Valuee­qua­tions

It’stime­toim­ple­ment­d­if­fer­entem­ploy­eee­val­u­a­tions on­cea­man­ager­no­longer­know­sev­ery­body­in­ti­mately

National Post (Latest Edition) - Financial Post Magazine - - ON THE CASE -

The­folk­satMe­di­aPro­fileInc.honetheir­pub­li­cre­la­tion­skillsina trendy­open-plandown­townToron­toof­fice.Fromju­nior­con­sul­tantstovice-pres­i­dents,theyall­sitwith­in­earshoto­fonean­oth­erso thereisn’tmuchthat­goe­sun­no­ticed.It’sanide­alse­tup­for­col­lab­o­ra­tion,yetal­so­boost­sem­ploy­eep­er­for­mancethrough­out­theyear. “If­some­body­is­doin­gana­maz­ingjobor­some­one’sdo­ing­poorly orneed­shelpin­cer­tainar­eas,theyshould­n­e­ver­be­hearingabout it­forthe­first­time­onone­oftheir­for­mal­re­views,”saysvice-pres­i­den­tPa­trick­Er­lich.“It’sav­ery­open­con­cept­soth­ey­can­come­tous an­daskifthe­yare­havingis­sueswith­some­thing,oriftheyfeel­like they’relacking­i­nac­er­tain­skil­lareathatthey­want­to­ex­plore.We try­to­havethosec­on­ver­sa­tion­sall­thetime.”

With­mostofthe40staffer­sun­der30year­sold,con­stant­feed­back rules. Mil­len­ni­als crave im­me­di­ate re­sponse on how they’re pro­gressin­gand­wheretheyneed­toim­prove,Er­lich­says,andthey won’twait­six­month­stofind­out.That’swhythe­firmhas­ditched an­nual re­views, with their la­bo­ri­ous self-eval­u­a­tion tem­plates, in favour of reg­u­lar check-ins with em­ploy­ees plus two sit-downs: one fo­cus­ing on growth and one tied to pro­mo­tions and money. Self-eval­u­a­tion­form­snow­stress­the­p­os­i­tive,suchas­some­thingthe em­ploy­eeis­proud­o­forachal­leng­ingsi­t­u­a­tion­theyen­coun­tered. They’re­for­ward-thinkingandin­spire­di­a­logueratherthanbein­gan oner­ouscheck­listo­fac­com­plish­mentsand­fail­ures.The­com­pany al­sous­esweb-basedGrapevineE­val­u­a­tion­ssoft­ware­to­stan­dard­ize there­view­pro­ces­sa­t­a­costo­fafewt­hou­sand­dol­larsperyear.

Un­like­large­com­pa­nieswith­HRstaffhan­dlingstruc­turedan­nual per­for­manceap­praisals,small-busi­nes­sown­er­son­afirst-name­ba­sis with­employ­ee­shavet­head­van­ta­ge­of­giv­ing­whatHRvet­er­anJanet Salopekcalls“in-the-mo­ment­feed­back”that’sespe­cial­lyessen­tial­for mil­len­ni­als.“Ifyou’re­fo­cusin­goncom­plet­ingth­e­form,you’re­fo­cusin­gonthewrongth­ing,”saysthep­art­nerand­se­nior­con­sul­tan­tat SalopekCon­sulting­inCal­gary.“In­stead,re­al­ly­fo­cu­son­hav­ing­good can­did­con­ver­sa­tion­swith­y­ourpeo­plethrough­out­theyear.”

Soft­ware can help and doesn’t have to be costly. Ku­dos, for in­stance,let­sem­ploy­ees­give­real-time­so­cial­recog­ni­tion­to­col­leagues to­mo­ti­vateteam­sand­driveper­for­mance.At$4pe­ruser­per­month, it’swith­in­rea­chof­s­mall­er­firms.It­comesin­handy­atthe20-per­son Cal­gar­ycompany,too.Ku­dosInc.CEOMu­niBo­gasays­bian­nual re­viewsare“check­pointson­align­ment”where­salariesand­pro­mo­tion­sare­dis­cussed,but­the­re­almeathap­pens­dur­ingreg­u­laro­neon-ones.Th­e­soft­ware­helps­byi­den­ti­fy­ing­par­tic­u­lar­ly­good­work.

De­spitea­nen­tirein­dus­try­of­per­for­manceap­praisal­soft­ware— sometied­toloy­al­ty­pointsand­prizes—small-busi­nes­sown­er­scan keep­it­sim­ple.Useemail­to­sum­ma­rize­con­ver­sa­tions,ad­vis­esSalopek,or­cre­ateat­ablelistin­ga­greed-up­on­ac­tions,time­li­ne­sand­suc­cess­mea­sures.In­stead­of­prizes,con­siderof­fer­ing­time­of­fwhenob­jec­tivesaremet.SaysRowanO’Grady,pres­i­dentofre­cruit­ing­firm HaysCanada:“That­bringsan­in­for­mal­i­ty­toachiev­ingth­ingsand be­in­gre­sults-fo­cuseda­sop­posed­to­time-fo­cused.”

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