Diese Präsentation wurde erfolgreich gemeldet.

Performance Mgmt white paper

1

Teilen

Wird geladen in …3
×
1 von 46
1 von 46

Performance Mgmt white paper

1

Teilen

Herunterladen, um offline zu lesen

  1. 1. REINVENTING PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENTHOW TO ACHIEVE MORE, WITH LESS, FOREVER Consultation edition, October 2015
  2. 2. MEET MIND GYM 61% of FTSE 100 and 53% of S&P 100 companies use Mind Gym for major challenges, such as: • Building a high performance culture (Microsoft, Thomson Reuters) • Delivering major productivity gains with more effective managers (Unilever, Met Life) • Turning around employee engagement (Zurich, Telefonica) • Transforming customer service (Santander, Canon) • Managing the human aspect of major re-organisations so they deliver in full (GSK, UK Government) In 2015, over 500,000 leaders, managers and individual contributors will take part in a live Mind Gym experience delivered by one of 250 qualified coaches in 40 countries, supported from offices in London, New York, Dubai and Singapore. 5 MINUTES WITH A GENIUS BEATS A MONTH WITH A FOOL We have an extensive portfolio of bite-size, 90-minute workouts on subjects from ‘Creativity for logical thinkers’ and ‘Conflict detox’ to ‘Wood for trees’ and ‘Me, me, me’. These have been independently assessed and proven to deliver the same impact as a traditional day-long event. SCIENCE IS SEXY – IN RESEARCH WE TRUST Everything in Mind Gym is evidence-based, drawing on the latest and the best psychology, behavioural economics and neuroscience. WE CHOOSE HOW WE THINK FAR MORE THAN WE REALISE Instead of taking people from A to B, Mind Gym takes them from A to options. That’s sustainable. PEOPLE CHANGE ONLY WHEN THEY BELIEVE IT’S IN THEIR OWN BEST INTEREST From Mind Gym’s brand to bespoke internal marketing campaigns, we target your employees’ self-interest. This way people change because they want to, not because their boss tells them. ONE SIZE FITS NO-ONE People seize on the tools that they believe will help them most, rather than ones centrally ordained. LITTLE AND OFTEN – THINK GYM RATHER THAN HEALTH FARM Application ‘back at work’ exceeds 85% when people discover a little at a time, giving them the chance to practice in between. Mind Gym transforms performance by changing the way people think. MIND GYM BELIEFS
  3. 3. CONTENTS 1. Performance misery 04 2. At the top of my game 06 3. The six conditions 08 a. Purpose – my work matters 13 b. Challenge – it’s demanding 16 c. Attention – you know how I’m doing 18 d. Growth – I am getting better 21 e. Recognition – it’s worth the effort 24 f. Choice – I can decide 27 4. Tricky characters 30 5. Making it happen 32 Case studies 38 References 40
  4. 4. 4 The hours spent completing appraisal, self-appraisal and 360 feedback forms; sitting in talks about how others are and should be rated; taking part in what is often an excruciating annual review; and then responding to the endless chasing emails about entering goals into a labyrinthine system, are enough to crush anyone’s soul. In addition to distracting leaders from more worthwhile activities, the potential for doing harm is significant. Formal reviews that focus on weaknesses reduce performance by up to 27%1 . Managing a colleague’s performance through an annual conversation is like managing your marriage through your anniversary. No wonder the yearly appraisal has become to recruiters what Christmas is to divorce lawyers. And yet 86% of organisations have either revised their performance management system in the last 18 months, or plan to do so soon.2 If their objective is to increase performance, they’re looking in the wrong place. 50,000 employees in 22 global companies working in 10 major industry sectors were asked to rate their manager and their company’s performance management system. Their answer was unequivocal. 70% of those who gave their manager top marks also viewed the performance management system as ‘very good’. Conversely, the employees who rated their manager as ‘below 1. PERFORMANCE MISERY Performance management. No two words from the corporate lexicon are more certain to dampen the mood of anyone you’d actually want to employ. Annual performance appraisals are to recruiters what Christmas is to divorce lawyers
  5. 5. 5 average’ overwhelmingly rated the very same system as ‘poor’.3 In other words, the system you choose will make little difference to performance if your managers don’t know how to get the best from their people. Debates about whether rankings should be ‘forced’, ‘guided’ or ignored, whether goals should be set annually, quarterly or monthly, or whether pay should be linked to performance scores, miss the point. A new performance management system is no more ‘the answer’ to raising performance than a new Customer Relationship Management System is to delighting customers. That’s not to say that we should scrap the system entirely. Whichever methodology an organisation chooses will be essential to certain aspects of its grip on performance – tracking it, reviewing trends, ensuring fairness and consistency, and satisfying legal and HR requirements. And some modifications to the system can act as a powerful symbol of a greater change. When the bosses at Microsoft removed forced ranking, it made a strong statement of intent, as the HR chief Lisa Brummel in her company-wide memo: ‘we are moving from a culture of negative competition, mistrust and poor management, to one of teamwork, collaboration, and employee development.’ But if Microsoft’s leaders had imagined that this alone would make much difference they would have been bitterly disappointed (discover how Microsoft did make a substantial difference on page 39). Bosses tend to have risen into their leadership roles by successfully optimising resources. When it comes to maximising return from their company’s hefty payroll, their inclination is to marshal human resources much like any other kind. There are plenty of proven ways to get people to perform at the top of their game, they just aren’t based in process design, inventory management, forensic metrics or sparkling new IT. They are built on the science of human behaviour: psychology. Fig.1 Rating of performance management system Organisations changing performance management systems in past/next 18 months 0 20 40 60 70% 85% 80 100 Employees rating system as ‘very good’ Managers rated as ‘best’ Managers rated as ‘below average’ Employees rating system as ‘poor’ Percentageofemployees(%) 86% PERFORMANCE MISERY Source: Gallup (2013) Source: Deloitte (2014)
  6. 6. 6 2. AT THE TOP OF MY GAME
  7. 7. 7 The model shows that, initially, the more excited we become about a challenge the better we do at it. As our arousal increases (to use Yerkes-Dodsons’ term), we move into ‘eustress’, which is a positive kind of stress known as euphoric stress. This is a motivational state that not only changes our perception of the things that might otherwise cause us to underperform (‘obstacles’ become ‘challenges’) but also our perception of our own capability (‘I believe I can do this’). When we’re in a state of eustress we feel motivated, stretched, and full of energy. As a result, we perform nearer the top of our game. An engineer in a workout said to his Mind Gym Coach, ‘I never get stressed. In fact the only thing that stresses me is when my peers get promoted ahead of me’. It’s not hard to diagnose what is happening. The engineer who doesn’t experience any stress is ‘coasting’ and his peers are experiencing ‘eustress’. As a result, they are performing to a higher level and getting promoted faster. The increase in arousal works up to a point. After that, it has the opposite effect. Anxiety-levels become too great and we experience distress, which is short for destructive stress. At this point, our performance starts to drop. The key to getting people to perform at the top of their game is to help (i) ensure that they operate at the peak of their curve most of the time, and (ii) change the height and breadth of the curve. Here’s how… What gets us to perform at our best? This was the question two psychologists, Robert Yerkes and John Dodson, examined over a century ago. Their language might seem old fashioned but the Yerkes-Dodson model is as relevant today as when they published it.4 Fig.2 Impact of arousal on performance Low High Arousal Coasting Eustress Overstretched Performer Top performer Underperformer Low High Performance AT THE TOP OF MY GAME Source: Yerkes Dodson (1908)
  8. 8. 8 3. THE SIX CONDITIONS The key to creating a high performance culture is setting up and maintaining the right psychological conditions. These conditions can be temporary and restricted to specific situations or they can be pervasive and seem almost permanent. Sometimes they exist without anyone consciously creating them, say, when you’re playing a competitive sport you love. At work, however, these conditions seldom arrive by chance. In most high performing environments considerable effort has been made to put and keep them in place. Mind Gym’s psychologists have identified the six conditions which have the most, and most certain, impact on building an environment where we’re all performing at the top of our game. In the subsequent chapters, we’ll share what each condition is, the science that underpins it, and how to bring them to life where you work. Before that, there are three questions that deserve an answer. How do these six conditions fit together? The six conditions are highly interdependent: altering one will have a ripple effect on the rest. It’s hard to increase challenge, for example, without affecting purpose and growth. It’s also difficult to enhance recognition without affecting attention. The science doesn’t suggest that any one condition has more impact than any other, but rather that the six conditions are like an ecosystem where the elements are all inter-related. When one condition is strengthened it automatically strengthens and supports the others, and vice versa. The decision on where to focus for maximum impact depends on the organisation, the team and the individual. It could make most sense for the organisation’s leaders to focus on talking about purpose, a manager to concentrate on being more attentive and an individual to increase their agility when it comes to making choices. Or it could be the other way around. PURPOSE my work matters ATTENTION you know how I’m doing RECOGNITION it’s worth the effort
  9. 9. 9THE SIX CONDITIONS CHALLENGE it’s demanding GROWTH I’m getting better CHOICE I can decide ORGANISATION TEAM INDIVIDUAL
  10. 10. 10 At an individual level, there are a number of factors that can affect which conditions are already playing a role and which need to be cultivated. These include our upbringing and how this influences how we look at the world, our social context both at work and outside, and our personal circumstances, from how things are going at home, to the nature of changes in the office. Some of these areas are very personal and it will be up to each manager/individual contributor to decide how much it is appropriate to share. One thing is for sure, some personal aspects should not be brought to work and the manager is as responsible as the individual for ensuring that appropriate boundaries are maintained. At an organisational or team level, the role a particular condition has to play will vary depending on national cultures, organisational cultures and sub-cultures as well as the environment and industry. Who’s responsible? In the traditional world of performance management, primary responsibility lies with the line manager and HR is chief enforcer of the process. In the new world of creating the conditions for high performance, the employee plays a far more active part. Manager and employee both have a role to play and they can succeed only by acting in unison. This gives employees much greater licence to influence their chances of success (and they are expected to use it), while managers are prompted to focus on setting their team members up to succeed. The buck cannot be passed. We really are in this together. For each of these conditions it is possible to be clear but unexciting, or vice versa. You might know exactly what the challenge is but not much care, or you might be very excited about the team’s vision but not know quite what’s expected of you to deliver it. The conditions are most potent when they appeal to both head and heart, ie, they are clear and motivating. Why will managers change this time? One of the most popular explanations for ineffective performance management is the reluctance of managers to have tough conversations. Like peas in a pod Fig.3 While all of the conditions are inextricably linked, there are some that interplay more naturally with one another. Here are just a few of the keener web-fellows. Challenge and growth – when we design roles or allocate tasks to play to an individual’s strengths, performance is likely to increase. This is because we have created both a more suitable challenge and accelerated personal growth. Attention and recognition – both conditions help to counter social loafing, which occurs when people think that if they slacken off there won’t be significant consequences. Recognition and growth – those who grow and develop will win recognition, but as part of effective recognition, managers should also provide new opportunities to grow. Challenge and purpose – when goals are aligned to a team or company objective the sense of collective purpose is also likely to increase. Choice, growth and purpose – it’s easier to choose a positive path when it feels connected to the things that matter to us and we can see how we’ll grow and develop as a result. Challenge and attention – setting goals and expectations encourages managers to pay attention on how well their team are doing. In turn, managers’ attention spurs individuals to achieve their goals and so, probably, to grow. THE SIX CONDITIONS To borrow a legal phrase: the manager and individual contributor are jointly and severally responsible.
  11. 11. 11 Fig.4 My role as an employee Conditions My role as a manager I make sure my work matters Purpose I help my team to see why their work matters I relish new challenges that I know will be demanding Challenge I equip people to believe that they can achieve even the most challenging goals I seek feedback, and use it to get better Attention I notice what people are doing, and hold them to account for their performance I master skills that matter to me and will help me in my future career Growth I help people develop and achieve things in the future that they couldn’t have done before I ensure my work is worth the effort Recognition I am consistent with who and how I provide recognition for individuals and teams I am proactive in making the best of every situation Choice I empower people to make their own decisions and offer support in times of challenge Jointly and severally responsible Who can blame them? Telling someone that what they’re doing isn’t good enough challenges a number of fairly universal human desires, such as being liked, not upsetting other people and feeling in control. It’s no wonder most of us would rather steer clear. A lasting legacy of soul-destroying appraisal cycles is that managers tend to have a negative association with perfectly sensible activities like giving accurate feedback and providing balanced career advice (rather than, say, false hope). Exhorting them to do more of the right things as part of a new, but not much improved, performance management process will have only a limited impact. By focusing managers’ attention on creating the six conditions rather than following any process, we encourage managers to talk about everyday topics, well, er, every day. This is both natural and easy, which means that the conversations are much more likely to happen. As a result, we greatly increase the chance of creating a mutually respectful and considerate relationship5 , and having regular, informal, high-quality dialogue6 , both of which help people to perform at the top of their game. It also greatly reduces the trickiness of a year-end appraisal. If you’re having regular conversations about how someone is getting on, then the annual review is little more than a chance to celebrate and take stock. You might even look forward to it. Underpinning all of this is effective, on-the-job managerial coaching which has been shown to increase reports’ wellbeing, resilience, attitude to work and ability to achieve stretching goals.7 Setting up these conditions has plenty of benefits for the manager. Not only are they likely to get the credit for a top performing team but work life will become a whole lot easier. High flyers will seek out a chance to work for them, colleagues will put in the extra effort and getting things done will be comparatively straightforward. THE SIX CONDITIONS
  12. 12. 12 Where do these conditions come from? Fig.5 Mind Gym’s first report on dynamic performance management was published in 2010. Since then, over 30 SP/FTSE 100 companies, including Microsoft, Maersk and MetLife (and those are just the ones beginning with the letter ‘M’) have engaged Mind Gym to help them rethink how they manage performance. To support these clients and in preparation for this paper, Mind Gym’s psychologists analysed over 200 peer-reviewed studies on what gets people to perform at their best. The first draft of this paper was then reviewed by Mind Gym’s Academic Board and senior HR/OD/ Talent from 40 world-renowned companies in the US and UK. Their comments helped shape this current edition. We’re restless in our search for new discoveries. If you have views, come across relevant research papers or have practical experience, we want to hear from you. Best of all it means that managers, who have only so much that they can think about at any one time, are concentrating on the few things that will make the most difference. This means that they will see results quickly which will encourage them to keep at it. Pointing in the right direction The science is clear: creating these six conditions creates the best chance that people will perform at the top of their game, not just today but every day. Just as critically, by focusing managers and individual employees’ attention on the conditions, rather than the system, there is a far greater chance that everyone will actually adopt the behaviours that lead to high performance. The science is robust but what does it mean in practice? THE SIX CONDITIONS
  13. 13. 13 3a.PURPOSE MY WORK MATTERS ‘Why am I doing this?’ is a question most of us have asked ourselves at one time or another. The richer our answer the more likely we are to perform at the top of our game. Why bother? ‘Purpose’ covers a wide spectrum. At one end is putting a man on the moon, as the fabled cleaner at the Space Center allegedly told John F Kennedy. At the other, is simply feeling that ‘my work is not irrelevant’. There are plenty of shades of ‘purpose’ between these extremes. Feeling one sense of purpose doesn’t preclude any of the others, and the stronger our connection to these purposes, the more we relish what we’re doing and the more effort we are likely to put in. Here are the three most common types of ‘purpose’ that directly affect performance. 1. Task purpose Your boss asks for the report in her inbox by end of play on Tuesday. You work all hours to get it done. You see her on Thursday and she hasn’t read it but promises to over the weekend. You ask her about it on Monday and it’s clear from her questions that she’s skimmed it, at best. You could be forgiven for thinking that all that work you did was pointless. In an experiment, participants were asked to build Lego figures and were paid decreasing amounts for each one they built, starting at $2 for the first, then $1.89 for the second, $1.78 for the third and
  14. 14. 14 so on until they decided to stop. In Group #1, the completed figures were displayed as they were built on an adjacent table; in Group #2, each figure was broken down and the pieces handed back to the participant to use for their next figure. The group who watched their Lego figure being taken apart completed 30% fewer figures than their peers, at a 15% higher unit cost.8 Nothing was said to the participants in either group like ‘well done’ or ‘nice Lego figures’ but simply the sense that their work wasn’t pointless led to a significant productivity gain. In an analysis of 12,000 workday diaries completed by employees in many different companies and industries there was one factor that had the biggest difference between ‘best’ and ‘worst’ days at work. It was ‘a sense of progress’. In ‘best’ days, 76% of employees reported making progress in contrast to only 25% in self- reported ‘worst’ days9 . Simply feeling that our work isn’t futile can have a significant impact on our performance. Feeling that we’re making progress can further multiply that effect. 2. Collective purpose Sports analogies can be misleading. In sport the outcome is usually decided in a period between 10 seconds and 90 minutes by between 1 and 15 people and if one side wins, another loses. A lucky bounce, a split second or a distracted referee can make the difference between triumph and disaster. Business couldn’t be much more different. Results come from small tasks delivered every hour of every day by hundreds or thousands of people who barely know of each other’s existence. There is very rarely a big event and almost all the time is spent ‘playing’ rather than in rehearsal/training. Breaking the rules of the game is likely to be the basis for success rather than a reason to be penalised. Sport has more in common with ballet than business. There is, however, one way in which sports teams do provide a helpful analogy for the world of work: the sense of being in it together. When sportspeople talk about the reasons for their success, they invariably talk about the strong bonds within the team and the shared commitment to winning. Top performing businesses are 20 times more likely to have every manager’s goals aligned to the company strategy.10 In the same study, 46% of employees’ goals were explicitly aligned with the company goals in high performing companies but this was only 18% in weaker performing companies.11 Working with people we like, respect, or ideally both, greatly increases the chance that we’ll feel connected12 . For most of us there are 7-10 people at work who have a disproportionate effect on how strong this sense of connection is.13 Where these relationships are strong we are more likely to identify with a shared purpose, to keep working hard even when no one notices and to go outside our role remit to ensure success.14 In otherwise similar scenarios, groups of close friends or teammates consistently work harder and achieve more than groups composed of strangers or mere acquaintances.15 The quality of relationships beyond the core team also matters. When employees are encouraged to focus on supporting colleagues in other parts of the company, rather than just their own team, there appears to be an increase in profits by c.11% and revenue by c.5%.16 In better networked companies there is also more innovation17 and they tend to deliver greater market share and return on investment.18 PURPOSE Simply feeling that our work isn’t futile can have a significant impact on our performance. Feeling that we’re making progress further multiplies the effect. Sport has more in common with ballet than business.
