Updated: Dec 5, 2018
The ‘Annual Performance Review’ is dead, and long may it stay dead. To loud applause!
Well not quite yet, but the process is not well. Some have described the annual performance review as a slightly less attractive process than ‘root canal surgery’. With appropriate apologies to all orthodontists and dentists.
These now seemingly archaic processes are being removed from our business lives slowly. I wanted to discuss a little about a potential replacement strategy. Perhaps even to hasten the annual reviews demise from the 'business ecosystem'.
Your first step to ridding the business of the annual review process. Is to plan how to replace the hind-sight retrospective driven. Negative human interaction and reporting.
A new approach could be ‘Experience Management’, supported with eLearning, microlearning, xAPI. Collectively used to gather and acknowledge all internal and external (to the organisation) learning, courses, and acquired skills. Adding a Learning record store. To retain all qualifications, accreditation and learning undertaken. This will provide deep analytics capability to the business.
All of these as a collective, tell you much more about the human in front of you. Individual motivation, skills, interests, their influence across your business. Importantly willingness to up-skill and learn more. Being a better contributor to the business and their colleagues, as they progress.
If we are to call a new process a name, I chose to call it, ‘Experience Management’.
Experience Management; is about, providing relevant and rich information. Specifically on how an individual contributor, or team members are performing and achieving in real-time.
Designed to give each employee the respect and opportunity to self-identify and self-modify their job performance, tasks and outcomes.
To adjust what they do, to meet actual measurements and results required and agreed.
To allow your employees to fine tune if you will, ‘on the run’, their own performance. Define their own response based on real data supported by peer or group comparison. Giving them real-time measures and tracking.
Give the keys, to the Smart people, and let smart people do smart things.
The reality check here is most people want, and choose to do a great job. To be highly regarded, valued. Respected for that work.
The key then to this is, sharing that recognition with the individuals and their managers and peers.
So how do we get to a ‘Experience Culture’ centric model. Building and strengthening core knowledge to create a workplace that builds trust, motivation. Puts fun back into the job.
I think Experience Management at the individual level is one solution, so I’ll stay with the individual for this process thinking.
The first step then, is to identify all the core data points that could be made available to the individual. Data points as information and performance guidance in real-time. Supporting information.
In a sense I want to reverse engineer Business Intelligence, and rather than business outputs and measures after the fact. The concept is to provide the individual with the inputs that provide or add up-to real-time guidance. Actual results based on system inputs, time, numbers or measurements.
Key inputs from - LMS, LRS, xAPI, IoT and AI will all be contributors to the Experience Picture of the individual - ongoing, current and continually updated.
'Business Intelligence real-time, at the individual level.'
Of course, a vast potential for a variety of inputs exists and that will only increase. They could include any relevant capture systems or business systems where process data is captured and managed. From there to ‘IoT devices’ (Internet of Things) that add relevance or physical location data.
Artificial Intelligence AI, will certainly be heavily integrated in the future into this kind of approach. AI it has the potential to provide ‘a rich well of usable, contextually relevant data’.
Remember - Robots can’t learn soft-skills.
Simply put, for example a call centre should measure not just the number of calls handled. They should add to that the relevant data points of;
· call results/outcomes,
· calls handed-off to management,
· calls resulting in retention,
· new product recommendations,
· repairs to solve,
· engineering bookings,
· retention or loss and reasons given
If this is tracked at the individual level and measured, peer compared, mapped to agreed targets. Continually fine-tuned, based on reality and feed-back. How the person is conducting him or herself daily against peers and against expected results becomes evident.
I think you get the drift. What we may see is the pointlessness of just policing the number of calls, but the actual results achieved from those calls handled, is the real key. Each one of those listed outcomes is a step-off point to improve customer interaction and relationship and create potential for better business outcomes.
What this approach gives us is the capacity to effectively analyse results at the individual level. How they compare and what if any, are the adjustments required. That potentially leads us to a better training or coaching pathway.
“A targeted pathway to help the individual specifically. Not by taking the whole team though generalized training, in the hope of picking up on some aspect of the process.
Fine-tuned, learning targeted at knowledge, skills or attitude. All designed to help that individual be better, add more value, and enjoy the results”.
The whole point is for those employees, to see how they are performing as individuals. Creating the opportunity to improve task handling or function of the role themselves. Or indeed, for that employee to train for advancement. To take their skills elsewhere in the business, where they can add more value overall.
The outcome, creates a pathway to being better, growing in overall performance. Building personal confidence and individual self-awareness.
This step, is the first to an 'employee-centric culture' being embraced by the business.
The penultimate, and next key step, is giving each employee access to take on learning/eLearning in the workplace. Learning in bite-sized chunks, or on a mobile device of choice, at a time that is convenient, in any place they want to complete it.
Microlearning can be deployed accurately by skill, group and individual to target precisely with skills, updates using spaced-learning techniques to deliver curated learning at the point of need. This leads to self-managed or self-guided improvement strategy and a desire to consume more learning.
The last step in this part of the process is building from that baseline of potential development for the individual.
This needs to be met with eLearning systems and learning technologies that allow development. Personal self-selected training with Learning Technologies integrated into each employees daily life.
Learning then can become part of what they do, want to do. Drives sharing, collaboration, new skills with knowledge retention. A core desire to learn more. All leading towards a Learning lead, Learner-centric and ‘Experience based Culture’
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