0
P R E S E N T E D B Y N . J . H E S S A S S O C I A T E S
W W W . N J H E S S A S S O C I A T E S . C O M
( 7 1 7 ) 5 6 6 ...
Professional Bio
 Nancy J Hess, principal of N.J.
Hess Associates, has been
designing and developing human
resource syste...
I am so
excited for my
annual
performance
review said no
one, ever.
High
employee
engagement is
the best
predictor of
orga...
Performance
System Norms
 Rating systems range from “you
are SUPER” to “you are a big 0”
 The rater does all the prepara...
Employee
Feedback
Job
Descriptions
GOALS
Management
Training
Here is where the
Gold can be found!
Wordle created from management training notes
Goal Setting Workshop
How do we go about setting organization goals?
 Start by asking questions of your management team,
e.g.,
 What do we see...
GOAL SETTING
Organization
Level
• Build a customer-focused environment.
Department
Level
• Create positive customer experi...
Short and
Sweet Policy
 Formal and Informal
 Ongoing documentation of
conversations about progress on
goals or standards...
SAMPLE COMPETENCIES
Customer Service(internal/external) -
Understanding and anticipating customer wants;
resolving custome...
CUSTOMER SERVICE
Customer Service (Internal and External) - Understanding and anticipating customer wants, and resolve cus...
PERFORMANCE REVIEW AGENDA
Review of job description
(Employee Engagement)
Goal-setting
(Align with Big Picture Goals)
Feed...
EMPLOYEE GOALS
Goal 1: Due Date:
Aligned with Organization Goal:
Criteria for Completion:
Due Dates: (Optional)
Goal Compl...
Core Competencies: Target Level Assessed Level
1. Customer Service 1 1
2. Big Picture Thinking 1 1
3. One Team Thinking 1 ...
Supervisor Role
Communicate understanding of critical job functions
and competencies required for successful
performance;
...
Employee Role
Understand of critical job functions and
competencies required for successful performance;
Understand job de...
IDEAS/RESOURCES
 Examples of cloud applications for goal program
 Survey Monkey (peer reviews)
 Create sliding bar in E...
Make Performance Part of Everyday Conversations
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Make Performance Part of Everyday Conversations

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Clients often work from the paradigm that performance systems drive success. Nothing could be further from the truth. Employee engagement is the best predictor of success and performance systems only provide a framework for ongoing conversations about what is working and what is not working. Instead of being the driver of performance, the system should emerge out of other HR processes and culture. It is more like the conversation you hold with a team after the game to prepare them for the next game, not the pre-game bantor that is more for show and posturing.
Here is a slide show that I recently presented to the Society for County Human Resource Professionals.

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  • Design performance systems where feedback, competency development and coaching toward goals are a part of the everyday life of the organization.Performance programs are a highly desirable component of human resource systems and are frequently the first thing requested by an organization. This may be due to a desire to create a high performing workplace or a desire to track and manage performance outcomes. In truth, these systems are difficult to design in the absence of other foundational aspects of HR systems, strong participatory processes and clear organization goals which stem from the mission, vision and strategies set by the top leaders. However, once these components are in place, the goals for employee groups and individuals within the organization can be aligned to mobilize and energize the organization to reach high and accomplish great things.A performance management system reflects the values of the organization and its leaders. It is not just something you do once a year but a way of thinking about the relationship between people, their work and rewards. It is about how to build feedbacks loops into the structure of the organization to create better opportunities for learning and becoming better stewards.
  • Nancy’s distinctive competency is tapping into the internal strengths of an organization and utilizing participative methodologies to engage people in the process of change. She provides expertise and coaches managers in the strategic use of HR interventions and helps leaders to build effective management systems which can support high performance workplaces.She brings deep experience in group process facilitation and consultation techniques to promote collaboration, knowledge transfer and employee engagement. In addition to the foundational elements of human resources, she provides one-on-one and group consulting to executives and management teams with a focus on coaching, organization development and process improvement.