  15. 15. 15 Fig.6 My relationship with work 2.6 4.2 4.5 2.4 4.6 4.7 1.6* 5.7* 5.5* 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Job 33% Career 32% Calling 35% Satisfactionlevel Need for more work-life balance Life satisfaction Job satisfaction 3. Social purpose Imagine you’re asked to allocate 100 points across three different ways of thinking about your work: (i) as a job, to earn money to meet your material needs and wishes (ii) as a career to be able to take on a more significant role in the future, (iii) as a calling that contributes to a greater good, anything from helping customers to lead happier lives to making the world a better place. What would your allocation be? Professor of Organizational Behaviour, Amy Wrzesniewski, asked a wide range of workers this question. She discovered that the differences across roles were often insignificant. For example, physicians, health educators, hospital janitors and administrators allocated their points in similar proportions across ‘job’, ‘career’ and ‘calling’: a third, a third, a third. The type of work we do seems to have little, if any, impact on how we think about it. This matters because those who are more inclined to see their work as a ‘calling’ are significantly more likely to be satisfied with both their job and the rest of their life, and feel the lowest need to adjust their work-life balance.19 By seeing the ultimate benefits of our work for society we are likely to be happier, more fulfilled and more productive, and whether we work in the back office of a bank or the front line of a charity, this opportunity is equally available. For those who get stuck and can’t see any social purpose to their work, it seems that performance can still be improved by working on an overtly social cause outside the day job. Employees who volunteer for ‘greater good’ projects also perform better inside work, even if the two activities are unrelated.20 *Significant to p0.5 for Calling vs. Job/Career PURPOSE Source: Wrzesniewski, McCauley, Rozin, (1997)
  16. 16. 16 3b.CHALLENGE IT’S DEMANDING A group of shop assistants were telling a Mind Gym research analyst about Saturdays. ‘They’re frantic, with customers who don’t know the store constantly asking questions and you’re rushed off your feet without a moment to catch your breath. Then when the shop closes you have to stay back to clear up the mess and re-arrange everything for the next day. It’s chaos.’ Our researcher then asked, ‘so what is your favourite day of the week?’ ‘Saturday, of course’, was the unanimous answer. Ask someone to tell you about their greatest accomplishment and they will tell you a story that is filled with hard work, setbacks and problems. Achieving something difficult is rarely pleasurable at the time. It is, however, immensely rewarding afterwards. A manager shouldn’t worry when their team members find something difficult, but more so when they don’t. We perform at our best when we are suitably challenged. The question is: what is suitable? 1 Clear When American/Canadian loggers were given specific, challenging goals their performance improved immediately and significantly compared with those who were told to simply ‘do their best’.21 In a year-long study with the American Pulpwood Association, when goals were explicit, outputs increased even though there were no additional rewards. When performance dropped a third of the way through the study (block 5, Fig. 7), the loggers were testing management’s statement that there would be no punishment if performance dropped. As soon as they knew this was true, performance returned. When call centre staff recruiting individuals for market research focus groups saw their performance publicly posted, activity and conversion rates increased. Peer pressure had an impact on individuals but even more so for teams: those working in a group started to outperform those working alone.22 Telling people what is expected of them and how they are doing against this goal is very likely to increase productivity. This supports the old adage that ‘what gets measured gets done’. However, there is more to challenge than simply setting goals and measuring performance against them. 2 Just within reach A six-year study of 229 entrepreneur CEOs concluded that business growth was largely driven not just by giving employees stretching goals but also by helping them believe that they could achieve them.23
  17. 17. 17 In building this belief, the manager’s responsibility is to help the individual appreciate the goal is ‘just about possible’. This could be done, for example, by showing what resources they could draw on, or breaking the overall challenge into more achievable chunks, or reviewing how the individual achieved what seemed like similarly stretching challenges in the past. The individual’s responsibility is to take on a challenge that they don’t yet know how to achieve but recognise is just about possible. Performance management systems that link reward to accomplishment of pre-agreed goals create a moral hazard. In these environments, it’s in the individual’s financial self-interest to talk down their goals even though it’s in their psychological interest to aim high. In a study on the impact of goals, those set a 20% stretch target achieved 15% (increase in energy efficiency, in this case), whilst those set a low target of 2% achieved 6%24 (see Fig. 8). In a rigid performance management system, the first group would have been told that they’d missed their target (by a quarter) and the second group congratulated for trouncing their goal, even though they had achieved far less. This is clearly the opposite of what’s needed to maximise performance. In order to accept demanding challenges individuals need to know that they won’t be penalised for missing them. The ‘just within reach’ goal delivers the best returns for everyone. 3 Up for review Just because the goal was suitably stretching when it was agreed, doesn’t meant that it still is. As circumstances change it might have become too easy, or not so relevant, or downright impossible. Over 50% of companies where goals tend to be reviewed each month are in the top quartile in terms of financial performance. In companies where goals were reviewed once a year only 24% made it into the same bracket. The optimum time between goal review sessions will be different for different types of teams. A salesperson won’t appreciate having their target chopped and changed. Equally, a consultant will prefer goals for each assignment rather than for a whole year over which they could end up doing any number of different things. The trick for managers is to remain agile and flexible, ready to spot and adjust quickly to what will yield the greatest performance for their people. For this to work, individuals also need to be open to revisiting goals to make them more relevant and, quite possibly, harder. The challenge challenge ‘If it’s not hurting it isn’t working’ shouts the sports jock t-shirt. In the corporate world it is far less certain. Working life can be painful in ways that dramatically reduce performance. Equally, if your work isn’t suitably stretching then you aren’t performing at the top of your game. The answer: the challenge needs to fit the individual, not the other way round. Performance management systems that link reward to accomplishment of pre-agreed goals create a moral hazard. CHALLENGE Fig.7 Logs loaded as percentage of legal maximum load 50 60 70 80 90 100 Percentagelegalnetweight 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Blocks of four weeks Do best Specific hard goal Source: Locke Latham, 1984: Latham Kinne, 1974; Latham Yukl, 1975
  18. 18. 18 We now know that telling a child they’re ‘so creative’ or their picture is ‘beautiful’ is far less helpful than was assumed. The child is likely to be confused and not know what they can do to get noticed in the same way again. Far more constructive is to describe their drawing – a yellow circle, blue wavy lines, a dark brown oblong (or more detail for an older child) – without evaluating it. The tone of the parent’s voice will be enough for the child to deduce whether this is a good thing or not. The history of corporate feedback is similarly checkered. The ‘feedback sandwich’, which recommended a slice of praise at either end of negative feedback, was more likely to give psychological indigestion than sate an appetite for learning. When a Mind Gym research analyst was told by the senior director of a world-renowned financial institution that he was very good at giving praise, the analyst asked, ‘What do you do other than say ‘well done’?’ The director appeared not to compute the question. After a long pause he stammered, slightly indignantly, ‘well, what else would you do?’ What do you see? In a study of more than 19,000 employees, the strongest lever of increased performance was the fairness and accuracy of a manager’s descriptive feedback, ie, observing direct reports and reporting on specific examples of what they saw, without evaluating it. This appeared to give performance a whopping 39% boost.26 This simple of act of noticing and saying what you noticed is potentially the most powerful feedback of all. It requires far less courage than the more traditional ‘tricky messages’ and is far less open to being considered biased or inconsistent than old fashioned, ‘well done’, praise. It’s also a skill that we can all acquire. It just requires effort from the person who should be doing the noticing. YOU KNOW HOW I’M DOING 3c.ATTENTION Telling a child that they’re ‘so creative’ or that their picture is ‘beautiful’ is less likely to help them flourish than describing what you see in their drawing.25 When we were growing up, telling your child that you loved them was considered good enough parenting. Research in the last 20 years has revealed that there is rather more to being an effective mum or dad.
  19. 19. 19 Once the observations have been shared and agreed, either party can then give their interpretation. The key is to own this interpretation rather than assuming it. ‘I noticed that you asked the candidate the same question three times, in slightly different ways. I thought they hadn’t given a straight answer the first time. I wondered if you thought the same.’ The observation is stated objectively and the evaluation or interpretation is owned by the speaker. The other person is then free to give an alternative explanation, eg, ‘actually it was because I couldn’t think of anything else to ask’, or ‘I thought they had more to say on the subject and wanted to give them another chance’. A climate where descriptive praise is normal also makes it easier for the person who wants to be noticed. Instead of the slightly awkward, ‘please can you give me some feedback?’, they can ask the far less threatening ‘what did you notice?’. What do you know? There’s a world of difference between asking ‘what are you working on?’ and ‘how’s your consumer analysis for the Indian market entry strategy going?’ In the same study that showed the impact of descriptive feedback, performance increased by 30% when managers were knowledgeable about their reports’ performance27 . The employee who thinks their manager always knows what they are up to is far more likely to feel appreciated and so to raise their game. A failure by the manager to keep informed leaves the team open to social loafing. This occurs when one member of the team starts to slacken off and seems by his/ her peers to get away with it. The other team members then start to ease off too. The first team member realises he/she is now working as hard as everyone else so slackens off even more, and so the cycle continues. The way to pre-empt social loafing is to notice what is going on and make sure that everyone knows you’ve noticed. This is especially so with teams who work remotely and in different time zones. Managers with remote reports might wisely decide to shadow on a few client calls or chat over messenger to keep closer to what is happening. They will also need to make extra effort to keep up to speed with what is going on when they aren’t around. ATTENTION Fig.8 The power of frequent feedback Baseline Training and goal setting Training and goal setting only Feeback once a week Feeback once in two weeks Feeback once in two weeks 41 Weeks 0 10 16 23 27 32 Safetyperformance 50 40 30 20 10 0 Source: Chhokar and Wallin (1984)
  20. 20. 20 In passing ‘Where would I find the time?’ is a well-worn rebuttal from managers who would rather not engage in all this ‘people stuff’. The joy of paying attention is that it doesn’t require more time, in fact usually less. The key to paying attention is to do it lightly and often. A quick observation, delivered informally will have at least as much impact as a formal conversation. If it’s part of your daily routine then the effect will be significantly greater. A major study with school-aged children found that they learnt more effectively and performed better when given feedback before or during a learning process rather than at the end, allowing them space to reflect and share their own thoughts about where the gaps in their learning were along the way.28 Grown-ups learn in much the same way. Often enough The most effective kind of attention is informal, frequent and irregular. If this doesn’t happen, the research suggests there is a minimal threshold for the frequency of feedback: once every two weeks. In an analysis of safety performance among industrial workers, whether feedback was once a week or once every two weeks didn’t make any significant difference. However, once feedback was removed altogether and reliance was on training and goal setting only, safety performance dropped off (see Fig. 8)29 . In a separate research project, households were set a target to improve energy efficiency30 . The households were given different goals and either received fortnightly feedback or none at all. The effect of the feedback was transformative (see Fig. 9). More recent investigations within clinical healthcare settings31 confirm that, whatever the setting, stretching goals combined with clear, fortnightly feedback are strong drivers of improved performance. Stretching goals and fortnightly feedback 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 -2 Improvement(%) 20% goal with frequent feedback 20% goal with no feedback 2% goal with no feedback 2% goal with frequent feedback 5% 6% -0.6% 15% Fig.9 Source: Becker (1978) ATTENTION
  21. 21. 21 3d.GROWTH I AM GETTING BETTER When we’re working towards a better future for ourselves we deliver more along the way for everyone else. Getting stuck sucks Those who cannot see how their working life can progress get stuck. They have lowered aspirations, diminished self-esteem, are less engaged, perform worse and are ultimately more likely to leave32 . By the time they do move on, these people are usually considered underperformers and no one much minds. But it needn’t have turned out like that. The ‘stuck’ are often as talented as the high flyers. To maximise performance and avoid wasting talent, we need to get stuck people moving again as quickly as possible. This happens only if they can see how their working life can improve and what they can do to make it better. When promotions are scarce and budget cuts mean there’s little hope of pay rises, ‘moving’ needs to mean more than moving up the hierarchy. Progress may include new skills, new cultural experiences, new ways to balance home and work (more/less travelling), job rotations, secondments to a new area of the business, leadership opportunities or even a sabbatical outside the organisation, all of which help people ‘unstick’ and get moving.33
  22. 22. 22 GROWTH HR can provide career paths; managers can show the individual how what they are doing now will help them realise their long-term ambitions; but ultimately it is for individuals themselves to decide what would make their working life better and to do something about it. In a Mind Gym trial, 120 professionals in a highly regarded consultancy took part in a short workshop called ‘Pathfinder’ which was billed as a way to help with their career. In the first few minutes the consultants were asked to rate on a scale of 1-10 how much they flourished at work now and what they thought their score would be in three years’ time if they stayed at the consultancy. The rest of the workshop was spent working out what they could do to increase the score for three years’ time. In an evaluation based on questionnaires completed before, after and three months later, there were statistically significant shifts in a series of measures including intent to stay at the consultancy. Even with such a short intervention, some unsticking took place. As good as it gets? Do you think of intelligence as something we’re born with that is fixed, or do you think it can grow and be improved with discipline and practice? Researchers at University of California, Berkeley, ran an experiment to find out. A group of MBA students were set a negotiation task and given a week to prepare. When they returned a week later, just before they were about to conduct the negotiation, they were randomly allocated into two groups. Each group was read a paragraph of about 50 words. One group was told that negotiation is a fixed skill that we acquire in childhood and that it doesn’t change – you’re either good at it or you’re not. The other group was told it is something you can get much better at with practice. The maximum score for the negotiation exercise was 13,200 points. The group that was told that negotiation is a fixed skill scored 3,332 points. The group that was told it was a malleable skill scored on average 6,300 points.34 Numerous other studies have confirmed the finding that those with a malleable view of capability (be it negotiation, intelligence or even playing the violin) greatly outperform those with a fixed view. Building on her seminal work defining growth mindsets, Psychology Professor Carol Dweck explored whether companies can demonstrate a growth mindset. She found that those companies demonstrating more of a growth mindset benefit from employees who are 47% more likely to say their colleagues are trustworthy, 34% more likely to feel a strong sense of ownership and commitment to the company, 65% more likely to say that the company supports risk taking and 49% more likely to say the company fosters innovation.35 This has two important implications: • Managers who believe in the ability of their people to learn and grow will achieve more. This means putting people in situations where they may make mistakes and encouraging them to learn. • Individuals who realise that they can grow are more likely to seize opportunities that will force them to do things that they might find uncomfortable. This, above all, will get them unstuck. Mastery and playing to strengths In order to realise our vision of a better work life, we will need to master skills. In a six-year longitudinal study, the impact of swapping a good manager over a weak one was The impact for teams that focus on strengths Fig. 10 20 0 -10 10 -20 Productivity Profitability Employee turnover rates %difference Source: Asplund (2012) Is intelligence fixed or can you increase it?
  23. 23. 23GROWTH Effective coaching drives progress Fig.11 +12% output, which compared with +11% for the much more expensive option of adding a new person to the team. The single biggest factor that differentiated the good manager from the weak one was the ability to coach or educate.36 We perform at our best when we are doing something that fits with our strengths, motivations and values. This means that we are less likely to have to bend ourselves out of shape to fit in and so more likely to devote all our energies to mastering skills and getting the job done. And this drives our performance. One meta-analysis confirms the benefits of creating a strength- based organisation or team. In an analysis of 125 companies and over 20,000 business or work units, those that focused on strengths delivered significantly greater productivity and profitability, and lower employee turnover rates (see Fig. 10) compared to those that didn’t.38 Employees who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged at work and managers who focus on employee strengths will, on average, have only 1% of their team who are actively disengaged39 . There are significant performance gains for those who are willing to change the shape of the hole as well the peg. This means crafting roles and shaping challenges to suit the individuals who will carry them out, as well as the other way around. Mind Gym conducted a smaller study with the retail division of a UK telecommunications business and found that those managers who had received coaching from their line manager were also more likely to say their performance had improved (see graph below). But of even greater interest is that in the period that the coaching was rolled out, the branches’ ability to hit their revenue targets rose by a whopping 29% (statistically significant p0.5). Other benefits included a 4% increase in customer experience and a 7% increase in the mid-year engagement pulse score ‘there is someone at work who actively encourages my development’ (both statistically significant rises at p0.5). Only a fifth of employees say that they ‘have the opportunity to do what they do best every day’ but those that do are 1.4 times more productive.37 Source: Retail division of UK Telecommunications business 2011 34% 38% 28%34% 11% 55% Participants who believed they improved 100% Participants who believed they hadn’t improved Participants who were unsure if they improved Received coaching Didn’t receive coaching Weren’t sure
  24. 24. 24 3e.RECOGNITION IT’S WORTH THE EFFORT When the UK’s postal service, Royal Mail, struggled with absenteeism, the bosses tried a novel approach. They launched an internal lottery with the prize of a new car. The only way to get a ticket was to be at work every day for that month. Absence fell dramatically when the lottery was launched, and after a few months, its frequency was reduced from monthly to two- monthly and then quarterly. To the bosses’ surprise, reducing the frequency had no impact on attendance levels. It’s the other guy It would be easy if there was a mathematical relationship between how much effort we put in and what we get in return. Only employees don’t behave like other kinds of business investment, which explains why reducing the frequency of the Royal Mail’s lottery made no difference. One of the largest predictors of satisfaction is social comparison. Employees who look around them and perceive they aren’t being recognised fairly don’t perform as well.40 In short, we care less about how much we’re paid in absolute terms than how much we’re paid in comparison to Ned at the next desk41 . We might tell ourselves that the question which matters is: ‘is it worth the effort?’, but we are actually more affected by the answer to a different question: ‘am I being treated fairly?’ Fair enough ‘Fair’ is in the eye of the beholder. Is it fairer to reward based on effort, output, need, behaviour, loyalty, potential, progress or other criteria? Your answer might be very different from mine and yet neither of us is necessarily right or wrong. Even more troubling for those seeking a scientific answer to the question of fairness, is self- enhancement bias. Most of us think we are above average drivers42 and overestimate our IQ43 , 94% of university professors rate themselves as above average teachers44 . In perceptions of fairness the truth is only one, often minor, factor. Employees are far more likely to feel that an assessment is fair when they: • know what they are being assessed against in advance • know how they are doing along the way and so don’t get a surprise come review time You might be accurate to describe my sense of humour as ‘below average’ but I’m unlikely to find it funny.
