five ways you can use SMS to communicate better and solve some of the key challenges plaguing the department:

  1. Scheduling

Managing schedules is difficult, especially when they’re constantly changing. Using SMS is a great way to send out employee schedules quickly. You can send out notices if a particular shift needs to be filled, or if there’s an overtime request. Employees can even use short codes to request their schedule for a specific pay period or request a day off.

  1. Sending Meeting Reminders

If you’re trying to schedule annual benefits review meetings, performance reviews, or any other meetings with an individual or a group of employees, SMS reminders will ensure that they don’t slip through the cracks. A canceled or delayed meeting wastes time for both HR and the employees and delays the transfer of valuable information. A quick reminder helps keeps meetings run on-time with minimal additional costs, making it a simple way to improve efficiency.

  1. Forwarding Critical Messages

It’s important to have a plan for communicating messages that are time-sensitive. For example, if your office is closing for the day due to inclement weather, people need to know not to try braving the roads to come into the office. Perhaps there’s a memo that demands the attention of all employees or an all hands-on deck meeting announcement. No matter what the specifics are, you need a way to reliably reach out to everybody quickly.

With an open rate of 97%, SMS text messaging is a great option for your emergency communication process. Even more importantly, over 90% of SMS text messages are opened within three minutes or less. When you have a message that absolutely needs to get to everybody quickly, SMS can’t be beaten.

  1. Gathering Feedback

Gathering employee feedback is important for a couple of key reasons. First, you’ll have the chance to address employee concerns and increase retention. Just as importantly, you’ll be able to use employee and management feedback to determine skill and learning gaps in your organization. This information should be used to identify areas for an individual, departmental, and company-wide training.

Text messaging is the perfect platform to send out these surveys. They’re simple to put together and can be sent instantly. Employees can respond with quickly and multiple-choice questions can be tabulated on the fly.

  1. Motivating and Engaging

The happier your employees are, the harder they’ll work for you. If you have good company news to share, send it out in a mass text message. Throughout each week or month, send one or two quick motivational messages. You’ll be able to keep everybody informed and motivated without any hassle.

Creating employee schedules, gathering feedback, and motivating the workforce are some of your most important tasks. By following the advice laid out above, you can use SMS to make your job easier and help your department communicate with employees more effectively. In the end, this helps you improve the entire organization, from top to bottom.

For more information on how integrating an SMS software can boost HR communications, click here!


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4 Ways Managers Can Promote Self-Motivation Amongst Their Team

I Love My Job

We are in an age when employers are waking up to the fact that pay and bonuses, while necessary, are only the basics that are needed to retain your workforce. To really inspire motivation, it is widely agreed by psychologists and experts (not to mention popularized in numerous TEDTalks) that the best way is to give employees more autonomy and ownership over their work, provide opportunities to grow and develop and inspire them with purpose.

This creates a much more challenging task for management. Aside from creating the right conditions, how can managers help inspire their team towards self-motivation?

Set goals but also milestones

Ever since Edwin Locke first revealed his 1960s research into goal setting and motivation, it has become clear that effective goal setting is a key to great leadership. Even with purpose, we all need something to work towards to boost our motivation and know we’re making progress. Aside from making your goals SMART, it’s important to recognize the value of setting milestones for each goal. Goals should be larger benchmarks which will take time (a month or quarter) to achieve. While having goals in place can boost motivation, sometimes your reports can become overwhelmed if the goal is too big. That’s where milestones come into play.

For each goal, encourage your reports to come up with the smaller milestones that will need to be completed to reach their goals. This can be as simple as:

Goal: Get 100 people to participate in our quarterly webinar

Milestones:

#1 Confirm speaker by …

#2 Create email list, invites and reminders by …

#3 Create banners for social media campaign by …

Breaking goals down into smaller steps will help your team members stay focused and give them direction if they become lost or overwhelmed. This will also facilitate the move towards greater autonomy.

Create regular learning opportunities

Constantly helping your employees develop is not only a priority for HR and managers, but also one of the main things top candidates are looking for in an employer. However, this doesn’t have to result in expensive external training.

Consider holding regular voluntary learning sessions during which you share tips and tricks on how you organize yourself, balance priorities, set goals, give feedback, or any advice you think could help your team optimize their work experience. Open it up for your team members to also share their own insights. Inviting inspirational speakers is great but, if you lack the budget or space, joining conferences and meetups or even sharing powerful TEDTalks can boost motivation and creativity amongst your workforce.