  • Are both true? There is a link between employee engagement and performance, in fact, employee engagement should be the central component of any performance system. The absence of employee engagement is why most performance systems don’t work.Research shows that employee engagement is linked to successful completion of organization goals.http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2012/09/04/why-employee-engagement/We know from research and experience that managers who engage their employees produce better results. If GOALS are an integral part of the way employees are managed, they will make also make sense in the context of performance review.Are performance reviews a necessary evil?Can we make them more about conversations and less about “telling”?What I hear most often….We need these to separate the good performers from the bad. …to decide on promotions…to award merit payMy board wants me to conduct performance evaluations.I know I should, I just don’t know how to go about it.We already know who the high and the low performers are, what does a performance evaluation do that we can’t do without the performance evaluation?Just one HR conference or legal update on personnel and you will hear that performance evaluations do more to get employers into trouble due to lack of consistency. E.g., if this employee is such a problem, why is that not reflected in their performance evaluation?PITFALLS:We do not like to judge our staff, most of us prefer to encourage, not discourage.We may distrust the system. If we state the truth, and nothing happens as a result, we lose credibility.Inherent sense of fairness or a preference for “one team” thinking may preclude us from wanting to treat people differently.We may confuse performance management with our disciplinary program. We cannot ignore progressive discipline and hope that the performance evaluation will take care of our ommission.So, what are your reasons for being here today?My goals for today’s session is to provide you with the most basic but also the most defensible approach to performance evaluation. Don’t get me wrong, once you understand the concept, you will need to work at this in order to feel comfortable and confident, but the approach is sound and after years of helping managers, I can tell you that employees are most receptive to this approach.
  • Bring people into the process to get to the heart of the matter.Design processes to help engage people with the big picture.
  • Here are the major components of the system. Job descriptions and management training are foundational. You have to begin with a clear understanding of the job expectations and requirements. Note that “doing your job” is a little different from “reaching your goals”. In this approach to performance evaluation, job incumbents must do BOTH.You have to make sure anyone who is conducting performance evaluations has some training on goal setting. Goals are at the center of the program because if they are developed thoughtfully, they will be the clearest measure of performance during a particular period of time. Employee Feedback is at the highest point and as such, represents the ultimate outcome of this entire program. If it is not happening, then the system will not work. In essence, employee feedback is the GOLD, it is what will be valued the most by the employee.GOAL SETTING TAKES TIME! OrganizationLevel– The“BigPicture”partofthesystem.Themanagementteam respondsto policydirectionestablishedbyBoardandestablishesbroadorganizationgoalsto setthe toneandprioritiesfortheperformanceprogram.Department Level – The organization goals are translated to department goals.ORProcessLevel– (Across Different Departments) The“How”partofthe system.Coreprocessesincludethoseactivitieswhich constitutethe mostimportantchainofactionsin fulfillingthe missionofthe County. Throughanalyzingcoreprocessesandestablishinggoalsandmeasuresaroundsuchareas asquality, customerpreferencesandbudget, the potentialexiststo gathergoodinformationandcreateprocessimprovements. Job/IndividualLevel– Jobstructureisintegrallyrelatedto the otherfacetsofthe system. As goalsevolve,andprocessesareimproved,job tasksandprioritiesshiftto reflecttheon-goingchanges.Therefore,the employeeis involvedwithandparticipatesinsettinggoals and updatingjob descriptions.Thisresultsingoodinformationabout whathaschangedin the job andencouragesfeedbackaboutjob priorities,criticalcompetenciesneededfor successfulperformanceand relatedareassuchasreportingrelationshipsandensuringthe employeehasthe resourcesneededto properlyexecutethe work.
  • Wordle created during a management goal setting session.
  • How do we go about setting organization goals?The County Administrator and HR Manager are the link between the goals of Board and the staff. Together they think about how the broad goals relate to their departmental activities.What do we see in the future, with respect to the way we do things, that is different from the way we do them now?E.g., younger generation likes to work more collaboratively, the public wants easy access to information, technology will be a part of everything we doWhat assets will we rely upon to move us forward? E.g., our employees, partnerships in the community, our infrastructureWhat challenges will most likely hold us back?E.g., mandates, apathy, desire to maintain status quo, negative politics, lack of moneyWhere in the organization is there evidence of something new emerging?E.g., Better communication happening at all levels, management team meetings, open budget process, more responsive community development/codes department, more “feet on the street”, more customer orientedWhen looking at the future, what causes us most discomfort, and/or anxiety?E.g., political in-fightingWhat would we most like to be recognized for that also fits with our understanding of community wants and needs?E.g., Being service oriented, quality personnel, responsive, getting things doneSample First Draft Goal StatementsBe responsible stewards of the many and varied assets of the CountyCreate a collaborative learning environmentBuild a customer-focused environmentForm a partnership with citizens to address quality of life issues.
  • Here is a goal statement established by a management team in a community that is focused on re-vitalization and increasing the value of investment in the B.CivicPlus.com offers a way to easily build FAQ’s into the County websiteGoals that require employees to make recommendations for improvements in a process or some aspect of the job is an invitation for engagement. The goal should be meaningful and represent something that is urgent and/or important to accomplish. This will require conversations between manager and employee and should allow for the employee to take part in implementation.