  25. 25. 25 Impact of self-regulationFig.12 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 Self-motivation Self-regulation People management Cognitive Annualprofit($m) Below TP Above TP TP – the tipping point, the point at which the behaviour has been demonstrated sufficiently by a partner to create outstanding financial performance • feel confident that the assessment is on the same basis for them as for their colleagues. When these criteria are met employees tend to perform better45 . This applies very much to underperformers, who will act to improve on low review ratings only if they perceive those ratings to be fair. If they think the rating is unfair, their performance is likely to decrease even further – after all, why bother?46 About me, not my manager For recognition to feel fair, I need to believe that it’s about me and what I’ve achieved, not about the person who gives it and their agenda. The standout factor that differentiates the most successful partners in a major professional services firm from the rest is emotional self-regulation47 (see Fig. 12). For a manager to be considered fair, they need this kind of self- control so they make the same judgement about someone’s work whatever mood they’re in. We all have favourite colours, clothes or holiday destinations. In much the same way we tend to have favourite kinds of people to speak on behalf of the company at a conference or lead a high profile project. A manager might rate a fellow extrovert more highly than an equally talented introvert, or give more work to an employee they see in the office every day rather than one who works remotely. Many managers are susceptible to the generalist bias – the tendency to reward, select and develop people with general skills even when complementary, specialised skills are needed.48 A significant proportion of managers fall prey to ‘conscious rating distortion’ which means that their own agendas (eg, to avoid confrontation, promote problem employees out of their department RECOGNITION Source: Boyatzis (2006) Recognition enhances performance when it’s about the person getting it, not the one giving it.
  26. 26. 26 You say extrinsic, I say intrinsic Fig.13 North American managers tend to think employees are more motivated by extrinsic rewards (pay, medical benefits), whereas Latin American and Asian managers expect their teams to be intrinsically motivated (finding the job enjoyable and interesting). In this instance, the North American managers seem to be mistaken. Employees consistently report being more intrinsically than extrinsically motivated all over the world. This is good news as intrinsic motivations are more robust predictors of performance.50 or look good as a manager) are influencing who they recognise. Understandably, this makes their decisions seem rather unfair (to put it mildly).49 Recognition enhances performance when it’s about the person getting it, not the one giving it. A decent difference For recognition to increase performance there needs to be sufficient difference between top performers, steady players and the laggards. In other words, it’s worth being one of the best. Two of the most common traps when recognising people are centrality bias (‘we’re all average’), and leniency bias (‘we’re all above average’). In each case the difference between top and bottom is slight. Although these tend to be adopted to avoid upsetting someone and running the risk that performance will drop off, they have the opposite effect. Both lead to a decline in overall performance and most particularly for star players who don’t feel appreciated.51 Recognition is more effective when it is distributed closer to a bell curve. The way to achieve this is for managers to talk with each other about the performance of their people. This can be driven through a centrally imposed, forced or guided distribution curve; it can happen in formal inter-rating meetings often facilitated by the manager of the managers; or it can be achieved in informal conversations throughout the year. Whichever route, and there are pros and cons for each. It will succeed only when managers realise that. Without a decent enough differentiation they are not going to maximise the performance of their own team, even if that means making some tough calls. RECOGNITION Fig.14 Consistent differentiation Low 1 2 3 4 High 5 Numberofpeople Performance rating Leniency biasCentrality bias Fairer distribution Source: Prendergast (1999); Bretz, Milkovich and Read (1992)
  27. 27. 27 3f.CHOICE I CAN DECIDE You can’t always choose your circumstances but you can choose how you think about them and what you do as a result. I choose how to explain something If something bad happens, is it a one-off or is it a sign of a much wider and more enduring problem? The answer to this question indicates whether you have adopted an optimistic or a pessimistic (aka ‘realistic’) explanatory style.52 High performers will be agile and move between the two explanatory styles. They will adopt the more optimistic explanation for daily setbacks which they will see as temporary and specific to this situation (rather than long- lasting and applying in many situations). On the other hand, they will regard success as evidence of their capability to succeed again when faced with any number of new challenges. With a stronger sense of self- efficacy (I believe I can succeed) they are more likely to view challenging problems as tasks to be mastered. As a result, they recover more quickly from setbacks and disappointments53 and keep performing effectively for longer.54 Optimists achieve more, live longer and have better relationships. They are also wrong more often.
  28. 28. 28 Only when the consequences of getting it wrong would be severe do they switch to a more pessimistic explanation. I choose what to do A major reorganisation is announced. You hear on the grapevine that your role will be up for consideration but no one seems to know quite when it will be known, what the criteria are or what else is happening. Do you wait or do you act? Perhaps you start making your own inquiries internally, burnish your resumé and search for suitable jobs externally, or complete your current project early to show what value you bring. Those of us with an internal locus of control concentrate on what we can do rather than worry about what we can’t affect.55 This bias to act means that we are more likely to keep going whatever happens, with beneficial consequences for how we feel as well as how much we achieve. A sympathetic manager can help increase our internal locus by, for example, offering options, keeping to an agreed cadence for reporting on progress and letting us try new things out. Best of all, they can provide the support when we need it. I choose to seek support The heroes in books and films often succeed alone. In the real world it’s more likely to be the opposite. Top performers know where to go to for support and aren’t afraid to use whatever resources they can. The best networks will be broad covering technical, practical and emotional support, although rarely all from the same source.56 People with a dense web of relationships containing both ‘expressive ties’ (friends providing social support) and ‘instrumental ties’ (supervisors, peers and mentors providing ‘expert’ support) have a greater readiness for change and continue to perform better however much turbulence they encounter57 . A manager needs to provide support for all their team by, for example, protecting a team member from excessive scrutiny or unfair judgement and holding steady when performance wobbles. However, for the best results, the manager needs to make extra effort for recent arrivals who don’t know the company’s mores and will need help and time to build their own support networks. Without this support new hires are more likely to flounder, which has both an immediate impact on performance and a longer term effect on the ability to grow by bringing in fresh talent. Grit is it People with grit, as in the passion and perseverance to pursue long-term goals58 , not only CHOICE Fig.15 Those high in ‘grit’ were: Source: Duckworth et al. (2009) 20% more likely to have career changes than their peers more likely to pursue further education than their peers23% more likely to complete summer training at West Point Academy (US Military) 99% more likely to reach the later rounds in the National Spelling Bee contest 41% I can’t make the weather but I can pack a waterproof.
  29. 29. 29 ride out the rough times but emerge from them stronger and performing better. Setbacks don’t set them back. Grit is a better predictor of later success than many other factors, including IQ and conscientiousness.59 The extent to which grit can be learnt is the source of lively academic debate. What is clear is that people who demonstrate grit are more likely to give optimistic explanations for events, focus on what they can do rather than what is outside their control and draw on whomever and whatever they need for support. These are all behaviours that we can learn and managers can help to develop. A role for HR too Most big companies have something called ‘competencies’, which set out the skills people need to do their job well. In low turbulence environments, companies that concentrate on building competence will outperform. However, in environments where change is constant and the environment is volatile, this could be a mistaken priority. In turbulent times, the high performing teams concentrated on a mix of three elements: the ability to take a dramatically different course from the norm (agility), solid routines that provide a first response in the face of unexpected turbulence (practical habits) and the foresight to take pre-emptive action before turbulence hits (behavioural preparedness) (see Fig. 16).60 As a result, they kept learning and growing. In contrast, companies that stuck to a competence focus during turbulent times saw a considerable drop in performance. Keeping it up While all six conditions will get people to the top of their game, ‘Choice’ is the condition that gives people the greatest chance of staying there. When times get tough, the more choices we feel we have the more likely we are to keep going. Fig.16 Impact in low/high turbulent environments 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 -0.2 -0.4 Changeinperformance(%) Low turbulence High turbulence 0.17 0.12 0.22 0.48 0.21 0.22 0.21 -0.24 CHOICE Source: Akgün Keskin (2014) Agility: the ability to take a dramatically different course from the norm Practical habits: solid routines that provide a first response in the face of unexpected turbulence Behavioural preparedness: the foresight to take pre-emptive action before turbulence hits Competence focus
  30. 30. 30 Some people do damage without meaning to. They may be too paralysed with anxiety to make any significant decision or be in a role for which they lack the necessary skills. A poor IT programmer can do disproportionate harm to the work of a team of highly proficient ones. This isn’t malicious but it can be disastrous. In these situations, it’s the manager’s responsibility to remove them from danger quickly and so not allow them to become a drain on the team’s efforts or the manager’s time. Far harder to spot and to manage are those whose intentions are malicious – snakes in suits with a covert agenda to disrupt, sabotage and undermine to gain personal advantage. Whether it’s fire-fighting their sabotage attempts or simply worrying about how to keep them in their box (slim chance), these people sap energy, misdirect resources and, at the extreme, can bring down everyone who comes close. As a manager, their behaviour is not your fault. They are adults and they are making choices which have consequences. However, it is your responsibility to address the issue and prevent their behaviour from denting your team’s performance. Here are a few of the more common tricky types and what a manager might do about them. Credit thief Also known as the ‘buck passer’, they will demand full plaudits for any achievement they had the remotest connection to and will quickly find someone else to blame as soon as anything goes wrong. What to watch out for: Hearing about the great things they have done rather than what they’ve learnt from past mistakes, and the great things they are committed to doing. What to do: Be parsimonious in recognition for them but generous with others. Agree on specific challenges that they are accountable for, provide clear escalation for them to use if at any stage they think they aren’t going to succeed, and pay forensic attention so you’re fully aware of exactly what’s going on. They need to know you’re onto them. Self-anointed star Possibly too scared to show weakness or vulnerability and exhibiting narcissistic tendencies they act as if they can do no wrong. They may even believe it. What to watch out for: Your attempts at coaching get lots of nods but nothing ever changes. What to do: Give them plenty of challenge, pushing them into realms where they’re likely to falter in 4. TRICKY CHARACTERS The assumption in this report is that people who come to work want to do a decent enough job, or at least not do harm. In the vast majority of cases this is true. But there are exceptions.
  31. 31. 31 their confidence. When this happens, use recognition and growth to reinforce their progress, helping them understand that learning from setbacks is an attribute you value highly. Give overt recognition to colleagues who have clearly made mistakes and corrected them well. Mid-career prisoner (MCP) Savvy and often with a long service record, they see younger people promoted above them and sense that their career has peaked. With little experience elsewhere, they plan to stay put until they can take early retirement. But instead of working to grow the company, their energies have turned to undermining the new leadership by whom they feel betrayed. What to watch out for: They don’t contribute much in meetings and when they do it can be tinged with sarcasm or showing up mistakes that senior leaders have made (but could have avoided if only the MCP had been asked). They might inquire about opportunities to develop and progress, but whatever you offer it’s never quite right. What to do: Show them what their working life will amount to if they continue as they are now. Help create conditions for their growth by understanding what they want in life and how, by working with you, they can increase their chances of getting it. Offer practical opportunities such as sideway moves, increased responsibility, shadowing or job crafting in return for emotional commitment. Remind them of the beneficial impact that their work has to increase a sense of purpose. Double the recognition when you see a renewed energy from them. Trouble-maker If you have a psychopath on your team, you won’t change them. Get rid of them as quickly as you can. However, there are plenty of trouble-makers without such an extreme pathology. What to watch out for: Are they looking for attention or looking to conquer? If it’s the former, they will change when they are clear that your recognition goes only to the positive behaviours. If it’s the latter, you may notice that people in your team who were once hard-working and open have started to ease off and keep their distance from you. What to do: Give more of your time and attention to the people who are doing a good job and rise above minor issues. If the situation looks more serious, accept that it may be beyond your own capability as a manager, turn your attention back to the rest of your team, and seek help from professionals such as HR and legal. I didn’t get where I am today by… The notion that change is best done top down is, at best, unproven and in today’s more social, less reverential society almost certainly out of date. Yes, it helps if the boss at the top models what you want everyone else to do but it is far from essential. What to watch out for: What do the most senior people care about? If there is a way of aligning their ambitions, say to leave a legacy or pass on to a new generation, then there’s a chance. For many ‘old dogs’ there is little appetite for new tricks. What to do: Let the senior ‘stuck in the muds’ know what you’re up to and ask them not to get in the way, but don’t expect them to change too much themselves. Instead, focus on the level below who are more likely to be ambitious for advancement and make it clear that managing people well is one of the surest ways to realise their career dreams. I haven’t got time for all this people stuff Management has, for so long, been regarded as an ‘add-on’ that comes with promotion but without any lessening of individual targets, that some people will regard any extra duties as an unrealistic imposition. They may have seen their bosses rise up the hierarchy without giving too much attention to ‘people stuff’ and be affronted that the rules of the game appear to have changed. What to watch out for: a reputation for strong individual performance and technical expertise with little evidence of collaboration or leaning in to help others out. What to do: Option 1: show how by getting the people management bit right they will be more successful and have greater career prospects, ie, appeal to self-interest. Also, make it very clear that managing people well does not require more time, just using the time you have with people differently. Option 2: if they don’t, or won’t, get it, design roles so that technical experts don’t need to manage people to be seen to be successful. TRICKY CHARACTERS
  32. 32. 32 What to stop Stop tinkering (or worse) with the performance management system. If there are minor aspects that are causing extreme disruption or sending out contrary signals, change them quickly. Then leave the system well alone. If you’re starting with nothing, or a performance management machinery that’s in disrepair, put in the basics quickly and then turn your energy to encouraging the right behaviours. Stop using measures of compliance with the process as the basis for assessing how well performance is being managed. Try to keep to a minimum blanket emails telling people they’ve got only two days left to enter their goals. Stop talking about performance management as if it is a system or a process and, instead, talk about the six conditions: where they exist already and how to create them where they don’t. Just in case you’re still doing this, stop promoting technically excellent individuals into people management roles without assessing their aptitude. This may mean having fewer, better people managers with more direct reports (and fewer additional responsibilities). What to start Start talking about creating conditions for people to flourish and perform at the top of their game. Make this the basis for the language that senior leaders use to discuss talent, culture and performance. Encourage them to give examples of when and how they have experienced the different conditions and what they do to maintain them. Start to tell managers that you expect them to create these conditions and give them the right kind of support to do so (see ‘what to continue’ below). Start measuring the extent to which the conditions exist, either as part of your company’s employee survey or separately. Make sure you analyse the data to assess difference by team, or groups of teams who share the same KPIs. Start to correlate performance against the conditions. What to continue We hope that your company is one of the thousands who already use Mind Gym to build capabilities and change behaviour for the better. If so, please continue with this (and if not, we hope the fact you’ve read this far means that you’ll give us a go). Mind Gym’s team of psychologists have developed a series of 90-minute workouts for both individuals and managers that will help them create each of the conditions, jointly and severally. Every session is grounded in research and taps into the fundamental question – what’s in it for me? The workouts also address the underlying psychological barriers people have to approaching performance conversations as well as giving people practical skills they can apply immediately. Over one million managers and employees in 50 countries have taken part in a Mind Gym session so they have been fully tested before they get to you. 5. MAKING IT HAPPEN
  33. 33. Six conditions PURPOSE CHALLENGE ATTENTION For leaders Talk about why the work the company does matters and who ultimately benefits as a result. Set stretching goals for yourself and the company and be willing to celebrate when people do well against them, even if they don’t quite hit them. Spend time with customers and team members. Tell the stories about what you observe. Find ways to demonstrate that you know what your teams are up to. Recognise specific examples of behaviour rather than just achievements. For managers Tell people about the impact that their work has had and show how they are contributing to team and company objectives. Engage in discussion about goals to help people feel that they are ‘just about’ possible. Review goals frequently to check they are still appropriately stretching. Don’t expect people to feel comfortable about their goals when they are agreed. Be sure your feedback is descriptive, not just evaluative. Find creative ways to pay attention to larger, dispersed teams and gather feedback from those they work with. For employees What do you care about? Why did you join this company? Who is better off as a result of your work? Reflect on what drives you and how to get it at work. When agreeing goals with your manager confirm how achieving this goal will contribute to the organisation’s success. Take an active role in shaping your goals so that that they interest and inspire you. Be willing, or eager, to take on challenges that you don’t know that you can achieve. Keep in mind that people giving feedback have positive intentions to help. If they didn’t care about your success they wouldn’t bother giving feedback at all. Always ask for tips on how to improve. Don’t shy away from giving feedback to peers, and encourage them to replicate the favour. For HR functions Reinforce the vision and purpose of the organisation through all communication. Ensure that people performance is less about process, more about motivation. Keep goal setting simple; don’t kill the cognitive process by drowning it in forms and tick boxes. Allow for people who miss very stretching goals to be recognised as much, or more, as those who exceed easier ones. Place less emphasis on mid-year and year-end reviews, promoting a culture of continuous improvement and descriptive feedback. Update feedback training to place greater emphasis on informal, descriptive feedback and support managers in how to pay more attention.