It’s ok to break the bad news, but provide a solution

While you should never avoid talking when things aren’t going well, you should always keep up the motivation to overcome these challenges by leveraging your team’s strengths. This shouldn’t be a generic “I believe we can do anything” talk, it should be honest. How do you do this? It’s essential that managers know the strengths of each of their teammates and are able to strategize about how each of these strengths can be put to use to overcome challenges as a team.

For example, if you’re not set to bring in your target number of leads by the end of the month, propose a new campaign that could utilize your PR team’s strength in event planning and your sales lead’s great oratory skills. Bonus points: Research by Gallup shows that recognizing your employee’s strengths boosts engagement and thereby also productivity, profitability and quality of work.

Allow employees to create their own purpose

Finding purpose in one’s work is one of the biggest drivers of motivation. If you really believe in what you’re doing and the impact it could have on society, you’re going to have the motivation to go the extra mile. Deloitte’s 2017 report on millennials emphasized a strong connection between employee loyalty and purpose and asserted that, “It is well documented that businesses with a genuine sense of purpose tend to demonstrate stronger long-term growth, and employees can usefully tap into this.”

For example, after experiencing a lack of development advice while working in the corporate sector, my manager, and one of the co-founders of our company, was motivated to create a solution that would enable managers and peers to provide more frequent and real-time performance feedback. Meanwhile, I joined the company with an interest in how our tool could be used to create more equitable workplaces.

Rather than encouraging me to focus only on the original purpose of our solution, my manager has encouraged my interest in this aspect of our product by supporting my proposals for research and projects on this topic. While both of us are motivated by the same purpose: providing greater access to performance feedback and growth, we are able to find motivation from different angles of the same purpose. Remember that a major benefit of diversity is the ability to see your solution from different angles. Taking each team member’s perspective into account and letting it take off has enriched our purpose and product.


If you want to share this article the reference to Steffen Maier and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Recognize Employee Achievements: 5 Ways how to give Positive Feedback | Featured Image

Recognize Employee Achievements: 5 Ways how to give Positive Feedback

Recognize Employee Achievements: 5 Ways how to give Positive Feedback | Main Image

Feedback shouldn’t only be given when there’s a problem. It’s also important to let your employees know they’re on the right track and that they’re valued within the company. Recognizing achievements can signal to other employees the types of skills that should be enhanced and behavior that should be replicated. For those of you who are uncomfortable giving positive feedback, following the right steps will help you to deliver honest recognition that doesn’t feel forced or insincere.

Putting positive feedback to the test

In his insightful Ted Talk “What makes us feel good about our work?”, behavioral economist Dan Ariely describes an experiment he conducted on the correlation between recognition and motivation. In the experiment people were offered declining amounts of money to circle pairs of identical letters on a sheet of paper. In the first scenario, people had to write their name on the paper. When they were finished, they handed it to an experimenter who quickly scanned the paper, said “aha” and placed it on a pile. In the second scenario, the participants did not write their name on the paper. When they were finished, the experimenter placed the paper on the pile without looking at it. In the final scenario, the experimenter put the sheets directly into a shredder.

The results showed that people in the first scenario ended up working for half as much money as the people in the third scenario. Watching their work being destroyed immediately was extremely demotivating, despite being offered money to do an easy task over and over again. Surprisingly, it turns out that the average stopping point for people in the second scenario was almost the same as those in the third. As Mr. Ariely explained, “Ignoring people’s performance was almost as bad as shredding it in front of their eyes.” Even just a simple acknowledgment from the experimenter had a marked impact on the subjects’ motivation.

Why is positive feedback important?

A common misconception is that motivation in the workplace is primarily based on monetary rewards. It’s not always possible to give your employees a raise every time they do well, and surprisingly it might not be the strongest incentive either. A 2013 study by Make Their Day and Badgeville revealed that 83% of employees surveyed found recognition for contributions to be more fulfilling than rewards and gifts. Another 88% believed praise from managers in particular was either very or extremely motivating.

Positive feedback lets your employees know that they’re valued by the company and is especially important for building confidence in newer employees. It’s also helpful to give positive feedback when an employee improves in an area they had previously had difficulty with, making it very useful as a follow up to constructive feedback.

