A Fresh Start on Performance Reviews: Alere Sets a Great Example
I sat in on an informative webinar put on by CLO Media recently that focused on how to improve perfomance reviews as a development tool. This is an ongoing sore point with most HR executives, but this seminar shared a case study that gives us all reason to hope that a better performance review process that really does raise employee engagement and productivity could be attainable.
The featured speaker, Vice President, Global Talent Management Maureen Whatley of Alere, a medical devices company, shared their recently started journey away from the formal, strict, useless, unloved annual performance review to a better system of ongoing performance, with the goal of having better focused performance “conversations” that support the corporate goals of raising producivity and building a better talent pool for the future.
I will share two of the key slides that resonated with me, as they strongly echoed how Bovo-Tighe works with teams to raise engagement and productivity. The first dealt with setting a goal to make all human development conversations ongoing and meaningful.
We emphasize themes like “two-way dialogue” in our training work, too. I really liked the key point the speaker made about putting the emphasis on training the managers. Embed within their leadership mindsets these new conversational habits about performance, and give them tools to help them fully adopt that new mindset. Another key: This change from old system to new is a process, not an event. Ms. Whatley made it clear that at Alere much work remains to be done in habitualizing the new development mindsets at all managerial levels.
Below is the other slide that leapt out at me. It shares Alere’s focus on “strengths-based” development, where you play up an employee’s strengths and work around weaknesses (or pair the employee with co-workers whose strengths/weaknesses are complementary.)
Another way to explore this approach is to work on aligning each employee’s internal motivators with the tasks that best match them. That also plays to strengths, as it unleashes passion for the role that employee needs to serve for the team to succeed. Also, “more understanding of self and team” is where we start most of our work, with any team of people. Awareness of how your own motivators drive you, and how your behavior impacts others, is a great starting point for any initiative to raise team-based engagement and productivity.
Alere is really on to something, and I tip my cap to Maureen and her team for taking such a big plunge! I hope you find inspiration in their innovations and import aspects of their ideas into your own home-grown solutions.
And, of course, if we can help let us know!