  34. 34. 34 GROWTH RECOGNITION CHOICE Take time to share your story with your employees, you weren’t always top dog and it inspires people to hear how you worked your way through the ranks. Progress never stops. Take time for you and the leadership team to develop your own careers and reflect on the future. Tackle underperformance discreetly but unequivocally and make sure that top performers get their fair share of limelight. Reflect on where it’s possible to give people autonomy and ownership and where boundaries are necessary. When you share plans also explain the choices people have in how to implement them. As time is precious, try setting aside 1:1s each month specifically focused on career coaching with your direct reports. Explore opportunities to build skills and experience, not just traditional promotions. Understand each of your team and what they’re motivated by. Ensure the process and communication feels fair and consistent and watch out for your own personal biases. End-of-year reviews should feel part of an ongoing conversation, not a big surprise. Be open with your team, sharing mistakes, risks, successes, challenges and opportunities. Reframe failure as an opportunity to learn and share examples of your own. Create peer networks so everyone has a variety of support to call on when times get tough. Be open to all opportunities. Build a network, as the more people you know, the more opportunities will find their way to you. And if you don’t know what you want? Take time to reflect on what you’re good at, what you enjoy and the type of life you want to be living in five or ten years’ time. Be the change you want to see. Thank, celebrate and recognise team performance as well as great work from individuals. And tell your manager what you need from them to keep you motivated and performing at your best. Build a strong network with people you trust and call on them when you need support. When things are tough, remember that you always have a choice and usually many more than you realise. Create how-to guides for managers. Establish a requirement that hiring managers put together a possible career trajectory for new hires so they have a sense of the opportunities that lie ahead. Promote lateral moves, secondments and shadowing. Offer managers multiple ways of recognising and rewarding teams as well as individual performance. Have very clear guidelines on how to deal with underperformance and support managers through applying them. Promote a culture of ‘failing fast’ where mistakes are celebrated. Run a ‘naked HR’ campaign to demystify some of the people processes and reduce the scepticism around getting fired, hired and promoted. MAKING IT HAPPEN
  35. 35. 35 MAKING IT HAPPEN MIND GYM’S PROVEN 90 MINUTE WORKOUTS FOR MANAGERS Make it matter Help other people see how and why their work matters so they’re proud to say what they do. Performance management – why bother? When it comes to transforming performance, there is a magic bullet. It’s called performance management. No successful organisation can be without it. Even better, it doesn’t cost a penny. Goal setting Set goals that will stretch your team members and motivate them to perform at their best. Peak performance Imagine the boost to your team’s performance if you could turn all of your steady performers into stars. Held to account Help your team to take ownership for their own best performance so you can watch them shine without the fear of it all going wrong. Great feedback We explore how we can use positive and negative feedback to reinforce or change the behaviour of others. Courageous conversations Prepare yourself to face difficult conversations with courage and confidence. Discover how to master your emotions and stay in control. PURPOSE CHALLENGE ATTENTION
  36. 36. TO HELP YOU CREATE THE SIX CONDITIONS Rate success Drive better results and increase personal motivation through assigning an objective performance rating. Rewarding Money talks, but it needs to say the right thing. Discover how to reinforce the behaviours you want to see, without having to spend a penny. True grit A huge part of sustaining high performance comes down to sheer perseverance. Master the art of flying in the face of sometimes unrelenting adversity. Building bridges Be the architect that creates a sense of belonging for everyone. Shaping futures Understand where we are, where we’re going, and how we can get the best out of ourselves and our team. Play to strength Fight the natural inclination to focus on weaknesses and learn how to get more energy, vigour and commitment from your team. Performance coaching Win your team’s affections and the boss’s respect by supercharging your coaching approach. GROWTH CHOICE RECOGNITION
  37. 37. 37 Goal setting Development planning Mid-year End-of-year reviews Manager sessions Goal setting Shaping futures Held to account Rate success Employee sessions Give me strength Pathfinder Find your mojo Home truths MAKING IT HAPPEN Find your mojo Leap out of bed each and every morning by connecting with what really matters to you. Home truths Proactively seeking feedback, and knowing how to make the most of what you hear, means you’ll never dread receiving it again. Pathfinder Get more of what you want from your working life by taking control and opening up your options. Give me strength Being able to identify and understand our strengths can help us get more energy from our everyday lives. Bounce back You’ve missed the bus, again. Your office is making cutbacks. Learn how to bounce back from the everyday setbacks that life throws at us, and come out even stronger. FOR EVERYONE Just-in-time performance development To support your people at exactly the right moment and address performance before it becomes a problem, we can match sessions to your annual performance cycle. An example is illustrated below: PURPOSE/CHALLENGE GROWTH/ RECOGNITION CHOICE ATTENTION
  38. 38. 38 CASESTUDY In 2010, the purchase of Alico increased MetLife’s employee base to 65,000 and its customer base to 90 million. To compete on this new global stage MetLife would need to become a world-class company, operating flawlessly in all of its locations and developing its top talent to lead the way. But company surveys found a number of roadblocks: • inconsistencies in performance management across the business • goals recorded for less than 30% of employees • middle-of-the-road performers being promoted while top talent was sandbagged • bonuses failing to recognise the company’s stars They also found that, to really drive top performance, a more motivational leadership style was needed, rather than the traditional, authoritative approach. Working with MetLife, Mind Gym designed two global programmes to help people leaders handle the entire performance management cycle – from setting goals and coaching, to assessing performance and understanding biases – as well as giving them the tools to transform themselves from authoritarian managers to motivational leaders. Within six weeks, the sessions were rolled out at scale in nine different languages. To ensure global consistency while adding local context, Mind Gym also trained 150 MetLife facilitators to deliver the programmes. By the end of the programme, 98% of all employees had goals listed in the internal public system, payouts to low performers had decreased by 63% while higher- performer payouts had increased by 33%, and of the 2,652 people leaders who gave feedback, 83% were successfully using their new skills. In fact, pre- and post-programme surveys showed a significant uplift in competencies across the board. “Mind Gym provided the vital few ingredients that took our approach from average to outstanding. Our end product inspired managers to grow, change and develop in ways that we have not experienced in the past. Mind Gym were innovative, flexible, knowledgeable, and fun to partner with.” Rachel Lee, Global Talent, MetLife Helping 6000 people leaders become world-class motivators Giving feedback23% Career conversations17% Performance conversations17% Overcoming rating biases 93% 95% Evidence- based ratings 91% Sharing challenging messages
  39. 39. 39 CASESTUDY In 2013, Microsoft introduced a new approach to Performance Development, retiring traditional ‘Performance Management’. The company changed the primary focus from ‘evaluating’ employees to helping people continually improve. The company was on the verge of changing, and with it internal dynamics including much greater interdependencies, different development cycles, and changes to the role of people managers. It was critical to shift how people worked, changing focus from individual tasks to delivering impact through team work. The solution was an entirely new approach: performance was redefined as ‘impact’ with emphasis on ‘impact gained with and through others’. Ratings and rankings were retired. Reflection and feedback would be more frequent to enable more agile learning, growth and adjustments. ‘Connect’ discussions between managers and employees were introduced with flexibility for business teams to decide the timing and rhythm that made sense for them. Annual rewards would recognise impact but there would be no annual review. Conversations replaced a system, and 12,000 managers needed to be equipped with the tools to make it happen. Mind Gym designed a series of bite-size workouts to build managers’ capabilities to give frequent growth-oriented feedback, manage for continual improvement and reward impact. These were complemented by supporting sessions on actionable feedback and coaching. So far, in 500 sessions, 10,000 managers at Microsoft have undergone a Mind Gym experience. And the numbers say it all. In 2012, 45% of the workforce was dissatisfied with the performance system. In 2014, with the new approach, this fell to 16%, with 67% feeling positively about it. In 2012, 49% of managers felt the performance management system had a negative/very negative impact on collaboration. In 2014, after one year in the new approach, this dropped to 3%, with 70% answering that the new approach had a positive/very positive impact on collaboration across the company. Performance management at Microsoft – replacing a flawed system with a culture of collaboration and growth “Introducing a change like this doesn’t happen without a huge amount and variety of internal and external partnerships. There was a massive cross-team effort to design, introduce and land something that had so little resemblance to traditional approaches. Manager capability is a cornerstone in an approach like this and ensuring it enables Microsoft’s evolving culture.” Lisa Dodge, Global Performance Development, Microsoft and Peter Heller, Senior Director, Global Learning Development, Microsoft
  40. 40. 40 REFERENCES 1 Corporate Leadership Council (2002). Building the High-Performance Workforce: A Quantitative Analysis of the Effectiveness of Performance Management Strategies. Corporate Executive Board. 2 Schwartz, J., Bersin, J., Pelser, B. (2014). Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends: Engaging the 21st-century workforce. Deloitte University Press. 3 Schwartz, J., Bersin, J., Pelser, B. (2014). Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends: Engaging the 21st-century workforce. Deloitte University Press. 4 Yerkes, R. M. Dodson, J. D. (1908). The relation of strength of stimulus to rapidity of habit formation. Journal of comparative neurology and psychology, 18 (5), 459-482. 5 Jones, R. G. Culbertson, S. S. (2011). Why Performance Management Will Remain Broken: Authoritarian Communication. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, (4), 179–181. 6 Pulakos, E. D. O’Leary, R. S. (2011). Why is performance management broken? Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice (4), 146–164. 7 Theebomom, T., Beersma, B., van Vianen, A. (2014). Does coaching work? A meta-analysis on the effects of coaching on individual level outcomes in an organizational context. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 9 (1), 1-18. 8 Ariely, D. (2008). Man’s search for meaning: the case of Legos. Journal of Economic Behavior Organization, 67, 671–677. 9 Amabile, T. M. Kramer, S. J. (2010). What really motivates workers (#1 in breakthrough ideas for 2010). Harvard Business Review, 88 (1), 44-45. 10 Berggren, E. Fitz-enz, J. (2006). How Smart HCM Drives Financial Performance. Success Factors and Workforce Intelligence Institute. 11 Berggren, E. Fitz-enz, J. (2006). How Smart HCM Drives Financial Performance. Success Factors and Workforce Intelligence Institute. 12 Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., Killham, E. A., Asplund, J. W. (2006). Q12 Meta-Analysis. Gallup Consulting. 13 Cross, R., Linder, J. C., Parker, A. (2006). All Charged Up: Managing the Energy that Drives Innovation. Business Strategy Review. Autumn, 25-29. 14 Ellemers, N., De Gilder, D., Haslam, S. A. (2004). Motivating individuals and groups at work: A social identity perspective on leadership and group performance. Academy of Management Review, 29(3), 459-478. 15 Williams, K. D., Karau, S. J., Bourgeois, M. (1993). Working on collective tasks: Social loafing and social compensation. In Hogg Abrams (Eds.), Group motivation: Social Psychological Perspectives: 130-148. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf. 16 Corporate Executive Board (2013). Breakthrough Performance in the New Work Environment Identifying and Enabling the New High Performer. The Corporate Executive Board Company. 17 Cross, R., Linder, J. C., Parker, A. (2006). All Charged Up: Managing the Energy that Drives Innovation. Business Strategy Review. Autumn, 25-29. 18 Bughin, J. Chui, M. (2010). The Rise of the Networked Enterprise: Web 2.0 Finds Its Payday. McKinsey Quarterly. 19 Wrzesniewski, A., McCauley, C., Rozin, P., Schwartz, B. (1997). Jobs, Careers and Callings: People’s Relation to their work. Journal of research in personality, 31, 21–33. 20 Rodell, J. B. (2013). Finding meaning through volunteering: Why do employees volunteer and what does it mean for their jobs? Academy of Management Journal, 56 (5), 1274-1294. 21 Locke, E. A. Latham, G. P. (1984). Goal setting: A motivational technique that works. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. 22 Lount, R. B. Wilk, S. L. (2014). Working Harder or Hardly Working? Posting Performance Eliminates Social Loafing and Promotes Social Laboring in Workgroups. Management Science 60 (5), 1098-1106. 23 Baum, J.R., Locke, E.A. (2004). The relationship of entrepreneurial traits, skill, and motivation to subsequent venture growth. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 587–598. 24 Becker, L. J. (1978). Joint Effect of Feedback and Goal Setting on Performance: A Field Study of Residential Energy Conservation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 63 (4), 428-433. 25 Janis-Norton, N. (2012). Calmer, easer, happier parenting: The revolutionary programme that transforms family life. Yellow Kite. 26 Corporate Leadership Council (2002). Building the High-Performance Workforce: A Quantitative Analysis of the Effectiveness of Performance Management Strategies. Corporate Executive Board. 27 Corporate Leadership Council (2002). Building the High-Performance Workforce: A Quantitative Analysis of the Effectiveness of Performance Management REFERENCES
  41. 41. REFERENCES Strategies. Corporate Executive Board. 28 Hattie, J. (2008). Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement. Routledge. 29 Chhokar, J. S. Wallin, J. A. (1984). A field study of the effect of feedback frequency on performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 69 (3), 524-530. 30 Becker, L. J. (1978), Joint Effect of Feedback and Goal Setting on Performance: A Field Study of Residential Energy Conservation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 63 (4), 428-433. 31 Hardesty, S. L., Hagopian, L. P., McIvor, M. M., Wagner, L. L., Sigurdsson, S. O., Bowman, L. G. (2014). Effects of Specified Performance Criterion and Performance: Feedback on Staff Behavior: A Component Analysis. Behavior Modification, 3 8(5), 760–773. 32 Kanter, R. Brinkerhoff, D. (1980). Appraising the Performance of Performance Appraisal. MIT Sloan Management Review, 21 (3), 3-16. 33 Schwartz, J., Bersin, J., Pelser, B. (2014). Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends: Engaging the 21st-century workforce. Deloitte University Press. 34 Kray, L. J. Haselhuhn, M. P. (2007). Implicit Negotiation Beliefs and Performance: Experimental and Longitudinal Evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93 (1), 49-64. 35 Harvard Business Review (2014). Talent: How Companies Can Profit from a Growth Mindset: From an interview with Professor Carol Dweck. 36 Lazear, E. P., Shaw, K. L., Stanton, C. T. (2012). The value of bosses. National Bureau of Economic Research. Working Paper No. 18317. 37 Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., Hayes, T. L. (2002). Business-unit-level relationship between employee satisfaction, employee engagement and business outcome: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 268-279. 38 Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., Killham, E. A., Asplund, J. W. (2006). Q12 Meta-Analysis. Gallup Consulting. 39 Asplund, J. Blacksmith, N. (2012). Productivity through strengths. In The Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship, Chapter 27. Cameron, K. Spreitzer, G. M. (Eds.) N.Y. Oxford University Press. 40 Williams, M. L., McDaniel, M. A., Nguyen, N. T. (2006). A Meta-Analysis of the Antecedents and Consequences of Pay Level Satisfaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 93 (1), 49–64. 41 Williams, M. L., McDaniel, M. A., Nguyen, N. T. (2006). A Meta-Analysis of the Antecedents and Consequences of Pay Level Satisfaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 93 (1), 49–64. 42 Horswill, M. S., Waylen, A. E., Tofield, M. L. (2006). Drivers’ Ratings of Different Components of Their Own Driving Skill: A Greater Illusion of Superiority for Skills That Relate to Accident Involvement. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34 (1), 177–195. 43 Kruger, J. Dunning, D. (1999). Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 1121-1134. 44 Cross, P. (1977). Not can, but will college teaching be improved? New Directions for Higher Education, Issue 17, pages 1–15. 45 Oberoi, M. Rajgarhia, P. (2013). What Your Performance Management System Needs Most. Gallup Business Journal. 46 Flint, D. H. (1999). The role of organizational justice in multi-source Performance appraisal: theory-based applications and directions for research. Human Resource Management Review, 9 (1), 1-20. 47 Boyatzis, R. E. (2006). Using Tipping Points of Emotional Intelligence and Cognitive Competencies to Predict Financial Performance of Leaders. Psicothema, 18, 124-131. 48 Wang, L. Murninghan, J. K. (2013). The generalist bias. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 120, 47–61. 49 Spence, J. R. Keeping, L. M. (2011). Conscious rating distortion in performance appraisal: A review, commentary, and proposed framework for research. Human Resource Management Review, 21, 85-95. 50 DeVoe, S. E. Iyengar, S. S. (2004). Managers’ theories of subordinates: A cross-cultural examination of manager perceptions of motivation and appraisal of performance. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 93, 47–61. 51 Aguinis, H. O’Boyle, E. J. (2014). Star performers in twenty-first century organizations. Personnel psychology, 67, 313–350. 52 Seligman, M. E. P. (2006). Learned Optimism: How to change your mind and your life. Vintage Books. 53 Seligman, M. E. P. (2006). Learned Optimism: How to change your mind and your life. Vintage Books. 54 Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84, 191-215. 55 Rotter, J. B. (1954). Social learning and clinical psychology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. 56 Southwick, S. M. Charney, D. S. (2012). Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges. Cambridge University Press. 57 Vardaman, J. M., Amis, J. M., Dyson, B. P., Wright, P. M., Van de Graaff Randolph, R. (2012). Interpreting change as controllable: The role of network centrality and self- efficacy. Human Relations 65 (7) 835-859. 58 Duckworth, A. Peterson, C. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92 (6), 1087–1101. 59 Duckworth, A. L., Quinn, P. D., Seligman, M.E.P. (2009).