Don’t forget that your top performers also need positive feedback. Many managers tend to neglect their top performers when it comes to feedback because they see it more as a tool for helping improve the performance of employees who are struggling. Recognizing them for their efforts and showing appreciation are important steps to retaining your top talent.

While creating a positive feedback culture starts with managers, encouraging your employees to give positive feedback to each other is the step that will diffuse and institutionalize the practice within the office. The Make Their Day/Badgeville study reported that 76% of respondents saw praise from peers as very or extremely motivating. Peer-to-peer feedback can inspire better interpersonal relationships between employees and boost team spirit.

How to give positive feedback:

  1. Be specific

Avoid generic comments like “good job!” Explain what your employee did in particular so they can learn what type of behavior they should keep up in future. Instead of saying “you’re a great team player” describe what they did and why you appreciated it. “The extra coaching you gave to the new recruits on the last project helped them to learn the appropriate procedures, and helped our department to reach our deadline on time.” This will also help managers who are uncomfortable giving positive feedback. If you stick with stating the facts and why you thought their performance deserved recognition you can avoid clichés.

  1. Timing

Timing is an important aspect of giving positive feedback. If you wait too long both you and the receiver might forget the details of their performance. This will undermine one of the main reasons for giving positive feedback: pointing out positive behavior so it can be encouraged and replicated. If you put it off for too long, when the employee finally receives appreciation for their work, so much time may have passed that it could feel more like an afterthought. If you don’t have time to speak with them straight away, send them a message or email. Letting the opportunity to give praise go by in some instances and not others can unintentionally create double standards.

  1. Get into the habit of giving feedback more frequently

Failing to recognize when your team has gone above and beyond can demotivate them. Not recognizing their efforts will tell them they simply met expectations. Getting into the habit of giving positive feedback more often will motivate your employees to achieve more.

Be careful not to base positive feedback exclusively on results. Sometimes even if an employee puts forth their best effort, a project could fall through due to funding, a client may decide to go in a different direction, etc. It’s at these times that positive feedback can be most effective in counteracting the demotivating feeling your employee may be experiencing after not seeing their efforts materialize.

  1. Set goals and new challenges

Even if you only have positive feedback to give, you should encourage your employees to continue improving by helping them set goals and new challenges. This is especially important for top performers who may become demotivated if they don’t feel they’re developing or being challenged.

Start by asking them if they have any professional goals or objectives they’d like to accomplish in the next few months, or in the next few years. Consider how these short and long term goals could fit with the company’s objectives. Then offer support finding ways they could achieve these goals, for example, taking on a stretch assignment or participating in a training course. Keep in mind that the goals you’re setting together should be challenging but achievable, and won’t cut into your employee’s work-life balance.

  1. Encourage a positive feedback culture

A 2009 Mckinsey Quarterly survey found that respondents saw praise from their managers, leadership attention and a chance to lead projects or task forces as no less or even more effective motivators than cash based incentives. Aside from giving praise, you can also recognize your employees’ achievements by suggesting they give feedback and coaching to peers who are having difficulties in that particular area. This can help top employees develop leadership skills, and at the same time boost the performance levels of other employees.

Alternatively, you could suggest they give a presentation on this project, skill, etc. to the team. This will demonstrate an example of what you’re looking for to other employees and reinforce your recognition of their success. If employees share their successes with the rest of the team more often it will help foster a sense of community. Encouraging your employees to give more feedback and empowering them with new leadership skills is one of the best ways to keep them challenged and motivated.

Summary and take-aways:

An effective manager consistently recognizes their employees’ strengths and achievements with positive feedback. Employees who feel their work is appreciated by their manager and peers are highly motivated and more likely to stick with their current job. Giving more positive feedback can be a great way to encourage team spirit and a positive work culture.

  • Give examples and be specific
  • Don’t wait too long
  • Give feedback more frequently
  • Don’t base feedback on results
  • Set goals and new challenges
  • Encourage peer-to-peer feedback and sharing of achievements

If you want to share this article the reference to Steffen Maier and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

5 Ways Companies are Delinking Performance Management from Pay

Written by Andrea Hak, Content Writer at Impraise.

shutterstock_145160614

Awarding higher pay and bonuses to top performers seems like the straightforward way to incentivize and retain great employees. The most popular format being performance based bonuses, which keep base pay manageable and provide incentives for better performance. However, research shows us that this may not be as simple as it seems.

