Fueling Performance: A Future-Focused Approach

 Katie Mullin, Farm Credit Services of America

At the EBA Summit, Katie shared her organization’s lessons on fueling performance. She shared that companies are now operating as a network of teams, aligning goals, providing real-time, continuous and multi-directional feedback. The industry is actually moving ahead of HR. Don’t wait for HR to get this, bring them with you and they will make the connections. 

The video recording of Katie’s presentation and slides can be found here

Performance Reviews…the Reality

Katie asked the audience how the felt about performance reviews and shared some industry findings.

  • Most dread them
  • Defined by many as “awful, heavy, time-consuming, pointless & dehumanizing” 
  • Once a year review on performance
  • Leader directed
  • Time-consuming
  • Not moving forward
  • Backward-looking
  • Too focused on “score” or rating
  • Stressful for the leader & team members
  • Lack of results

After her company came to the realization that this wasn’t working, they actually decided to SCRAP their current system and START OVER!

Guiding Principles for Designing New Model

Katie and a cross-functional team came together to design a new performance management model that would actually work for them. They agreed that they are a TEAM BASED culture who needs to be Transparent and Empowering.  They used these guiding principles:

 

The New Continuous Performance Management Approach

Katie’s team started to apply and experiment with new models and patterns and shared a few.

  • Open & honest 2-way communication, not just leader driven
  • Continual, immediate & real-time discussions vs. “feedback”
  • Teammates own their development & performance plans
  • Continual & frequent check-ins
  • GROW Model
  • Team recognition

New Processes Applied

  1. Monthly Employee Check-ins that focus on three questions: What’s working, where are you stuck, what might you do differently?
  2. Employee GROW 1:1 Conversations twice a year
  3. Use of InsideOut Coaching methodology

Results

Feedback confirmed the new process is working through the opportunities to enhance understanding and the value derived from it.

  • 74% leaders believe the new process is more effective than the previous process
  • 44% employees believe it is more effective
  • Thousands of hours saved
  • High engagement remains (88%)
  • Strong performance = high profitability 

As Katie concluded, this is a journey of experimentation and learning, she’s excited to continue to apply new patterns and share their learnings with the community.

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