  42. 42. 42 Positive predictors of teacher effectiveness. Journal of Positive Psychology, 19, 540-547. 60 Lengnick-Hall, C. A., Beck, T. E., Lengnick-Hall, M. L. (2011). Developing a Capacity for Organizational Resilience through Strategic Human Resource Management. Human Resource Management Review 21 (3), 243–255. REFERENCES
  43. 43. 43 NOTES
  44. 44. 44 NOTES
  45. 45. Know more Website: www.themindgym.com Blog: www.themindgym.com/insights Twitter: @themindgym.com 5127_GB_AW_MS_280915 “The Mind Gym’s latest research paper on performance management is a refreshingly easy read - simple, clear and practical. It focuses on a few essential elements, which when put together, create a better environment for both managers and their people to perform at the top of their game.” Alison Brittan, CEO, Whitbread “Once again, the Mind Gym manage to distil a large body of empirical evidence into a down-to-earth and practical guide for leaders – well worth the read!” Dido Harding, CEO, TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC “The Bank’s ambitious Strategic Plan required a change to the way we thought about performance. Mind Gym worked from a grounding in psychological research which provided a data rational organisation such as ours with a compelling argument for adopting change. Their high energy workshops give managers pragmatic approaches to take away and put into practice.” Charlotte Hogg, COO, Bank of England “Mind Gym shows how creating the right psychological conditions can have the greatest impact on performance. Their insights are backed up by robust empirical data and with practical ideas to apply them as part of creating a high performance culture.” Sacha Romanovitch, CEO, Grant Thornton UK LLP UK 160 Kensington High St, London, W8 7RG, UK e: uk@themindgym.com t: +44 20 7376 0626 USA 9 East 37th St, New York, NY, 10016, USA e: usa@themindgym.com t: +1 646 649 4333 Singapore PWC Building, #28-63, 8 Cross Street, 048424, Singapore e: sg@themindgym.com t: +65 6850 7600 UAE Building 03, First Floor, Executive Office No. 114, Dubai, UAE e: uae@themindgym.com
  1. 1. REINVENTING PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENTHOW TO ACHIEVE MORE, WITH LESS, FOREVER Consultation edition, October 2015
  2. 2. MEET MIND GYM 61% of FTSE 100 and 53% of S&P 100 companies use Mind Gym for major challenges, such as: • Building a high performance culture (Microsoft, Thomson Reuters) • Delivering major productivity gains with more effective managers (Unilever, Met Life) • Turning around employee engagement (Zurich, Telefonica) • Transforming customer service (Santander, Canon) • Managing the human aspect of major re-organisations so they deliver in full (GSK, UK Government) In 2015, over 500,000 leaders, managers and individual contributors will take part in a live Mind Gym experience delivered by one of 250 qualified coaches in 40 countries, supported from offices in London, New York, Dubai and Singapore. 5 MINUTES WITH A GENIUS BEATS A MONTH WITH A FOOL We have an extensive portfolio of bite-size, 90-minute workouts on subjects from ‘Creativity for logical thinkers’ and ‘Conflict detox’ to ‘Wood for trees’ and ‘Me, me, me’. These have been independently assessed and proven to deliver the same impact as a traditional day-long event. SCIENCE IS SEXY – IN RESEARCH WE TRUST Everything in Mind Gym is evidence-based, drawing on the latest and the best psychology, behavioural economics and neuroscience. WE CHOOSE HOW WE THINK FAR MORE THAN WE REALISE Instead of taking people from A to B, Mind Gym takes them from A to options. That’s sustainable. PEOPLE CHANGE ONLY WHEN THEY BELIEVE IT’S IN THEIR OWN BEST INTEREST From Mind Gym’s brand to bespoke internal marketing campaigns, we target your employees’ self-interest. This way people change because they want to, not because their boss tells them. ONE SIZE FITS NO-ONE People seize on the tools that they believe will help them most, rather than ones centrally ordained. LITTLE AND OFTEN – THINK GYM RATHER THAN HEALTH FARM Application ‘back at work’ exceeds 85% when people discover a little at a time, giving them the chance to practice in between. Mind Gym transforms performance by changing the way people think. MIND GYM BELIEFS
  3. 3. CONTENTS 1. Performance misery 04 2. At the top of my game 06 3. The six conditions 08 a. Purpose – my work matters 13 b. Challenge – it’s demanding 16 c. Attention – you know how I’m doing 18 d. Growth – I am getting better 21 e. Recognition – it’s worth the effort 24 f. Choice – I can decide 27 4. Tricky characters 30 5. Making it happen 32 Case studies 38 References 40
  4. 4. 4 The hours spent completing appraisal, self-appraisal and 360 feedback forms; sitting in talks about how others are and should be rated; taking part in what is often an excruciating annual review; and then responding to the endless chasing emails about entering goals into a labyrinthine system, are enough to crush anyone’s soul. In addition to distracting leaders from more worthwhile activities, the potential for doing harm is significant. Formal reviews that focus on weaknesses reduce performance by up to 27%1 . Managing a colleague’s performance through an annual conversation is like managing your marriage through your anniversary. No wonder the yearly appraisal has become to recruiters what Christmas is to divorce lawyers. And yet 86% of organisations have either revised their performance management system in the last 18 months, or plan to do so soon.2 If their objective is to increase performance, they’re looking in the wrong place. 50,000 employees in 22 global companies working in 10 major industry sectors were asked to rate their manager and their company’s performance management system. Their answer was unequivocal. 70% of those who gave their manager top marks also viewed the performance management system as ‘very good’. Conversely, the employees who rated their manager as ‘below 1. PERFORMANCE MISERY Performance management. No two words from the corporate lexicon are more certain to dampen the mood of anyone you’d actually want to employ. Annual performance appraisals are to recruiters what Christmas is to divorce lawyers
  5. 5. 5 average’ overwhelmingly rated the very same system as ‘poor’.3 In other words, the system you choose will make little difference to performance if your managers don’t know how to get the best from their people. Debates about whether rankings should be ‘forced’, ‘guided’ or ignored, whether goals should be set annually, quarterly or monthly, or whether pay should be linked to performance scores, miss the point. A new performance management system is no more ‘the answer’ to raising performance than a new Customer Relationship Management System is to delighting customers. That’s not to say that we should scrap the system entirely. Whichever methodology an organisation chooses will be essential to certain aspects of its grip on performance – tracking it, reviewing trends, ensuring fairness and consistency, and satisfying legal and HR requirements. And some modifications to the system can act as a powerful symbol of a greater change. When the bosses at Microsoft removed forced ranking, it made a strong statement of intent, as the HR chief Lisa Brummel in her company-wide memo: ‘we are moving from a culture of negative competition, mistrust and poor management, to one of teamwork, collaboration, and employee development.’ But if Microsoft’s leaders had imagined that this alone would make much difference they would have been bitterly disappointed (discover how Microsoft did make a substantial difference on page 39). Bosses tend to have risen into their leadership roles by successfully optimising resources. When it comes to maximising return from their company’s hefty payroll, their inclination is to marshal human resources much like any other kind. There are plenty of proven ways to get people to perform at the top of their game, they just aren’t based in process design, inventory management, forensic metrics or sparkling new IT. They are built on the science of human behaviour: psychology. Fig.1 Rating of performance management system Organisations changing performance management systems in past/next 18 months 0 20 40 60 70% 85% 80 100 Employees rating system as ‘very good’ Managers rated as ‘best’ Managers rated as ‘below average’ Employees rating system as ‘poor’ Percentageofemployees(%) 86% PERFORMANCE MISERY Source: Gallup (2013) Source: Deloitte (2014)
  6. 6. 6 2. AT THE TOP OF MY GAME
  7. 7. 7 The model shows that, initially, the more excited we become about a challenge the better we do at it. As our arousal increases (to use Yerkes-Dodsons’ term), we move into ‘eustress’, which is a positive kind of stress known as euphoric stress. This is a motivational state that not only changes our perception of the things that might otherwise cause us to underperform (‘obstacles’ become ‘challenges’) but also our perception of our own capability (‘I believe I can do this’). When we’re in a state of eustress we feel motivated, stretched, and full of energy. As a result, we perform nearer the top of our game. An engineer in a workout said to his Mind Gym Coach, ‘I never get stressed. In fact the only thing that stresses me is when my peers get promoted ahead of me’. It’s not hard to diagnose what is happening. The engineer who doesn’t experience any stress is ‘coasting’ and his peers are experiencing ‘eustress’. As a result, they are performing to a higher level and getting promoted faster. The increase in arousal works up to a point. After that, it has the opposite effect. Anxiety-levels become too great and we experience distress, which is short for destructive stress. At this point, our performance starts to drop. The key to getting people to perform at the top of their game is to help (i) ensure that they operate at the peak of their curve most of the time, and (ii) change the height and breadth of the curve. Here’s how… What gets us to perform at our best? This was the question two psychologists, Robert Yerkes and John Dodson, examined over a century ago. Their language might seem old fashioned but the Yerkes-Dodson model is as relevant today as when they published it.4 Fig.2 Impact of arousal on performance Low High Arousal Coasting Eustress Overstretched Performer Top performer Underperformer Low High Performance AT THE TOP OF MY GAME Source: Yerkes Dodson (1908)
  8. 8. 8 3. THE SIX CONDITIONS The key to creating a high performance culture is setting up and maintaining the right psychological conditions. These conditions can be temporary and restricted to specific situations or they can be pervasive and seem almost permanent. Sometimes they exist without anyone consciously creating them, say, when you’re playing a competitive sport you love. At work, however, these conditions seldom arrive by chance. In most high performing environments considerable effort has been made to put and keep them in place. Mind Gym’s psychologists have identified the six conditions which have the most, and most certain, impact on building an environment where we’re all performing at the top of our game. In the subsequent chapters, we’ll share what each condition is, the science that underpins it, and how to bring them to life where you work. Before that, there are three questions that deserve an answer. How do these six conditions fit together? The six conditions are highly interdependent: altering one will have a ripple effect on the rest. It’s hard to increase challenge, for example, without affecting purpose and growth. It’s also difficult to enhance recognition without affecting attention. The science doesn’t suggest that any one condition has more impact than any other, but rather that the six conditions are like an ecosystem where the elements are all inter-related. When one condition is strengthened it automatically strengthens and supports the others, and vice versa. The decision on where to focus for maximum impact depends on the organisation, the team and the individual. It could make most sense for the organisation’s leaders to focus on talking about purpose, a manager to concentrate on being more attentive and an individual to increase their agility when it comes to making choices. Or it could be the other way around. PURPOSE my work matters ATTENTION you know how I’m doing RECOGNITION it’s worth the effort
  9. 9. 9THE SIX CONDITIONS CHALLENGE it’s demanding GROWTH I’m getting better CHOICE I can decide ORGANISATION TEAM INDIVIDUAL
  10. 10. 10 At an individual level, there are a number of factors that can affect which conditions are already playing a role and which need to be cultivated. These include our upbringing and how this influences how we look at the world, our social context both at work and outside, and our personal circumstances, from how things are going at home, to the nature of changes in the office. Some of these areas are very personal and it will be up to each manager/individual contributor to decide how much it is appropriate to share. One thing is for sure, some personal aspects should not be brought to work and the manager is as responsible as the individual for ensuring that appropriate boundaries are maintained. At an organisational or team level, the role a particular condition has to play will vary depending on national cultures, organisational cultures and sub-cultures as well as the environment and industry. Who’s responsible? In the traditional world of performance management, primary responsibility lies with the line manager and HR is chief enforcer of the process. In the new world of creating the conditions for high performance, the employee plays a far more active part. Manager and employee both have a role to play and they can succeed only by acting in unison. This gives employees much greater licence to influence their chances of success (and they are expected to use it), while managers are prompted to focus on setting their team members up to succeed. The buck cannot be passed. We really are in this together. For each of these conditions it is possible to be clear but unexciting, or vice versa. You might know exactly what the challenge is but not much care, or you might be very excited about the team’s vision but not know quite what’s expected of you to deliver it. The conditions are most potent when they appeal to both head and heart, ie, they are clear and motivating. Why will managers change this time? One of the most popular explanations for ineffective performance management is the reluctance of managers to have tough conversations. Like peas in a pod Fig.3 While all of the conditions are inextricably linked, there are some that interplay more naturally with one another. Here are just a few of the keener web-fellows. Challenge and growth – when we design roles or allocate tasks to play to an individual’s strengths, performance is likely to increase. This is because we have created both a more suitable challenge and accelerated personal growth. Attention and recognition – both conditions help to counter social loafing, which occurs when people think that if they slacken off there won’t be significant consequences. Recognition and growth – those who grow and develop will win recognition, but as part of effective recognition, managers should also provide new opportunities to grow. Challenge and purpose – when goals are aligned to a team or company objective the sense of collective purpose is also likely to increase. Choice, growth and purpose – it’s easier to choose a positive path when it feels connected to the things that matter to us and we can see how we’ll grow and develop as a result. Challenge and attention – setting goals and expectations encourages managers to pay attention on how well their team are doing. In turn, managers’ attention spurs individuals to achieve their goals and so, probably, to grow. THE SIX CONDITIONS To borrow a legal phrase: the manager and individual contributor are jointly and severally responsible.
  11. 11. 11 Fig.4 My role as an employee Conditions My role as a manager I make sure my work matters Purpose I help my team to see why their work matters I relish new challenges that I know will be demanding Challenge I equip people to believe that they can achieve even the most challenging goals I seek feedback, and use it to get better Attention I notice what people are doing, and hold them to account for their performance I master skills that matter to me and will help me in my future career Growth I help people develop and achieve things in the future that they couldn’t have done before I ensure my work is worth the effort Recognition I am consistent with who and how I provide recognition for individuals and teams I am proactive in making the best of every situation Choice I empower people to make their own decisions and offer support in times of challenge Jointly and severally responsible Who can blame them? Telling someone that what they’re doing isn’t good enough challenges a number of fairly universal human desires, such as being liked, not upsetting other people and feeling in control. It’s no wonder most of us would rather steer clear. A lasting legacy of soul-destroying appraisal cycles is that managers tend to have a negative association with perfectly sensible activities like giving accurate feedback and providing balanced career advice (rather than, say, false hope). Exhorting them to do more of the right things as part of a new, but not much improved, performance management process will have only a limited impact. By focusing managers’ attention on creating the six conditions rather than following any process, we encourage managers to talk about everyday topics, well, er, every day. This is both natural and easy, which means that the conversations are much more likely to happen. As a result, we greatly increase the chance of creating a mutually respectful and considerate relationship5 , and having regular, informal, high-quality dialogue6 , both of which help people to perform at the top of their game. It also greatly reduces the trickiness of a year-end appraisal. If you’re having regular conversations about how someone is getting on, then the annual review is little more than a chance to celebrate and take stock. You might even look forward to it. Underpinning all of this is effective, on-the-job managerial coaching which has been shown to increase reports’ wellbeing, resilience, attitude to work and ability to achieve stretching goals.7 Setting up these conditions has plenty of benefits for the manager. Not only are they likely to get the credit for a top performing team but work life will become a whole lot easier. High flyers will seek out a chance to work for them, colleagues will put in the extra effort and getting things done will be comparatively straightforward. THE SIX CONDITIONS
  12. 12. 12 Where do these conditions come from? Fig.5 Mind Gym’s first report on dynamic performance management was published in 2010. Since then, over 30 SP/FTSE 100 companies, including Microsoft, Maersk and MetLife (and those are just the ones beginning with the letter ‘M’) have engaged Mind Gym to help them rethink how they manage performance. To support these clients and in preparation for this paper, Mind Gym’s psychologists analysed over 200 peer-reviewed studies on what gets people to perform at their best. The first draft of this paper was then reviewed by Mind Gym’s Academic Board and senior HR/OD/ Talent from 40 world-renowned companies in the US and UK. Their comments helped shape this current edition. We’re restless in our search for new discoveries. If you have views, come across relevant research papers or have practical experience, we want to hear from you. Best of all it means that managers, who have only so much that they can think about at any one time, are concentrating on the few things that will make the most difference. This means that they will see results quickly which will encourage them to keep at it. Pointing in the right direction The science is clear: creating these six conditions creates the best chance that people will perform at the top of their game, not just today but every day. Just as critically, by focusing managers and individual employees’ attention on the conditions, rather than the system, there is a far greater chance that everyone will actually adopt the behaviours that lead to high performance. The science is robust but what does it mean in practice? THE SIX CONDITIONS
  13. 13. 13 3a.PURPOSE MY WORK MATTERS ‘Why am I doing this?’ is a question most of us have asked ourselves at one time or another. The richer our answer the more likely we are to perform at the top of our game. Why bother? ‘Purpose’ covers a wide spectrum. At one end is putting a man on the moon, as the fabled cleaner at the Space Center allegedly told John F Kennedy. At the other, is simply feeling that ‘my work is not irrelevant’. There are plenty of shades of ‘purpose’ between these extremes. Feeling one sense of purpose doesn’t preclude any of the others, and the stronger our connection to these purposes, the more we relish what we’re doing and the more effort we are likely to put in. Here are the three most common types of ‘purpose’ that directly affect performance. 1. Task purpose Your boss asks for the report in her inbox by end of play on Tuesday. You work all hours to get it done. You see her on Thursday and she hasn’t read it but promises to over the weekend. You ask her about it on Monday and it’s clear from her questions that she’s skimmed it, at best. You could be forgiven for thinking that all that work you did was pointless. In an experiment, participants were asked to build Lego figures and were paid decreasing amounts for each one they built, starting at $2 for the first, then $1.89 for the second, $1.78 for the third and
  14. 14. 14 so on until they decided to stop. In Group #1, the completed figures were displayed as they were built on an adjacent table; in Group #2, each figure was broken down and the pieces handed back to the participant to use for their next figure. The group who watched their Lego figure being taken apart completed 30% fewer figures than their peers, at a 15% higher unit cost.8 Nothing was said to the participants in either group like ‘well done’ or ‘nice Lego figures’ but simply the sense that their work wasn’t pointless led to a significant productivity gain. In an analysis of 12,000 workday diaries completed by employees in many different companies and industries there was one factor that had the biggest difference between ‘best’ and ‘worst’ days at work. It was ‘a sense of progress’. In ‘best’ days, 76% of employees reported making progress in contrast to only 25% in self- reported ‘worst’ days9 . Simply feeling that our work isn’t futile can have a significant impact on our performance. Feeling that we’re making progress can further multiply that effect. 2. Collective purpose Sports analogies can be misleading. In sport the outcome is usually decided in a period between 10 seconds and 90 minutes by between 1 and 15 people and if one side wins, another loses. A lucky bounce, a split second or a distracted referee can make the difference between triumph and disaster. Business couldn’t be much more different. Results come from small tasks delivered every hour of every day by hundreds or thousands of people who barely know of each other’s existence. There is very rarely a big event and almost all the time is spent ‘playing’ rather than in rehearsal/training. Breaking the rules of the game is likely to be the basis for success rather than a reason to be penalised. Sport has more in common with ballet than business. There is, however, one way in which sports teams do provide a helpful analogy for the world of work: the sense of being in it together. When sportspeople talk about the reasons for their success, they invariably talk about the strong bonds within the team and the shared commitment to winning. Top performing businesses are 20 times more likely to have every manager’s goals aligned to the company strategy.10 In the same study, 46% of employees’ goals were explicitly aligned with the company goals in high performing companies but this was only 18% in weaker performing companies.11 Working with people we like, respect, or ideally both, greatly increases the chance that we’ll feel connected12 . For most of us there are 7-10 people at work who have a disproportionate effect on how strong this sense of connection is.13 Where these relationships are strong we are more likely to identify with a shared purpose, to keep working hard even when no one notices and to go outside our role remit to ensure success.14 In otherwise similar scenarios, groups of close friends or teammates consistently work harder and achieve more than groups composed of strangers or mere acquaintances.15 The quality of relationships beyond the core team also matters. When employees are encouraged to focus on supporting colleagues in other parts of the company, rather than just their own team, there appears to be an increase in profits by c.11% and revenue by c.5%.16 In better networked companies there is also more innovation17 and they tend to deliver greater market share and return on investment.18 PURPOSE Simply feeling that our work isn’t futile can have a significant impact on our performance. Feeling that we’re making progress further multiplies the effect. Sport has more in common with ballet than business.