A study by Willis Towers Watson found that only 20% of employers in North America actually believe merit pay is effective in driving high performance.

Traditionally money was seen as the main incentive used to motivate employees. Higher productivity results in higher salaries and bonuses. For companies, it’s been used as the main tool to attract, retain and engage employees. Today we’ve learned that the key to motivation is much more complex than that.

What psychologists and thought leaders have found is that money can actually demotivate employees from working at their peak performance by leading to a prioritization of rewards over learning and innovation. In one of the most widely viewed TEDTalks, career analyst Dan Pink explains that it’s actually intrinsic motivators like autonomy, mastery and purpose that drive real motivation.

To provide their employees with more opportunities to grow and develop, many companies are now moving to continuous, peer based and ratingless systems. The key question that many of them face is how they can continue to make compensation decisions, without inhibiting the feedback process.

In a recent eBook we identified five trends companies are following to delink performance from pay. Here is a summary of what we found:

1.  Keeping one annual review for compensation decisions

The most commonly used method is to introduce more continuous informal feedback and quarterly performance reviews, but continue to keep one annual review specifically for making compensation decisions. Rather than being in the dark until the annual review, employees will know where they are and how they’ve improved at each quarterly check-in. Compensation is still linked to end of the year feedback but the feedback they receive throughout the year is focused on growth and development.

2.  In ratingless systems

With more and more companies switching to ratingless reviews, this question has emerged as the main obstacle: without ratings how do we calculate compensation? Some companies have taken the position that ratings based reviews leave too much potential for bias. For example, a person’s communication skills can often be assessed differently depending on how communicative the rater is or how much they value communication within the team. However, when compensation decisions are based on a qualitative review the potential for rater bias actually increases, giving managers more leeway to decide how they want to award pay. Here are two ways companies are overcoming this:

Performance Calibration

Calibration meetings include a group of managers who discuss the performance of each employee.Together they come up with the best way to allocate pay and bonuses. Including multiple perspectives into the decision process is meant to separate rater bias from reviews and allow for a more accurate allocation of pay

Peer Reviews

Who better to ask about an individual’s performance than their teammates? Instead of depending on managers to make the majority of the decisions, some companies are basing pay solely on peer reviews. To avoid introducing ratings, employees are asked a series of questions about their peers, for example:

  • “How much did this person grow over the past 3 months? Please provide examples.”
  • “This person is your strongest team member. Explain why.”

3.  Objectives and Key Results

Setting Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is the process made famous by companies like Google, Intel, Adobe and Linkedin. The idea is that allowing employees to set their own goals provides greater clarity in what’s expected and what needs to be done to perform well. On top of this, individual OKRs can more easily be aligned with team and company objectives. How these companies set compensation:

  • Employees regularly set their own OKRs with manager approval.
  • At the end of the performance period, compensation decisions are made by assessing whether and how well employees reached their OKRs.
  • Employees may not always complete their OKRs but assessing how they went about achieving them is taken into account.
  • This is combined with a review process during which information is gathered about their performance from their self-assessment, manager and peers.
  • Compensation is then decided based on OKRs, plus factors such as skill development, collaboration, leadership abilities and their contribution to the team/company.

4.  Getting Employees to give more feedback

Rather than trying to separate pay from feedback, some companies are actually using bonuses based on peer feedback to boost engagement. A joint study by SHRM and Globoforce found: “Peer-to-peer is 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition.” And dramatically, “When companies spend 1% or more of payroll on recognition, 85% see a positive impact on engagement.”

  • To implement this, some companies are allocating budgets to each employee. They can then use this to award cash bonuses to peers along with positive feedback. Rather than leaving pay solely up to managers, this system includes everyone in the decision process.
  • One of our clients came up with an innovative way to gamify peer feedback. Employees are given the opportunity to award gold, silver and bronze ratings to each piece of feedback they receive. Those who have shared the top most helpful feedback with their peers receive a bonus.

5.  Complete transparency

Some companies are rejecting individual performance based bonuses altogether in favor of complete transparency. For example, Buffer has come up with their own salary formula based on the person’s role, experience level and loyalty (years with the company). This essentially eliminates the compensation question altogether. In this type of system, everyone knows exactly where they stand and feedback can truly be focused solely on growth and development.