  • JOBPERFORMANCEREVIEWPROCESS  The Countywillutilizeboth formalandinformalperformanceevaluationsto provide feedbackto employeesandmonitortheirabilityto meetperformancestandards establishedbythe County. Formalevaluationswillbe conductedannually and duringthe probationaryperiod.Formal evaluationswill be conductedbythe supervisorandcommittedto writing. Informalevaluationswill take place asoftenasdeemednecessarybyadepartment supervisorto communicateexpectations,recognizegoodworkorcorrectpoorworkhabits. Informalevaluationsmay,ormaynot,be written. Whena supervisormeetswithan employeeto discussperformanceissues,a summaryofthediscussion,includingthespecificissuesaddressedandthe recommendationsmade,will be placedinwritingand copiedto the employee'spersonnelfolder.Procedure:  General: 1. Formalperformanceevaluationswill be conductedduringa time frame establishedbythe County Administrator.2. Departmentmanagerswill meetwitheachemployeeto accomplishthe following:a. reviewthe job descriptionforanychanges;b. reviewthe goalsestablishedthe previousyear;c. discussfeedbackonthecriticalcompetenciesneededto performthe job, includingperformerstrengthsand weaknessesandparticularchallengesinherentinthejob;d. developgoalsforthe upcomingyear.3. Additionalassessmentsmaybe conductedwhereemployeeperformance indicatesthe needforfollowupandadditionaldocumentation.Note: performancereviewwill focusoncoachingandfeedback.Whereperformanceproblemsnegativelyimpactthe workplace,theywill be addressedthroughthe disciplinaryproceduresandperformancecounseling.4. Formalassessmentswill be reviewedbythe HRDirectorforcontinuityand completeness.Incompleteassessmentswill bereturnedfor revision.TheCounty Administratormayreviewformalassessments.5. Employeeswill receivea copyoftheirformalassessmentanda copywillalsobe placedinthe employee’sfile.  Appeals: Employeesmay requestreviewoftheirperformanceevaluationiftheybelievetheir evaluationwas unfairorinaccurate.Level3maybe requestedonlywhereLevel2is exhausted. Level1: Employeemayprovideadditionalwrittencommentsthat will be madepartof the performanceassessmentdocumentation. Commentswill be subjectto censure,and will be removediflanguage orcontentisslanderous,unsupported, orrepresentsdirectattacks. Level2: Employeemay requesta meetingwithdepartmentsupervisorto discussthe outcomesofthe performancereview.Themeeting will be documentedandthe performancereviewamendedwhereindicated. Level3: Wherefurtherresolutionisneeded,employeemay requesta meeting withthe Human Resource Directorto discussthe performancereview.Alternately,theCounty Administratorserveinadvisorycapacityto assistwithresolutionofissue.
  • Best practice is to build a competency vocabulary for the organization with includes three to five core competencies which apply to everyone.These competencies came out of an employee focus group who talked about “what is most critical for success in our jobs?”This helped to build engagement before we began the performance review process.
  • Best practice includes a quarterly “check in” on goal completion
  • (The numbers represent drop down menu on the forms)Target level refers to the level the employee should be meeting.Assessed level refers to the level the employee is at.
  • Discuss Behavioral Event Interviews (B.E.I.’s)Employees are responsible for bringing “stories” of successes and challenges to the interview.It is important to emphasize that tackling a big goal, a big challenge, may mean you don’t succeed, but if you demonstrate competencies in problem solving, conflict management and other important competencies, it may be that the effort was still a success and the manager can note it as such.The important part of the performance review process is engaging the employee in a discussion about what worked and didn’t work, what competencies were exercised and demonstrated and whether a clear effort was made on the part of the employee to meet the goal. A recent organization survey was conducted to find out how they felt about their work environment. The number one point of dissatisfaction by employees was the fact that the elected officials had recently promoted an individual who was a poor performer (and everyone knew it) while denying most employees an annual raise. This kind of misalignment cannot be fixed by a performance system. If managers and elected officials are unwilling to hold employees accountable for performance, then they can expect that other supervisors and managers are not going to bother to make it work.
  • Often the biggest hurdle is committing to the process of developing and implementing a system.Start small.Start with conversations about jobs, goals, competencies. Resist outdated methods of performance evaluation. They never worked and they never will.