  15. 15. 15 Fig.6 My relationship with work 2.6 4.2 4.5 2.4 4.6 4.7 1.6* 5.7* 5.5* 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Job 33% Career 32% Calling 35% Satisfactionlevel Need for more work-life balance Life satisfaction Job satisfaction 3. Social purpose Imagine you’re asked to allocate 100 points across three different ways of thinking about your work: (i) as a job, to earn money to meet your material needs and wishes (ii) as a career to be able to take on a more significant role in the future, (iii) as a calling that contributes to a greater good, anything from helping customers to lead happier lives to making the world a better place. What would your allocation be? Professor of Organizational Behaviour, Amy Wrzesniewski, asked a wide range of workers this question. She discovered that the differences across roles were often insignificant. For example, physicians, health educators, hospital janitors and administrators allocated their points in similar proportions across ‘job’, ‘career’ and ‘calling’: a third, a third, a third. The type of work we do seems to have little, if any, impact on how we think about it. This matters because those who are more inclined to see their work as a ‘calling’ are significantly more likely to be satisfied with both their job and the rest of their life, and feel the lowest need to adjust their work-life balance.19 By seeing the ultimate benefits of our work for society we are likely to be happier, more fulfilled and more productive, and whether we work in the back office of a bank or the front line of a charity, this opportunity is equally available. For those who get stuck and can’t see any social purpose to their work, it seems that performance can still be improved by working on an overtly social cause outside the day job. Employees who volunteer for ‘greater good’ projects also perform better inside work, even if the two activities are unrelated.20 *Significant to p0.5 for Calling vs. Job/Career PURPOSE Source: Wrzesniewski, McCauley, Rozin, (1997)
  16. 16. 16 3b.CHALLENGE IT’S DEMANDING A group of shop assistants were telling a Mind Gym research analyst about Saturdays. ‘They’re frantic, with customers who don’t know the store constantly asking questions and you’re rushed off your feet without a moment to catch your breath. Then when the shop closes you have to stay back to clear up the mess and re-arrange everything for the next day. It’s chaos.’ Our researcher then asked, ‘so what is your favourite day of the week?’ ‘Saturday, of course’, was the unanimous answer. Ask someone to tell you about their greatest accomplishment and they will tell you a story that is filled with hard work, setbacks and problems. Achieving something difficult is rarely pleasurable at the time. It is, however, immensely rewarding afterwards. A manager shouldn’t worry when their team members find something difficult, but more so when they don’t. We perform at our best when we are suitably challenged. The question is: what is suitable? 1 Clear When American/Canadian loggers were given specific, challenging goals their performance improved immediately and significantly compared with those who were told to simply ‘do their best’.21 In a year-long study with the American Pulpwood Association, when goals were explicit, outputs increased even though there were no additional rewards. When performance dropped a third of the way through the study (block 5, Fig. 7), the loggers were testing management’s statement that there would be no punishment if performance dropped. As soon as they knew this was true, performance returned. When call centre staff recruiting individuals for market research focus groups saw their performance publicly posted, activity and conversion rates increased. Peer pressure had an impact on individuals but even more so for teams: those working in a group started to outperform those working alone.22 Telling people what is expected of them and how they are doing against this goal is very likely to increase productivity. This supports the old adage that ‘what gets measured gets done’. However, there is more to challenge than simply setting goals and measuring performance against them. 2 Just within reach A six-year study of 229 entrepreneur CEOs concluded that business growth was largely driven not just by giving employees stretching goals but also by helping them believe that they could achieve them.23
  17. 17. 17 In building this belief, the manager’s responsibility is to help the individual appreciate the goal is ‘just about possible’. This could be done, for example, by showing what resources they could draw on, or breaking the overall challenge into more achievable chunks, or reviewing how the individual achieved what seemed like similarly stretching challenges in the past. The individual’s responsibility is to take on a challenge that they don’t yet know how to achieve but recognise is just about possible. Performance management systems that link reward to accomplishment of pre-agreed goals create a moral hazard. In these environments, it’s in the individual’s financial self-interest to talk down their goals even though it’s in their psychological interest to aim high. In a study on the impact of goals, those set a 20% stretch target achieved 15% (increase in energy efficiency, in this case), whilst those set a low target of 2% achieved 6%24 (see Fig. 8). In a rigid performance management system, the first group would have been told that they’d missed their target (by a quarter) and the second group congratulated for trouncing their goal, even though they had achieved far less. This is clearly the opposite of what’s needed to maximise performance. In order to accept demanding challenges individuals need to know that they won’t be penalised for missing them. The ‘just within reach’ goal delivers the best returns for everyone. 3 Up for review Just because the goal was suitably stretching when it was agreed, doesn’t meant that it still is. As circumstances change it might have become too easy, or not so relevant, or downright impossible. Over 50% of companies where goals tend to be reviewed each month are in the top quartile in terms of financial performance. In companies where goals were reviewed once a year only 24% made it into the same bracket. The optimum time between goal review sessions will be different for different types of teams. A salesperson won’t appreciate having their target chopped and changed. Equally, a consultant will prefer goals for each assignment rather than for a whole year over which they could end up doing any number of different things. The trick for managers is to remain agile and flexible, ready to spot and adjust quickly to what will yield the greatest performance for their people. For this to work, individuals also need to be open to revisiting goals to make them more relevant and, quite possibly, harder. The challenge challenge ‘If it’s not hurting it isn’t working’ shouts the sports jock t-shirt. In the corporate world it is far less certain. Working life can be painful in ways that dramatically reduce performance. Equally, if your work isn’t suitably stretching then you aren’t performing at the top of your game. The answer: the challenge needs to fit the individual, not the other way round. Performance management systems that link reward to accomplishment of pre-agreed goals create a moral hazard. CHALLENGE Fig.7 Logs loaded as percentage of legal maximum load 50 60 70 80 90 100 Percentagelegalnetweight 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Blocks of four weeks Do best Specific hard goal Source: Locke Latham, 1984: Latham Kinne, 1974; Latham Yukl, 1975
  18. 18. 18 We now know that telling a child they’re ‘so creative’ or their picture is ‘beautiful’ is far less helpful than was assumed. The child is likely to be confused and not know what they can do to get noticed in the same way again. Far more constructive is to describe their drawing – a yellow circle, blue wavy lines, a dark brown oblong (or more detail for an older child) – without evaluating it. The tone of the parent’s voice will be enough for the child to deduce whether this is a good thing or not. The history of corporate feedback is similarly checkered. The ‘feedback sandwich’, which recommended a slice of praise at either end of negative feedback, was more likely to give psychological indigestion than sate an appetite for learning. When a Mind Gym research analyst was told by the senior director of a world-renowned financial institution that he was very good at giving praise, the analyst asked, ‘What do you do other than say ‘well done’?’ The director appeared not to compute the question. After a long pause he stammered, slightly indignantly, ‘well, what else would you do?’ What do you see? In a study of more than 19,000 employees, the strongest lever of increased performance was the fairness and accuracy of a manager’s descriptive feedback, ie, observing direct reports and reporting on specific examples of what they saw, without evaluating it. This appeared to give performance a whopping 39% boost.26 This simple of act of noticing and saying what you noticed is potentially the most powerful feedback of all. It requires far less courage than the more traditional ‘tricky messages’ and is far less open to being considered biased or inconsistent than old fashioned, ‘well done’, praise. It’s also a skill that we can all acquire. It just requires effort from the person who should be doing the noticing. YOU KNOW HOW I’M DOING 3c.ATTENTION Telling a child that they’re ‘so creative’ or that their picture is ‘beautiful’ is less likely to help them flourish than describing what you see in their drawing.25 When we were growing up, telling your child that you loved them was considered good enough parenting. Research in the last 20 years has revealed that there is rather more to being an effective mum or dad.
  19. 19. 19 Once the observations have been shared and agreed, either party can then give their interpretation. The key is to own this interpretation rather than assuming it. ‘I noticed that you asked the candidate the same question three times, in slightly different ways. I thought they hadn’t given a straight answer the first time. I wondered if you thought the same.’ The observation is stated objectively and the evaluation or interpretation is owned by the speaker. The other person is then free to give an alternative explanation, eg, ‘actually it was because I couldn’t think of anything else to ask’, or ‘I thought they had more to say on the subject and wanted to give them another chance’. A climate where descriptive praise is normal also makes it easier for the person who wants to be noticed. Instead of the slightly awkward, ‘please can you give me some feedback?’, they can ask the far less threatening ‘what did you notice?’. What do you know? There’s a world of difference between asking ‘what are you working on?’ and ‘how’s your consumer analysis for the Indian market entry strategy going?’ In the same study that showed the impact of descriptive feedback, performance increased by 30% when managers were knowledgeable about their reports’ performance27 . The employee who thinks their manager always knows what they are up to is far more likely to feel appreciated and so to raise their game. A failure by the manager to keep informed leaves the team open to social loafing. This occurs when one member of the team starts to slacken off and seems by his/ her peers to get away with it. The other team members then start to ease off too. The first team member realises he/she is now working as hard as everyone else so slackens off even more, and so the cycle continues. The way to pre-empt social loafing is to notice what is going on and make sure that everyone knows you’ve noticed. This is especially so with teams who work remotely and in different time zones. Managers with remote reports might wisely decide to shadow on a few client calls or chat over messenger to keep closer to what is happening. They will also need to make extra effort to keep up to speed with what is going on when they aren’t around. ATTENTION Fig.8 The power of frequent feedback Baseline Training and goal setting Training and goal setting only Feeback once a week Feeback once in two weeks Feeback once in two weeks 41 Weeks 0 10 16 23 27 32 Safetyperformance 50 40 30 20 10 0 Source: Chhokar and Wallin (1984)
  20. 20. 20 In passing ‘Where would I find the time?’ is a well-worn rebuttal from managers who would rather not engage in all this ‘people stuff’. The joy of paying attention is that it doesn’t require more time, in fact usually less. The key to paying attention is to do it lightly and often. A quick observation, delivered informally will have at least as much impact as a formal conversation. If it’s part of your daily routine then the effect will be significantly greater. A major study with school-aged children found that they learnt more effectively and performed better when given feedback before or during a learning process rather than at the end, allowing them space to reflect and share their own thoughts about where the gaps in their learning were along the way.28 Grown-ups learn in much the same way. Often enough The most effective kind of attention is informal, frequent and irregular. If this doesn’t happen, the research suggests there is a minimal threshold for the frequency of feedback: once every two weeks. In an analysis of safety performance among industrial workers, whether feedback was once a week or once every two weeks didn’t make any significant difference. However, once feedback was removed altogether and reliance was on training and goal setting only, safety performance dropped off (see Fig. 8)29 . In a separate research project, households were set a target to improve energy efficiency30 . The households were given different goals and either received fortnightly feedback or none at all. The effect of the feedback was transformative (see Fig. 9). More recent investigations within clinical healthcare settings31 confirm that, whatever the setting, stretching goals combined with clear, fortnightly feedback are strong drivers of improved performance. Stretching goals and fortnightly feedback 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 -2 Improvement(%) 20% goal with frequent feedback 20% goal with no feedback 2% goal with no feedback 2% goal with frequent feedback 5% 6% -0.6% 15% Fig.9 Source: Becker (1978) ATTENTION
  21. 21. 21 3d.GROWTH I AM GETTING BETTER When we’re working towards a better future for ourselves we deliver more along the way for everyone else. Getting stuck sucks Those who cannot see how their working life can progress get stuck. They have lowered aspirations, diminished self-esteem, are less engaged, perform worse and are ultimately more likely to leave32 . By the time they do move on, these people are usually considered underperformers and no one much minds. But it needn’t have turned out like that. The ‘stuck’ are often as talented as the high flyers. To maximise performance and avoid wasting talent, we need to get stuck people moving again as quickly as possible. This happens only if they can see how their working life can improve and what they can do to make it better. When promotions are scarce and budget cuts mean there’s little hope of pay rises, ‘moving’ needs to mean more than moving up the hierarchy. Progress may include new skills, new cultural experiences, new ways to balance home and work (more/less travelling), job rotations, secondments to a new area of the business, leadership opportunities or even a sabbatical outside the organisation, all of which help people ‘unstick’ and get moving.33
  22. 22. 22 GROWTH HR can provide career paths; managers can show the individual how what they are doing now will help them realise their long-term ambitions; but ultimately it is for individuals themselves to decide what would make their working life better and to do something about it. In a Mind Gym trial, 120 professionals in a highly regarded consultancy took part in a short workshop called ‘Pathfinder’ which was billed as a way to help with their career. In the first few minutes the consultants were asked to rate on a scale of 1-10 how much they flourished at work now and what they thought their score would be in three years’ time if they stayed at the consultancy. The rest of the workshop was spent working out what they could do to increase the score for three years’ time. In an evaluation based on questionnaires completed before, after and three months later, there were statistically significant shifts in a series of measures including intent to stay at the consultancy. Even with such a short intervention, some unsticking took place. As good as it gets? Do you think of intelligence as something we’re born with that is fixed, or do you think it can grow and be improved with discipline and practice? Researchers at University of California, Berkeley, ran an experiment to find out. A group of MBA students were set a negotiation task and given a week to prepare. When they returned a week later, just before they were about to conduct the negotiation, they were randomly allocated into two groups. Each group was read a paragraph of about 50 words. One group was told that negotiation is a fixed skill that we acquire in childhood and that it doesn’t change – you’re either good at it or you’re not. The other group was told it is something you can get much better at with practice. The maximum score for the negotiation exercise was 13,200 points. The group that was told that negotiation is a fixed skill scored 3,332 points. The group that was told it was a malleable skill scored on average 6,300 points.34 Numerous other studies have confirmed the finding that those with a malleable view of capability (be it negotiation, intelligence or even playing the violin) greatly outperform those with a fixed view. Building on her seminal work defining growth mindsets, Psychology Professor Carol Dweck explored whether companies can demonstrate a growth mindset. She found that those companies demonstrating more of a growth mindset benefit from employees who are 47% more likely to say their colleagues are trustworthy, 34% more likely to feel a strong sense of ownership and commitment to the company, 65% more likely to say that the company supports risk taking and 49% more likely to say the company fosters innovation.35 This has two important implications: • Managers who believe in the ability of their people to learn and grow will achieve more. This means putting people in situations where they may make mistakes and encouraging them to learn. • Individuals who realise that they can grow are more likely to seize opportunities that will force them to do things that they might find uncomfortable. This, above all, will get them unstuck. Mastery and playing to strengths In order to realise our vision of a better work life, we will need to master skills. In a six-year longitudinal study, the impact of swapping a good manager over a weak one was The impact for teams that focus on strengths Fig. 10 20 0 -10 10 -20 Productivity Profitability Employee turnover rates %difference Source: Asplund (2012) Is intelligence fixed or can you increase it?
  23. 23. 23GROWTH Effective coaching drives progress Fig.11 +12% output, which compared with +11% for the much more expensive option of adding a new person to the team. The single biggest factor that differentiated the good manager from the weak one was the ability to coach or educate.36 We perform at our best when we are doing something that fits with our strengths, motivations and values. This means that we are less likely to have to bend ourselves out of shape to fit in and so more likely to devote all our energies to mastering skills and getting the job done. And this drives our performance. One meta-analysis confirms the benefits of creating a strength- based organisation or team. In an analysis of 125 companies and over 20,000 business or work units, those that focused on strengths delivered significantly greater productivity and profitability, and lower employee turnover rates (see Fig. 10) compared to those that didn’t.38 Employees who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged at work and managers who focus on employee strengths will, on average, have only 1% of their team who are actively disengaged39 . There are significant performance gains for those who are willing to change the shape of the hole as well the peg. This means crafting roles and shaping challenges to suit the individuals who will carry them out, as well as the other way around. Mind Gym conducted a smaller study with the retail division of a UK telecommunications business and found that those managers who had received coaching from their line manager were also more likely to say their performance had improved (see graph below). But of even greater interest is that in the period that the coaching was rolled out, the branches’ ability to hit their revenue targets rose by a whopping 29% (statistically significant p0.5). Other benefits included a 4% increase in customer experience and a 7% increase in the mid-year engagement pulse score ‘there is someone at work who actively encourages my development’ (both statistically significant rises at p0.5). Only a fifth of employees say that they ‘have the opportunity to do what they do best every day’ but those that do are 1.4 times more productive.37 Source: Retail division of UK Telecommunications business 2011 34% 38% 28%34% 11% 55% Participants who believed they improved 100% Participants who believed they hadn’t improved Participants who were unsure if they improved Received coaching Didn’t receive coaching Weren’t sure
  24. 24. 24 3e.RECOGNITION IT’S WORTH THE EFFORT When the UK’s postal service, Royal Mail, struggled with absenteeism, the bosses tried a novel approach. They launched an internal lottery with the prize of a new car. The only way to get a ticket was to be at work every day for that month. Absence fell dramatically when the lottery was launched, and after a few months, its frequency was reduced from monthly to two- monthly and then quarterly. To the bosses’ surprise, reducing the frequency had no impact on attendance levels. It’s the other guy It would be easy if there was a mathematical relationship between how much effort we put in and what we get in return. Only employees don’t behave like other kinds of business investment, which explains why reducing the frequency of the Royal Mail’s lottery made no difference. One of the largest predictors of satisfaction is social comparison. Employees who look around them and perceive they aren’t being recognised fairly don’t perform as well.40 In short, we care less about how much we’re paid in absolute terms than how much we’re paid in comparison to Ned at the next desk41 . We might tell ourselves that the question which matters is: ‘is it worth the effort?’, but we are actually more affected by the answer to a different question: ‘am I being treated fairly?’ Fair enough ‘Fair’ is in the eye of the beholder. Is it fairer to reward based on effort, output, need, behaviour, loyalty, potential, progress or other criteria? Your answer might be very different from mine and yet neither of us is necessarily right or wrong. Even more troubling for those seeking a scientific answer to the question of fairness, is self- enhancement bias. Most of us think we are above average drivers42 and overestimate our IQ43 , 94% of university professors rate themselves as above average teachers44 . In perceptions of fairness the truth is only one, often minor, factor. Employees are far more likely to feel that an assessment is fair when they: • know what they are being assessed against in advance • know how they are doing along the way and so don’t get a surprise come review time You might be accurate to describe my sense of humour as ‘below average’ but I’m unlikely to find it funny.