Alternatively, some companies have decided to slash the idea of individual rewards altogether, instead basing pay on team performance. Keep in mind that a study by PWC found that the ideal team size in this type of system is under five employees, with 60% of people becoming demotivated over five and 90% becoming demotivated in a team of over ten. Familiarity with team members was also an important factor.

Conclusion

It’s important that you find the best system for your culture and company objectives. Whether you place emphasis on teamwork or want to give individuals more autonomy over their personal development, it’s essential to research and understand which method will work best for you. No matter what you choose, the most important thing is that you clearly communicate to your managers and employees how this new system will work and how it will impact them.

About the Author:

Andrea Hak

Andrea Hak works as a content writer at Impraise, a web based and mobile solution for actionable, real-time feedback at work. Impraise turns performance reviews into an easy process by enabling users to give and receive valuable feedback in real-time and when it’s most helpful. With Impraise, employees can better analyze their strengths and learning opportunities, track their progress and pursue their personal and professional goals all year long. Managers can easily set up 360 degree feedback for their team or themselves, resulting in more meaningful 1-on-1s and more engaged people.

Contact Details: andrea@impraise.com


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Hollywood Legend Jerry Weintraub Always Heard “Yes”

Hollywood Legend Jerry Weintraub

Hollywood Legend Jerry Weintraub

The biography of Hollywood legend Jerry Weintraub is truly extraordinary. He was a American film producer and actor whose films won him three Emmy’s. Weintraub is also known for being a talent manager (one could say a recruiter) and concert promoter. The list of musicians he represented includes: Elvis Presley, John Denver, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, and The Four Seasons. In many ways Jerry was the “Godfather” of concert promoters and a true showman.

Further, Weintraub is also known for producing films such as Nashville (1975), Diner (1982), The Karate Kid (1984), Vegas Vacation (1997) and the Ocean’s franchise (2001). More recently, Weintraub was the executive producer for a couple of HBO series – The Brink and Behind the Candelabra (both 2013). In 2011, HBO broadcast a television documentary about Weintraub’s life, called His Way. Weintraub was an amazing story teller and his book When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man and documentary are worth checking out for sure. I want to focus on one of my favorite Weintraub stories that hits home [as the time it was written we get ready for Thanksgiving 2016].

Weintraub Refused to Go Quietly

As the story goes, in 1969, Weintraub was living in New York on 54th Street and awoke at three o’clock in the morning to proclaim, “I just had a crazy dream” to his wife Jane Morgan (an enormously talented singer in her own right whom he managed). Jane said, “What was the dream?” Jerry proclaimed, “I saw a sign in front of Madison Square Garden that said ‘Jerry Weintraub Presents Elvis.’” Jane then said, “That’s crazy. That’s nuts. You know, you don’t know Elvis and you don’t know Colonel Parker. You know, how do you expect to do this?” Jerry then quipped, “I don’t know them now but I will.”

For the next year from 1969-1970 Jerry’s first phone call of the day, at 8:30 in the morning, was to Colonel Tom Parker and (as reported by Weintraub in his memoir) here’s how it went.

JW: Good morning, Colonel, this is Jerry Weintraub. I want to take Elvis on tour.

Colonel Parker: What are you, crazy? Why do you keep calling here? You’re wasting your money. First of all, Elvis is not working right now. Second of all, if he were working I have a lot of promoters that I owe dates too. A lot of producers I owe dates to. And it’s not gonna be you. It’s never gonna be you.

After a solid year of rejection one morning, in 1970, Colonel Parker had something different to say than the usual dismissive “No” “not interested.”

Colonel Parker: You still want to take my boy on tour?

JW: Yes, very badly.

Colonel Parker: Okay, you be in Las Vegas (in two days) at 11:00 o’clock with a million dollars and we’ll talk a deal.

Weintraub Gets a “Yes” Finally

The year was 1970 and, therefore, securing 1 million dollars in two days had long odds. Jerry didn’t have a million dollars and, in fact, owed a bank about $65k. By sheer persistence and phoning practically everyone he ever met or knew within a 48 hour period, low and behold, he found a wealthy business owner in Seattle, WA that said “Yes.” The Elvis super-fan, from the Pacific Northwest, was willing to wire Jerry a million dollars site unseen for a chance to fund an Elvis concert tour. Weintraub showed up in Las Vegas at the bank 2 days later and worked out a deal with Colonel Parker.