  • Transcript of "Make Performance Part of Everyday Conversations"

    1. 1. P R E S E N T E D B Y N . J . H E S S A S S O C I A T E S W W W . N J H E S S A S S O C I A T E S . C O M ( 7 1 7 ) 5 6 6 - 6 1 1 5 N J H E S S @ N J H E S S A S S O C I A T E S . C O M The Link between Employee Engagement and Performance Systems
    2. 2. Professional Bio  Nancy J Hess, principal of N.J. Hess Associates, has been designing and developing human resource systems for organizations for over 25 years with a focus on municipal government.  She founded her practice on the idea that people processes are the heart and soul of successful organizations.  She also was part of the adjunct faculty in the Department of Management at Bloomsburg University for over ten years. N.J. Hess Associates
    3. 3. I am so excited for my annual performance review said no one, ever. High employee engagement is the best predictor of organization success. Two Different Paradigms
    4. 4. Performance System Norms  Rating systems range from “you are SUPER” to “you are a big 0”  The rater does all the preparation for the evaluation interview.  We talk about performance evaluation once a year.  We tend to focus on what needs fixed.  We tend to focus only on what we see.  What other norms are we used to? We have been used to doing things a certain way and sometimes it is hard to break with past habits. Existing paradigms for performance systems create internal feeling states much like those we experienced when we received a report card at school.
    5. 5. Employee Feedback Job Descriptions GOALS Management Training Here is where the Gold can be found!
    6. 6. Wordle created from management training notes
    7. 7. Goal Setting Workshop
    8. 8. How do we go about setting organization goals?  Start by asking questions of your management team, e.g.,  What do we see in the future, with respect to the way we do things, that is different from the way we do them now?  What assets will we rely upon to move us forward?  What challenges will most likely hold us back?  What would we most like to be recognized for that also fits with our understanding of community wants and needs?
    9. 9. GOAL SETTING Organization Level • Build a customer-focused environment. Department Level • Create positive customer experiences Individual Level • Create documentation (e.g. FAQ) for customer questions and make recommendations…..
    10. 10. Short and Sweet Policy  Formal and Informal  Ongoing documentation of conversations about progress on goals or standards.  Review of job description plays central role  Feedback on job competencies is focused on development  Goals are the primary driver for the formal evaluation.
    11. 11. SAMPLE COMPETENCIES Customer Service(internal/external) - Understanding and anticipating customer wants; resolving customer needs. One Team Thinking -The willingness to work with other groups and departments to achieve organization goals, as demonstrated by the “We are all in this together” approach to work. Big Picture Thinking - Understanding how different parts and functions of the organization fit together and creates a sense purpose for team.
    12. 12. CUSTOMER SERVICE Customer Service (Internal and External) - Understanding and anticipating customer wants, and resolve customer needs. I Adopts professional attitude with customers (don’t take emotional concerns personally); Actively listens to customer issues and concerns; uses questions to identify needs and promote customer understanding. II Expands customer skills based on experience; knows who handles what; asks probing questions to get to root of the problem; accepts other’s perspectives; understand the County’s function within the community. III Demonstrates calm manner with sensitive matters; de-escalates potential volatile situations with empathy, factual response and documentation. IV Demonstrates for others how to adjust approach to customer concerns to reflect factors such as frame of mind, customer’s culture, sensitivity of issue and other variables that require a variation in approach to create better outcomes. V Promotes respect for customer diversity, sets standards for openness and integrity; works to build a culture of civility and trust with customers. VI Continuously builds customer-focused approach throughout organization with attention to leveraging technology and human approaches to improve network of connections and access for customers.
    13. 13. PERFORMANCE REVIEW AGENDA Review of job description (Employee Engagement) Goal-setting (Align with Big Picture Goals) Feedback on Critical Competencies (Focus on developing employee)
    14. 14. EMPLOYEE GOALS Goal 1: Due Date: Aligned with Organization Goal: Criteria for Completion: Due Dates: (Optional) Goal Completion (highlight) 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Reviewing Manager Report: Meets Does Not Meet Employee Comments (optional):
    15. 15. Core Competencies: Target Level Assessed Level 1. Customer Service 1 1 2. Big Picture Thinking 1 1 3. One Team Thinking 1 1 Competency Assessment
    16. 16. Supervisor Role Communicate understanding of critical job functions and competencies required for successful performance; Review job descriptions and identify priorities; Communicate how employee’s goals relate to goals of department and overall organization goals; Discuss employee questions and provide information regarding resources, tools, training and support within the organization.
    17. 17. Employee Role Understand of critical job functions and competencies required for successful performance; Understand job description and provide input regarding changes to job; Ask questions to ensure clear and complete understanding of priorities and goals; Provide feedback regarding progress toward goals; Provide feedback regarding how critical competencies are demonstrated on the job.
    18. 18. IDEAS/RESOURCES  Examples of cloud applications for goal program  Survey Monkey (peer reviews)  Create sliding bar in Excel to show progress  Collect Success Stories and publish them!  Focus on employee engagement such as customer service problem solving focus groups and workshops.  What other ideas have you tried?
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