Scaling Performance Programs

Despite the events of 2020, the global economy – including the US – is projected to grow this year. This means that new companies will pop up, and existing organizations will become more complex. They may expand to different locations, develop new processes, and add nascent teams. The question remains: how can companies grow in a scalable way?

We may be biased here, but we believe that continuous performance management plays a huge role in helping organizations drive alignment and accountability during times of growth. The data speaks for itself:

  • 69% of employees surveyed said that company-wide goal alignment is paramount to their success
  • 72% said that constructive feedback helps their team execute on their business strategy more effectively
  • Those who have visibility into other teams’ goals are 81% more likely to agree that there is good cross-functional alignment at their company

Given the power of performance programs, we’ve aggregated best practices to drive accountability, development, and alignment for growing organizations.

Drive Company-Wide Goal-Setting

The best way to boost alignment and ensure that employees are prioritizing the right projects is through goal-setting. We recommend starting with company-wide goals. Executives, finance leaders, and HR leaders should determine one or two key organizational objectives, such as “Increase ARR by 20%” or “Improve customer satisfaction by 30%”. These objectives should be cascaded so departments, teams, and individual contributors can support the goals. For best practices on how to successfully roll out company-wide goals, see this article from NextRoll.

We still recommend that employees have development-focused goals too. These personal objectives help employees build skillsets that can benefit their careers — and help fulfill company needs. More development best practices are available in this article.

Discuss Careers in 1:1 Meetings

Development and advancement opportunities are crucial for retaining top talent during growth periods. In fact, 34% of employees said they have left a job in the past because they wanted more career development opportunities. HR teams can support employee growth by developing career paths and offering learning programs. As your organization grows though, managers become an invaluable resource for scaling developmental conversations.

Equip managers for success with specific recommendations for career conversations. Should discussions happen annually, bi-annually, or quarterly? What topics should be covered? What resources can be provided to employees? HR teams can further guide a successful dialogue between managers and employees by providing curated Conversation Starters. Some of Reflektive’s career Conversation Starters are available below:

  • What job activities have you enjoyed the most and found most interesting? 
  • What are your career goals for the next 3-6 months? What about the next 1-2 years?
  • How can I help you grow your career?

Encourage Continuous Feedback

Another way to scale employee development is with continuous feedback. Team members can gather helpful insights from managers, peers, and cross-functional colleagues to learn where they’re excelling, and what they can do to improve. A best practice is to request feedback after a work milestone. Some events that should be followed by feedback are available below:

  • A new partnership is live
  • A new product is launched
  • Meaningful improvements have been made to internal technology or processes
  • A deal is closed
  • A customer renews or expands
  • A new market is entered

Gather Employee Sentiment with Engagement Surveys

As your organization becomes larger and more complex, it may become more challenging to capture up-to-date employee sentiment. Enter engagement surveys. Surveys provide a scalable way gather insights in an ever-changing environment. What’s more, HR teams can focus on a specific domain (e.g., DEI) to gather data on that topic. If you’re looking to assess sentiment on performance programs, we recommend including the following questions in your survey:

  • “I like our processes for reviews, feedback, and goal-setting.”
  • “I know how to do well in my job.”
  • “I am paid fairly for my job.”
  • “I understand how my work is evaluated.”

Track Progress with People Analytics

While engagement survey data can give you powerful insights on how employees are feeling, a people analytics dashboard is invaluable for more specific insights on your performance programs. HR teams can track progress on the aforementioned programs – such as goal-setting and 1:1s – in a glance. By looking at adoption and utilization rates, HR teams can make informed decisions on launching internal campaigns, tweaking existing programs, and implementing other tactics to support their performance strategy.

Recommended metrics for HR teams looking to scale their programs include:

  • Total active goals over time
  • Goal completion rate over time
  • Number of 1:1 conversations over time
  • Performance ratings by department, team, or other demographic
  • Feedback trends over time

Looking for more ways to support your growing company? Schedule a chat with an expert.