Elvis proceeded to put on an incredibly successful and lucrative concert tour. The tour would also be remembered for providing concert goers with reasonable ticket prices. As the tour came to a close, Elvis, Weintraub and Colonel Parker cashed in on the tour for sure.

What’s more, at the conclusion of the tour Colonel Tom Parker took Jerry to a back room (behind the stage) and proceeded to reveal a huge pile of cold hard cash. Jerry proclaimed, “What’s this?” Parker exclaimed: “This is the money from the t-shirts, the hats, the buttons, and so on that have been sold throughout the tour.” Jerry then said, “We didn’t have a deal for the merchandise.” Parker then said, “You are my partner 50/50.” He then took his cane and smacked the table and said, “Half is mine and half is yours. Are we good?” After the tour with Elvis, Weintraub went on to have a storied Hollywood career partnering with some of the biggest stars in music and television.

The Power of Persistence is Undervalued

It’s funny how we often only see the ‘final product’ of a person or group’s success and assume that they must have had amazing breaks, luck, or connections to get where they are at. What’s often lost, by people, is the struggle of how difficult it is to achieve truly extraordinary things. It takes persistence and sheer will to do hard things. Often many obstacles must be conquered along the way.

George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts, and Matt Damon (just some of the star-studded cast of the Ocean’s franchise) have all commented on the amazing power Jerry had of getting everyone to a “Yes” when the odds were incredibly long to do so. In order to get all of the A-list actors to align their schedules to shoot the Ocean’s movies was nearly impossible. The odds of any other producer being able to make it happen would probably be about 0%.

However, Weintraub would call each cast member and tell them when the dates were for shooting and when they would inevitably say, “Jerry I can’t do it I’m busy during that time… no seriously I’m out.” Jerry would respond with, “Yea, I know you are busy but everyone else is in and you will be able to do it.” Famously he would tell each actor that all the other actors were all “in” even though they had said they were “out.”

Through sheer force of will Weintraub made it happen. There’s a lesson here.

The Weintraub Way for Business & Recruiting

When recruiters or business professionals are told “No” this can lead to cracks in their resilience, resolve, and self-confidence. We can begin to think we aren’t good enough, don’t have the necessary skills and abilities to do awesome things and, therefore, become unmotivated and depressed. But the Weintraub Way is to turn that negativity on it’s head and go in the opposite direction. When people say “No” or “It’s not going to happen” maybe you should double-down. The thought should be “Oh, it’s going to happen all right.” One of the great motivators for the human spirit is the ability to overcome obstacles and ‘win over’ the folks who aren’t on board with what we are ‘selling’. What is more, there is little in life that compares to the incredible high of ‘proving everyone wrong’ and accomplishing big things despite those that don’t believe.

There’s little doubt that there had to be mornings, in the 300+ phone calls that Jerry made to Colonel Parker, where he doubted his abilities and his power to persuade. But he didn’t let it hinder him or his ‘dream’. In the end he made the deal and was a key player in one of the most successful concert tours of all time. By sticking to a plan and being determined to see it through (no matter how difficult things get) individuals get a true sense of accomplishment. There is no substitute for the euphoria that comes from “Beating the Odds.”

So, you might be asking, “What the heck does this have to do with Thanksgiving?” Thanksgiving is a time for reflection. This year I’m going to think about how glad I am that over the years I’ve been told I couldn’t do something. Even though I didn’t appreciate it at the time, hearing this skepticism has likely helped light the fire within me even hotter. The fire to prove the doubters wrong is powerful.

I’m Thankful For…

When you sit down for Thanksgiving this year with your family and friends take a moment to say thank you to those that have told you “No” or openly questioned your ideas, motives, abilities, or work ethic. It’s highly likely that those folks, that you may have perceived as shutting the door on your ambition, have helped to make you the success you are today.

Thanks Jerry Weintraub for sharing with us this incredible anecdote about the power of perseverance, pride, and not taking “No” for an answer.

In your own experience, are you able to pinpoint particular times when someone doubted you or said “No”? Did the rejection serve as a motivation for you to work even harder to prove them wrong? Have you ever thought to be thankful for those that weren’t on board with what you were selling?  What other forms of motivation do find the most useful?


Source: Hollywood Legend Jerry Weintraub Always Heard “Yes” – Crelate

Enhancing Your Workplace Performance with 360-Degree Feedback

Written by Steffen Maier. Originally published at Impraise Blog.