  25. 25. 25 Impact of self-regulationFig.12 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 Self-motivation Self-regulation People management Cognitive Annualprofit($m) Below TP Above TP TP – the tipping point, the point at which the behaviour has been demonstrated sufficiently by a partner to create outstanding financial performance • feel confident that the assessment is on the same basis for them as for their colleagues. When these criteria are met employees tend to perform better45 . This applies very much to underperformers, who will act to improve on low review ratings only if they perceive those ratings to be fair. If they think the rating is unfair, their performance is likely to decrease even further – after all, why bother?46 About me, not my manager For recognition to feel fair, I need to believe that it’s about me and what I’ve achieved, not about the person who gives it and their agenda. The standout factor that differentiates the most successful partners in a major professional services firm from the rest is emotional self-regulation47 (see Fig. 12). For a manager to be considered fair, they need this kind of self- control so they make the same judgement about someone’s work whatever mood they’re in. We all have favourite colours, clothes or holiday destinations. In much the same way we tend to have favourite kinds of people to speak on behalf of the company at a conference or lead a high profile project. A manager might rate a fellow extrovert more highly than an equally talented introvert, or give more work to an employee they see in the office every day rather than one who works remotely. Many managers are susceptible to the generalist bias – the tendency to reward, select and develop people with general skills even when complementary, specialised skills are needed.48 A significant proportion of managers fall prey to ‘conscious rating distortion’ which means that their own agendas (eg, to avoid confrontation, promote problem employees out of their department RECOGNITION Source: Boyatzis (2006) Recognition enhances performance when it’s about the person getting it, not the one giving it.
  26. 26. 26 You say extrinsic, I say intrinsic Fig.13 North American managers tend to think employees are more motivated by extrinsic rewards (pay, medical benefits), whereas Latin American and Asian managers expect their teams to be intrinsically motivated (finding the job enjoyable and interesting). In this instance, the North American managers seem to be mistaken. Employees consistently report being more intrinsically than extrinsically motivated all over the world. This is good news as intrinsic motivations are more robust predictors of performance.50 or look good as a manager) are influencing who they recognise. Understandably, this makes their decisions seem rather unfair (to put it mildly).49 Recognition enhances performance when it’s about the person getting it, not the one giving it. A decent difference For recognition to increase performance there needs to be sufficient difference between top performers, steady players and the laggards. In other words, it’s worth being one of the best. Two of the most common traps when recognising people are centrality bias (‘we’re all average’), and leniency bias (‘we’re all above average’). In each case the difference between top and bottom is slight. Although these tend to be adopted to avoid upsetting someone and running the risk that performance will drop off, they have the opposite effect. Both lead to a decline in overall performance and most particularly for star players who don’t feel appreciated.51 Recognition is more effective when it is distributed closer to a bell curve. The way to achieve this is for managers to talk with each other about the performance of their people. This can be driven through a centrally imposed, forced or guided distribution curve; it can happen in formal inter-rating meetings often facilitated by the manager of the managers; or it can be achieved in informal conversations throughout the year. Whichever route, and there are pros and cons for each. It will succeed only when managers realise that. Without a decent enough differentiation they are not going to maximise the performance of their own team, even if that means making some tough calls. RECOGNITION Fig.14 Consistent differentiation Low 1 2 3 4 High 5 Numberofpeople Performance rating Leniency biasCentrality bias Fairer distribution Source: Prendergast (1999); Bretz, Milkovich and Read (1992)
  27. 27. 27 3f.CHOICE I CAN DECIDE You can’t always choose your circumstances but you can choose how you think about them and what you do as a result. I choose how to explain something If something bad happens, is it a one-off or is it a sign of a much wider and more enduring problem? The answer to this question indicates whether you have adopted an optimistic or a pessimistic (aka ‘realistic’) explanatory style.52 High performers will be agile and move between the two explanatory styles. They will adopt the more optimistic explanation for daily setbacks which they will see as temporary and specific to this situation (rather than long- lasting and applying in many situations). On the other hand, they will regard success as evidence of their capability to succeed again when faced with any number of new challenges. With a stronger sense of self- efficacy (I believe I can succeed) they are more likely to view challenging problems as tasks to be mastered. As a result, they recover more quickly from setbacks and disappointments53 and keep performing effectively for longer.54 Optimists achieve more, live longer and have better relationships. They are also wrong more often.
  28. 28. 28 Only when the consequences of getting it wrong would be severe do they switch to a more pessimistic explanation. I choose what to do A major reorganisation is announced. You hear on the grapevine that your role will be up for consideration but no one seems to know quite when it will be known, what the criteria are or what else is happening. Do you wait or do you act? Perhaps you start making your own inquiries internally, burnish your resumé and search for suitable jobs externally, or complete your current project early to show what value you bring. Those of us with an internal locus of control concentrate on what we can do rather than worry about what we can’t affect.55 This bias to act means that we are more likely to keep going whatever happens, with beneficial consequences for how we feel as well as how much we achieve. A sympathetic manager can help increase our internal locus by, for example, offering options, keeping to an agreed cadence for reporting on progress and letting us try new things out. Best of all, they can provide the support when we need it. I choose to seek support The heroes in books and films often succeed alone. In the real world it’s more likely to be the opposite. Top performers know where to go to for support and aren’t afraid to use whatever resources they can. The best networks will be broad covering technical, practical and emotional support, although rarely all from the same source.56 People with a dense web of relationships containing both ‘expressive ties’ (friends providing social support) and ‘instrumental ties’ (supervisors, peers and mentors providing ‘expert’ support) have a greater readiness for change and continue to perform better however much turbulence they encounter57 . A manager needs to provide support for all their team by, for example, protecting a team member from excessive scrutiny or unfair judgement and holding steady when performance wobbles. However, for the best results, the manager needs to make extra effort for recent arrivals who don’t know the company’s mores and will need help and time to build their own support networks. Without this support new hires are more likely to flounder, which has both an immediate impact on performance and a longer term effect on the ability to grow by bringing in fresh talent. Grit is it People with grit, as in the passion and perseverance to pursue long-term goals58 , not only CHOICE Fig.15 Those high in ‘grit’ were: Source: Duckworth et al. (2009) 20% more likely to have career changes than their peers more likely to pursue further education than their peers23% more likely to complete summer training at West Point Academy (US Military) 99% more likely to reach the later rounds in the National Spelling Bee contest 41% I can’t make the weather but I can pack a waterproof.
  29. 29. 29 ride out the rough times but emerge from them stronger and performing better. Setbacks don’t set them back. Grit is a better predictor of later success than many other factors, including IQ and conscientiousness.59 The extent to which grit can be learnt is the source of lively academic debate. What is clear is that people who demonstrate grit are more likely to give optimistic explanations for events, focus on what they can do rather than what is outside their control and draw on whomever and whatever they need for support. These are all behaviours that we can learn and managers can help to develop. A role for HR too Most big companies have something called ‘competencies’, which set out the skills people need to do their job well. In low turbulence environments, companies that concentrate on building competence will outperform. However, in environments where change is constant and the environment is volatile, this could be a mistaken priority. In turbulent times, the high performing teams concentrated on a mix of three elements: the ability to take a dramatically different course from the norm (agility), solid routines that provide a first response in the face of unexpected turbulence (practical habits) and the foresight to take pre-emptive action before turbulence hits (behavioural preparedness) (see Fig. 16).60 As a result, they kept learning and growing. In contrast, companies that stuck to a competence focus during turbulent times saw a considerable drop in performance. Keeping it up While all six conditions will get people to the top of their game, ‘Choice’ is the condition that gives people the greatest chance of staying there. When times get tough, the more choices we feel we have the more likely we are to keep going. Fig.16 Impact in low/high turbulent environments 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 -0.2 -0.4 Changeinperformance(%) Low turbulence High turbulence 0.17 0.12 0.22 0.48 0.21 0.22 0.21 -0.24 CHOICE Source: Akgün Keskin (2014) Agility: the ability to take a dramatically different course from the norm Practical habits: solid routines that provide a first response in the face of unexpected turbulence Behavioural preparedness: the foresight to take pre-emptive action before turbulence hits Competence focus
  30. 30. 30 Some people do damage without meaning to. They may be too paralysed with anxiety to make any significant decision or be in a role for which they lack the necessary skills. A poor IT programmer can do disproportionate harm to the work of a team of highly proficient ones. This isn’t malicious but it can be disastrous. In these situations, it’s the manager’s responsibility to remove them from danger quickly and so not allow them to become a drain on the team’s efforts or the manager’s time. Far harder to spot and to manage are those whose intentions are malicious – snakes in suits with a covert agenda to disrupt, sabotage and undermine to gain personal advantage. Whether it’s fire-fighting their sabotage attempts or simply worrying about how to keep them in their box (slim chance), these people sap energy, misdirect resources and, at the extreme, can bring down everyone who comes close. As a manager, their behaviour is not your fault. They are adults and they are making choices which have consequences. However, it is your responsibility to address the issue and prevent their behaviour from denting your team’s performance. Here are a few of the more common tricky types and what a manager might do about them. Credit thief Also known as the ‘buck passer’, they will demand full plaudits for any achievement they had the remotest connection to and will quickly find someone else to blame as soon as anything goes wrong. What to watch out for: Hearing about the great things they have done rather than what they’ve learnt from past mistakes, and the great things they are committed to doing. What to do: Be parsimonious in recognition for them but generous with others. Agree on specific challenges that they are accountable for, provide clear escalation for them to use if at any stage they think they aren’t going to succeed, and pay forensic attention so you’re fully aware of exactly what’s going on. They need to know you’re onto them. Self-anointed star Possibly too scared to show weakness or vulnerability and exhibiting narcissistic tendencies they act as if they can do no wrong. They may even believe it. What to watch out for: Your attempts at coaching get lots of nods but nothing ever changes. What to do: Give them plenty of challenge, pushing them into realms where they’re likely to falter in 4. TRICKY CHARACTERS The assumption in this report is that people who come to work want to do a decent enough job, or at least not do harm. In the vast majority of cases this is true. But there are exceptions.
  31. 31. 31 their confidence. When this happens, use recognition and growth to reinforce their progress, helping them understand that learning from setbacks is an attribute you value highly. Give overt recognition to colleagues who have clearly made mistakes and corrected them well. Mid-career prisoner (MCP) Savvy and often with a long service record, they see younger people promoted above them and sense that their career has peaked. With little experience elsewhere, they plan to stay put until they can take early retirement. But instead of working to grow the company, their energies have turned to undermining the new leadership by whom they feel betrayed. What to watch out for: They don’t contribute much in meetings and when they do it can be tinged with sarcasm or showing up mistakes that senior leaders have made (but could have avoided if only the MCP had been asked). They might inquire about opportunities to develop and progress, but whatever you offer it’s never quite right. What to do: Show them what their working life will amount to if they continue as they are now. Help create conditions for their growth by understanding what they want in life and how, by working with you, they can increase their chances of getting it. Offer practical opportunities such as sideway moves, increased responsibility, shadowing or job crafting in return for emotional commitment. Remind them of the beneficial impact that their work has to increase a sense of purpose. Double the recognition when you see a renewed energy from them. Trouble-maker If you have a psychopath on your team, you won’t change them. Get rid of them as quickly as you can. However, there are plenty of trouble-makers without such an extreme pathology. What to watch out for: Are they looking for attention or looking to conquer? If it’s the former, they will change when they are clear that your recognition goes only to the positive behaviours. If it’s the latter, you may notice that people in your team who were once hard-working and open have started to ease off and keep their distance from you. What to do: Give more of your time and attention to the people who are doing a good job and rise above minor issues. If the situation looks more serious, accept that it may be beyond your own capability as a manager, turn your attention back to the rest of your team, and seek help from professionals such as HR and legal. I didn’t get where I am today by… The notion that change is best done top down is, at best, unproven and in today’s more social, less reverential society almost certainly out of date. Yes, it helps if the boss at the top models what you want everyone else to do but it is far from essential. What to watch out for: What do the most senior people care about? If there is a way of aligning their ambitions, say to leave a legacy or pass on to a new generation, then there’s a chance. For many ‘old dogs’ there is little appetite for new tricks. What to do: Let the senior ‘stuck in the muds’ know what you’re up to and ask them not to get in the way, but don’t expect them to change too much themselves. Instead, focus on the level below who are more likely to be ambitious for advancement and make it clear that managing people well is one of the surest ways to realise their career dreams. I haven’t got time for all this people stuff Management has, for so long, been regarded as an ‘add-on’ that comes with promotion but without any lessening of individual targets, that some people will regard any extra duties as an unrealistic imposition. They may have seen their bosses rise up the hierarchy without giving too much attention to ‘people stuff’ and be affronted that the rules of the game appear to have changed. What to watch out for: a reputation for strong individual performance and technical expertise with little evidence of collaboration or leaning in to help others out. What to do: Option 1: show how by getting the people management bit right they will be more successful and have greater career prospects, ie, appeal to self-interest. Also, make it very clear that managing people well does not require more time, just using the time you have with people differently. Option 2: if they don’t, or won’t, get it, design roles so that technical experts don’t need to manage people to be seen to be successful. TRICKY CHARACTERS
  32. 32. 32 What to stop Stop tinkering (or worse) with the performance management system. If there are minor aspects that are causing extreme disruption or sending out contrary signals, change them quickly. Then leave the system well alone. If you’re starting with nothing, or a performance management machinery that’s in disrepair, put in the basics quickly and then turn your energy to encouraging the right behaviours. Stop using measures of compliance with the process as the basis for assessing how well performance is being managed. Try to keep to a minimum blanket emails telling people they’ve got only two days left to enter their goals. Stop talking about performance management as if it is a system or a process and, instead, talk about the six conditions: where they exist already and how to create them where they don’t. Just in case you’re still doing this, stop promoting technically excellent individuals into people management roles without assessing their aptitude. This may mean having fewer, better people managers with more direct reports (and fewer additional responsibilities). What to start Start talking about creating conditions for people to flourish and perform at the top of their game. Make this the basis for the language that senior leaders use to discuss talent, culture and performance. Encourage them to give examples of when and how they have experienced the different conditions and what they do to maintain them. Start to tell managers that you expect them to create these conditions and give them the right kind of support to do so (see ‘what to continue’ below). Start measuring the extent to which the conditions exist, either as part of your company’s employee survey or separately. Make sure you analyse the data to assess difference by team, or groups of teams who share the same KPIs. Start to correlate performance against the conditions. What to continue We hope that your company is one of the thousands who already use Mind Gym to build capabilities and change behaviour for the better. If so, please continue with this (and if not, we hope the fact you’ve read this far means that you’ll give us a go). Mind Gym’s team of psychologists have developed a series of 90-minute workouts for both individuals and managers that will help them create each of the conditions, jointly and severally. Every session is grounded in research and taps into the fundamental question – what’s in it for me? The workouts also address the underlying psychological barriers people have to approaching performance conversations as well as giving people practical skills they can apply immediately. Over one million managers and employees in 50 countries have taken part in a Mind Gym session so they have been fully tested before they get to you. 5. MAKING IT HAPPEN
  33. 33. Six conditions PURPOSE CHALLENGE ATTENTION For leaders Talk about why the work the company does matters and who ultimately benefits as a result. Set stretching goals for yourself and the company and be willing to celebrate when people do well against them, even if they don’t quite hit them. Spend time with customers and team members. Tell the stories about what you observe. Find ways to demonstrate that you know what your teams are up to. Recognise specific examples of behaviour rather than just achievements. For managers Tell people about the impact that their work has had and show how they are contributing to team and company objectives. Engage in discussion about goals to help people feel that they are ‘just about’ possible. Review goals frequently to check they are still appropriately stretching. Don’t expect people to feel comfortable about their goals when they are agreed. Be sure your feedback is descriptive, not just evaluative. Find creative ways to pay attention to larger, dispersed teams and gather feedback from those they work with. For employees What do you care about? Why did you join this company? Who is better off as a result of your work? Reflect on what drives you and how to get it at work. When agreeing goals with your manager confirm how achieving this goal will contribute to the organisation’s success. Take an active role in shaping your goals so that that they interest and inspire you. Be willing, or eager, to take on challenges that you don’t know that you can achieve. Keep in mind that people giving feedback have positive intentions to help. If they didn’t care about your success they wouldn’t bother giving feedback at all. Always ask for tips on how to improve. Don’t shy away from giving feedback to peers, and encourage them to replicate the favour. For HR functions Reinforce the vision and purpose of the organisation through all communication. Ensure that people performance is less about process, more about motivation. Keep goal setting simple; don’t kill the cognitive process by drowning it in forms and tick boxes. Allow for people who miss very stretching goals to be recognised as much, or more, as those who exceed easier ones. Place less emphasis on mid-year and year-end reviews, promoting a culture of continuous improvement and descriptive feedback. Update feedback training to place greater emphasis on informal, descriptive feedback and support managers in how to pay more attention.