Startup Stock Photos

By now, you’re probably familiar with the term 360-degree feedback (If not, check out our handy guide here for an outline and some perks of introducing it into your workplace.)

If you want a feedback process that gets the best from your team and allows them to grow, 360-feedback is the way forward. It’s a collaborative process which eliminates issues that arise when only managers provide insight, instead allowing people to gain a more well-rounded view of their strengths, weaknesses and how they are able to develop within their team.

Self-Awareness & Accountability

Feedback culture can also lead to higher levels of self-awareness. In reviewing their colleagues, people will have an increased awareness of how they perceive others’ workplace behaviours and performance, likely making them more self-aware and therefore better at evaluating and improving their own performance.

People’s motivation comes from knowing that their work is being acknowledged. If there is a consistent culture of constant real-time feedback in place, employees are likely to up their game at work in order to be viewed favorably, making them both more self-aware and more accountable for their performance.

Peers

Although as a manager you have a valuable insight into your employees’ work, their peers will undoubtedly offer a different perspective.

Peer reviews are effective in the sense that people’s colleagues hold a different awareness of their colleagues working styles, interactions and how they’re using their time. This is why 360-degree feedback works. It allows for input to come from a perspective that managers alone may be unable to provide. Gaining performance feedback from someone in another department that you’re currently working closely on a project with is actually likely to be more beneficial than that of your manager who may know little to nothing about the project and the work involved.

When peer evaluation is used alongside managerial feedback, an all-round view can be established; something which is highly useful for team members as they look to improve their performance.

A recent study from Globoforce found that 85% of those who already have peer feedback implemented as part of their performance review feel that they are more appreciated, with 88% also expressing more job satisfaction than those only reviewed by a single supervisor. Feeling such levels of satisfaction can lead to those who are happy and feel appreciated: these are the people that have more reason to exert themselves at work than those who feel undervalued regardless of their efforts.

Research has also found that peer relationships have a huge impact on people’s work lives. Peer camaraderie is the number one reason that people go the extra mile at work: people are more likely to exert themselves if there is a sense that it also benefits their colleagues. Employees that have good relationships with their co-workers, and value them as part of a team, are also likely to value their input and want to improve their performance based on their colleagues’ feedback in order to achieve a better working environment for everyone.

Managers and 360-feedback

It’s also important to acknowledge the ways in which 360- feedback can assist managerial performance. Receiving both positive and constructive feedback from your team members can have hugely beneficial impacts. 360-feedback encourages employees to provide upward feedback on areas that they perhaps wouldn’t have felt able to express without such practices set in place. It’s a unique opportunity to gain new insight into your working style, skill-set, and the way you interact with your team.

Research has found 360-feedback to be incredibly beneficial for managers. Those who were originally rated low or moderately during upward feedback reviews showed improvements over time. In order for it to actually improve performance, however, 360-degree feedback must be met with follow-ups: the same research also established that managers who followed up and discussed their feedback improved more than those who did not.

Alongside 1-on-1 meetings to discuss manager-employee feedback for example, such follow ups could be implemented in the form of quarterly company-wide reviews to establish whether issues that arose have been resolved. This article from APA highlights the importance of following up feedback and the difference it can make.

Real-time, 360-degree feedback is a sure-fire way to improve performance in the workplace. It’s beneficial, whether from having the process implemented to improve people’s work ethic and sense of recognition or the specific feedback received providing people with insights and all-important goals to work towards. The argument for ditching the old-school process of simple manager to employee feedback in favor of the 360 is indisputable.

Using Impraise, you can ensure that feedback is shared amongst all team members, ensuring an open and ongoing conversation about progress and development, all without interrupting your daily work-flow. This is not, of course, to say that performance reviews and digital feedback should replace face-to-face interaction and conversations about progress. Instead, using tools like Impraise to support your current system with real-time, 360-degree feedback helps to create a more communicative, constantly developing and high-achieving team.

About the Author:

steffen-maier

Steffen Maier is co-founder of Impraise a web-based and mobile solution for actionable, timely feedback at work. Based in New York and Amsterdam, Impraise turns tedious annual performance reviews into an easy process by enabling users to give and receive valuable feedback in real-time and when it’s most helpful. The tool includes an extensive analytics platform to analyze key strengths and predict talent gaps and coaching needs.


Source: Advantages of 360-degree feedback to Improve Employee Performance — Impraise Blog – Employee performance management, reviews and 360 feedback