  34. 34. 34 GROWTH RECOGNITION CHOICE Take time to share your story with your employees, you weren’t always top dog and it inspires people to hear how you worked your way through the ranks. Progress never stops. Take time for you and the leadership team to develop your own careers and reflect on the future. Tackle underperformance discreetly but unequivocally and make sure that top performers get their fair share of limelight. Reflect on where it’s possible to give people autonomy and ownership and where boundaries are necessary. When you share plans also explain the choices people have in how to implement them. As time is precious, try setting aside 1:1s each month specifically focused on career coaching with your direct reports. Explore opportunities to build skills and experience, not just traditional promotions. Understand each of your team and what they’re motivated by. Ensure the process and communication feels fair and consistent and watch out for your own personal biases. End-of-year reviews should feel part of an ongoing conversation, not a big surprise. Be open with your team, sharing mistakes, risks, successes, challenges and opportunities. Reframe failure as an opportunity to learn and share examples of your own. Create peer networks so everyone has a variety of support to call on when times get tough. Be open to all opportunities. Build a network, as the more people you know, the more opportunities will find their way to you. And if you don’t know what you want? Take time to reflect on what you’re good at, what you enjoy and the type of life you want to be living in five or ten years’ time. Be the change you want to see. Thank, celebrate and recognise team performance as well as great work from individuals. And tell your manager what you need from them to keep you motivated and performing at your best. Build a strong network with people you trust and call on them when you need support. When things are tough, remember that you always have a choice and usually many more than you realise. Create how-to guides for managers. Establish a requirement that hiring managers put together a possible career trajectory for new hires so they have a sense of the opportunities that lie ahead. Promote lateral moves, secondments and shadowing. Offer managers multiple ways of recognising and rewarding teams as well as individual performance. Have very clear guidelines on how to deal with underperformance and support managers through applying them. Promote a culture of ‘failing fast’ where mistakes are celebrated. Run a ‘naked HR’ campaign to demystify some of the people processes and reduce the scepticism around getting fired, hired and promoted. MAKING IT HAPPEN
  35. 35. 35 MAKING IT HAPPEN MIND GYM’S PROVEN 90 MINUTE WORKOUTS FOR MANAGERS Make it matter Help other people see how and why their work matters so they’re proud to say what they do. Performance management – why bother? When it comes to transforming performance, there is a magic bullet. It’s called performance management. No successful organisation can be without it. Even better, it doesn’t cost a penny. Goal setting Set goals that will stretch your team members and motivate them to perform at their best. Peak performance Imagine the boost to your team’s performance if you could turn all of your steady performers into stars. Held to account Help your team to take ownership for their own best performance so you can watch them shine without the fear of it all going wrong. Great feedback We explore how we can use positive and negative feedback to reinforce or change the behaviour of others. Courageous conversations Prepare yourself to face difficult conversations with courage and confidence. Discover how to master your emotions and stay in control. PURPOSE CHALLENGE ATTENTION
  36. 36. TO HELP YOU CREATE THE SIX CONDITIONS Rate success Drive better results and increase personal motivation through assigning an objective performance rating. Rewarding Money talks, but it needs to say the right thing. Discover how to reinforce the behaviours you want to see, without having to spend a penny. True grit A huge part of sustaining high performance comes down to sheer perseverance. Master the art of flying in the face of sometimes unrelenting adversity. Building bridges Be the architect that creates a sense of belonging for everyone. Shaping futures Understand where we are, where we’re going, and how we can get the best out of ourselves and our team. Play to strength Fight the natural inclination to focus on weaknesses and learn how to get more energy, vigour and commitment from your team. Performance coaching Win your team’s affections and the boss’s respect by supercharging your coaching approach. GROWTH CHOICE RECOGNITION
  37. 37. 37 Goal setting Development planning Mid-year End-of-year reviews Manager sessions Goal setting Shaping futures Held to account Rate success Employee sessions Give me strength Pathfinder Find your mojo Home truths MAKING IT HAPPEN Find your mojo Leap out of bed each and every morning by connecting with what really matters to you. Home truths Proactively seeking feedback, and knowing how to make the most of what you hear, means you’ll never dread receiving it again. Pathfinder Get more of what you want from your working life by taking control and opening up your options. Give me strength Being able to identify and understand our strengths can help us get more energy from our everyday lives. Bounce back You’ve missed the bus, again. Your office is making cutbacks. Learn how to bounce back from the everyday setbacks that life throws at us, and come out even stronger. FOR EVERYONE Just-in-time performance development To support your people at exactly the right moment and address performance before it becomes a problem, we can match sessions to your annual performance cycle. An example is illustrated below: PURPOSE/CHALLENGE GROWTH/ RECOGNITION CHOICE ATTENTION
  38. 38. 38 CASESTUDY In 2010, the purchase of Alico increased MetLife’s employee base to 65,000 and its customer base to 90 million. To compete on this new global stage MetLife would need to become a world-class company, operating flawlessly in all of its locations and developing its top talent to lead the way. But company surveys found a number of roadblocks: • inconsistencies in performance management across the business • goals recorded for less than 30% of employees • middle-of-the-road performers being promoted while top talent was sandbagged • bonuses failing to recognise the company’s stars They also found that, to really drive top performance, a more motivational leadership style was needed, rather than the traditional, authoritative approach. Working with MetLife, Mind Gym designed two global programmes to help people leaders handle the entire performance management cycle – from setting goals and coaching, to assessing performance and understanding biases – as well as giving them the tools to transform themselves from authoritarian managers to motivational leaders. Within six weeks, the sessions were rolled out at scale in nine different languages. To ensure global consistency while adding local context, Mind Gym also trained 150 MetLife facilitators to deliver the programmes. By the end of the programme, 98% of all employees had goals listed in the internal public system, payouts to low performers had decreased by 63% while higher- performer payouts had increased by 33%, and of the 2,652 people leaders who gave feedback, 83% were successfully using their new skills. In fact, pre- and post-programme surveys showed a significant uplift in competencies across the board. “Mind Gym provided the vital few ingredients that took our approach from average to outstanding. Our end product inspired managers to grow, change and develop in ways that we have not experienced in the past. Mind Gym were innovative, flexible, knowledgeable, and fun to partner with.” Rachel Lee, Global Talent, MetLife Helping 6000 people leaders become world-class motivators Giving feedback23% Career conversations17% Performance conversations17% Overcoming rating biases 93% 95% Evidence- based ratings 91% Sharing challenging messages
  39. 39. 39 CASESTUDY In 2013, Microsoft introduced a new approach to Performance Development, retiring traditional ‘Performance Management’. The company changed the primary focus from ‘evaluating’ employees to helping people continually improve. The company was on the verge of changing, and with it internal dynamics including much greater interdependencies, different development cycles, and changes to the role of people managers. It was critical to shift how people worked, changing focus from individual tasks to delivering impact through team work. The solution was an entirely new approach: performance was redefined as ‘impact’ with emphasis on ‘impact gained with and through others’. Ratings and rankings were retired. Reflection and feedback would be more frequent to enable more agile learning, growth and adjustments. ‘Connect’ discussions between managers and employees were introduced with flexibility for business teams to decide the timing and rhythm that made sense for them. Annual rewards would recognise impact but there would be no annual review. Conversations replaced a system, and 12,000 managers needed to be equipped with the tools to make it happen. Mind Gym designed a series of bite-size workouts to build managers’ capabilities to give frequent growth-oriented feedback, manage for continual improvement and reward impact. These were complemented by supporting sessions on actionable feedback and coaching. So far, in 500 sessions, 10,000 managers at Microsoft have undergone a Mind Gym experience. And the numbers say it all. In 2012, 45% of the workforce was dissatisfied with the performance system. In 2014, with the new approach, this fell to 16%, with 67% feeling positively about it. In 2012, 49% of managers felt the performance management system had a negative/very negative impact on collaboration. In 2014, after one year in the new approach, this dropped to 3%, with 70% answering that the new approach had a positive/very positive impact on collaboration across the company. Performance management at Microsoft – replacing a flawed system with a culture of collaboration and growth “Introducing a change like this doesn’t happen without a huge amount and variety of internal and external partnerships. There was a massive cross-team effort to design, introduce and land something that had so little resemblance to traditional approaches. Manager capability is a cornerstone in an approach like this and ensuring it enables Microsoft’s evolving culture.” Lisa Dodge, Global Performance Development, Microsoft and Peter Heller, Senior Director, Global Learning Development, Microsoft
  40. 40. 40 REFERENCES 1 Corporate Leadership Council (2002). Building the High-Performance Workforce: A Quantitative Analysis of the Effectiveness of Performance Management Strategies. Corporate Executive Board. 2 Schwartz, J., Bersin, J., Pelser, B. (2014). Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends: Engaging the 21st-century workforce. Deloitte University Press. 3 Schwartz, J., Bersin, J., Pelser, B. (2014). Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends: Engaging the 21st-century workforce. Deloitte University Press. 4 Yerkes, R. M. Dodson, J. D. (1908). The relation of strength of stimulus to rapidity of habit formation. Journal of comparative neurology and psychology, 18 (5), 459-482. 5 Jones, R. G. Culbertson, S. S. (2011). Why Performance Management Will Remain Broken: Authoritarian Communication. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, (4), 179–181. 6 Pulakos, E. D. O’Leary, R. S. (2011). Why is performance management broken? Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice (4), 146–164. 7 Theebomom, T., Beersma, B., van Vianen, A. (2014). Does coaching work? A meta-analysis on the effects of coaching on individual level outcomes in an organizational context. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 9 (1), 1-18. 8 Ariely, D. (2008). Man’s search for meaning: the case of Legos. Journal of Economic Behavior Organization, 67, 671–677. 9 Amabile, T. M. Kramer, S. J. (2010). What really motivates workers (#1 in breakthrough ideas for 2010). Harvard Business Review, 88 (1), 44-45. 10 Berggren, E. Fitz-enz, J. (2006). How Smart HCM Drives Financial Performance. Success Factors and Workforce Intelligence Institute. 11 Berggren, E. Fitz-enz, J. (2006). How Smart HCM Drives Financial Performance. Success Factors and Workforce Intelligence Institute. 12 Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., Killham, E. A., Asplund, J. W. (2006). Q12 Meta-Analysis. Gallup Consulting. 13 Cross, R., Linder, J. C., Parker, A. (2006). All Charged Up: Managing the Energy that Drives Innovation. Business Strategy Review. Autumn, 25-29. 14 Ellemers, N., De Gilder, D., Haslam, S. A. (2004). Motivating individuals and groups at work: A social identity perspective on leadership and group performance. Academy of Management Review, 29(3), 459-478. 15 Williams, K. D., Karau, S. J., Bourgeois, M. (1993). Working on collective tasks: Social loafing and social compensation. In Hogg Abrams (Eds.), Group motivation: Social Psychological Perspectives: 130-148. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf. 16 Corporate Executive Board (2013). Breakthrough Performance in the New Work Environment Identifying and Enabling the New High Performer. The Corporate Executive Board Company. 17 Cross, R., Linder, J. C., Parker, A. (2006). All Charged Up: Managing the Energy that Drives Innovation. Business Strategy Review. Autumn, 25-29. 18 Bughin, J. Chui, M. (2010). The Rise of the Networked Enterprise: Web 2.0 Finds Its Payday. McKinsey Quarterly. 19 Wrzesniewski, A., McCauley, C., Rozin, P., Schwartz, B. (1997). Jobs, Careers and Callings: People’s Relation to their work. Journal of research in personality, 31, 21–33. 20 Rodell, J. B. (2013). Finding meaning through volunteering: Why do employees volunteer and what does it mean for their jobs? Academy of Management Journal, 56 (5), 1274-1294. 21 Locke, E. A. Latham, G. P. (1984). Goal setting: A motivational technique that works. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. 22 Lount, R. B. Wilk, S. L. (2014). Working Harder or Hardly Working? Posting Performance Eliminates Social Loafing and Promotes Social Laboring in Workgroups. Management Science 60 (5), 1098-1106. 23 Baum, J.R., Locke, E.A. (2004). The relationship of entrepreneurial traits, skill, and motivation to subsequent venture growth. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 587–598. 24 Becker, L. J. (1978). Joint Effect of Feedback and Goal Setting on Performance: A Field Study of Residential Energy Conservation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 63 (4), 428-433. 25 Janis-Norton, N. (2012). Calmer, easer, happier parenting: The revolutionary programme that transforms family life. Yellow Kite. 26 Corporate Leadership Council (2002). Building the High-Performance Workforce: A Quantitative Analysis of the Effectiveness of Performance Management Strategies. Corporate Executive Board. 27 Corporate Leadership Council (2002). Building the High-Performance Workforce: A Quantitative Analysis of the Effectiveness of Performance Management REFERENCES
  41. 41. REFERENCES Strategies. Corporate Executive Board. 28 Hattie, J. (2008). Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement. Routledge. 29 Chhokar, J. S. Wallin, J. A. (1984). A field study of the effect of feedback frequency on performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 69 (3), 524-530. 30 Becker, L. J. (1978), Joint Effect of Feedback and Goal Setting on Performance: A Field Study of Residential Energy Conservation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 63 (4), 428-433. 31 Hardesty, S. L., Hagopian, L. P., McIvor, M. M., Wagner, L. L., Sigurdsson, S. O., Bowman, L. G. (2014). Effects of Specified Performance Criterion and Performance: Feedback on Staff Behavior: A Component Analysis. Behavior Modification, 3 8(5), 760–773. 32 Kanter, R. Brinkerhoff, D. (1980). Appraising the Performance of Performance Appraisal. MIT Sloan Management Review, 21 (3), 3-16. 33 Schwartz, J., Bersin, J., Pelser, B. (2014). Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends: Engaging the 21st-century workforce. Deloitte University Press. 34 Kray, L. J. Haselhuhn, M. P. (2007). Implicit Negotiation Beliefs and Performance: Experimental and Longitudinal Evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93 (1), 49-64. 35 Harvard Business Review (2014). Talent: How Companies Can Profit from a Growth Mindset: From an interview with Professor Carol Dweck. 36 Lazear, E. P., Shaw, K. L., Stanton, C. T. (2012). The value of bosses. National Bureau of Economic Research. Working Paper No. 18317. 37 Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., Hayes, T. L. (2002). Business-unit-level relationship between employee satisfaction, employee engagement and business outcome: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 268-279. 38 Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., Killham, E. A., Asplund, J. W. (2006). Q12 Meta-Analysis. Gallup Consulting. 39 Asplund, J. Blacksmith, N. (2012). Productivity through strengths. In The Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship, Chapter 27. Cameron, K. Spreitzer, G. M. (Eds.) N.Y. Oxford University Press. 40 Williams, M. L., McDaniel, M. A., Nguyen, N. T. (2006). A Meta-Analysis of the Antecedents and Consequences of Pay Level Satisfaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 93 (1), 49–64. 41 Williams, M. L., McDaniel, M. A., Nguyen, N. T. (2006). A Meta-Analysis of the Antecedents and Consequences of Pay Level Satisfaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 93 (1), 49–64. 42 Horswill, M. S., Waylen, A. E., Tofield, M. L. (2006). Drivers’ Ratings of Different Components of Their Own Driving Skill: A Greater Illusion of Superiority for Skills That Relate to Accident Involvement. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34 (1), 177–195. 43 Kruger, J. Dunning, D. (1999). Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 1121-1134. 44 Cross, P. (1977). Not can, but will college teaching be improved? New Directions for Higher Education, Issue 17, pages 1–15. 45 Oberoi, M. Rajgarhia, P. (2013). What Your Performance Management System Needs Most. Gallup Business Journal. 46 Flint, D. H. (1999). The role of organizational justice in multi-source Performance appraisal: theory-based applications and directions for research. Human Resource Management Review, 9 (1), 1-20. 47 Boyatzis, R. E. (2006). Using Tipping Points of Emotional Intelligence and Cognitive Competencies to Predict Financial Performance of Leaders. Psicothema, 18, 124-131. 48 Wang, L. Murninghan, J. K. (2013). The generalist bias. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 120, 47–61. 49 Spence, J. R. Keeping, L. M. (2011). Conscious rating distortion in performance appraisal: A review, commentary, and proposed framework for research. Human Resource Management Review, 21, 85-95. 50 DeVoe, S. E. Iyengar, S. S. (2004). Managers’ theories of subordinates: A cross-cultural examination of manager perceptions of motivation and appraisal of performance. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 93, 47–61. 51 Aguinis, H. O’Boyle, E. J. (2014). Star performers in twenty-first century organizations. Personnel psychology, 67, 313–350. 52 Seligman, M. E. P. (2006). Learned Optimism: How to change your mind and your life. Vintage Books. 53 Seligman, M. E. P. (2006). Learned Optimism: How to change your mind and your life. Vintage Books. 54 Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84, 191-215. 55 Rotter, J. B. (1954). Social learning and clinical psychology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. 56 Southwick, S. M. Charney, D. S. (2012). Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges. Cambridge University Press. 57 Vardaman, J. M., Amis, J. M., Dyson, B. P., Wright, P. M., Van de Graaff Randolph, R. (2012). Interpreting change as controllable: The role of network centrality and self- efficacy. Human Relations 65 (7) 835-859. 58 Duckworth, A. Peterson, C. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92 (6), 1087–1101. 59 Duckworth, A. L., Quinn, P. D., Seligman, M.E.P. (2009).
  42. 42. 42 Positive predictors of teacher effectiveness. Journal of Positive Psychology, 19, 540-547. 60 Lengnick-Hall, C. A., Beck, T. E., Lengnick-Hall, M. L. (2011). Developing a Capacity for Organizational Resilience through Strategic Human Resource Management. Human Resource Management Review 21 (3), 243–255. REFERENCES
  43. 43. 43 NOTES
  44. 44. 44 NOTES
  45. 45. Know more Website: www.themindgym.com Blog: www.themindgym.com/insights Twitter: @themindgym.com 5127_GB_AW_MS_280915 “The Mind Gym’s latest research paper on performance management is a refreshingly easy read - simple, clear and practical. It focuses on a few essential elements, which when put together, create a better environment for both managers and their people to perform at the top of their game.” Alison Brittan, CEO, Whitbread “Once again, the Mind Gym manage to distil a large body of empirical evidence into a down-to-earth and practical guide for leaders – well worth the read!” Dido Harding, CEO, TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC “The Bank’s ambitious Strategic Plan required a change to the way we thought about performance. Mind Gym worked from a grounding in psychological research which provided a data rational organisation such as ours with a compelling argument for adopting change. Their high energy workshops give managers pragmatic approaches to take away and put into practice.” Charlotte Hogg, COO, Bank of England “Mind Gym shows how creating the right psychological conditions can have the greatest impact on performance. Their insights are backed up by robust empirical data and with practical ideas to apply them as part of creating a high performance culture.” Sacha Romanovitch, CEO, Grant Thornton UK LLP UK 160 Kensington High St, London, W8 7RG, UK e: uk@themindgym.com t: +44 20 7376 0626 USA 9 East 37th St, New York, NY, 10016, USA e: usa@themindgym.com t: +1 646 649 4333 Singapore PWC Building, #28-63, 8 Cross Street, 048424, Singapore e: sg@themindgym.com t: +65 6850 7600 UAE Building 03, First Floor, Executive Office No. 114, Dubai, UAE e: uae@themindgym.com

Weitere Verwandte Inhalte

×