At Cloudvirga, Senior Talent Director Anne Hurtubise makes sure she is in constant contact with her direct reports.
“Establishing regular and consistent feedback makes it easy to look over the past several months and document and celebrate the wins, while also identifying areas of improvement or growth,” she said.
And as a startup founder of a talent acquisition company, Hurtubise knows a thing or two about bringing on employees and keeping them engaged. She also stressed the importance of tying individual goals back into company objectives. As a result, employees can see the broad impact their actions have on the business.
Ahead of a performance review, how do you prepare to ensure it’s a meaningful and productive conversation?
Performance reviews and in particular, continuous performance improvement, ensure that a company is getting the best from the employee and the employee is getting the best from a company. At Cloudvirga, we have weekly one-on-ones with our direct reports so we stay current on previous accomplishments as well as new goals.
Establishing regular and consistent feedback makes it easy to look over the past several months and document and celebrate the wins while identifying areas of improvement or growth. A big part of helping my direct reports grow is understanding where impediments may lie within the company that stall or inhibit success.
A big part of helping my direct reports grow is understanding where impediments may lie within the company.’’
What about during the review? How do you format these meetings and why?
At this stage, we like to keep performance reviews simple. We ask a few basic questions like, “Does the company recognize my value?” and, “Name one thing that would impact my ability to do better work.”
We combine these questions with a discussion about what the employee does well and areas for improvement, submitted by both the manager and the employee. We confirm areas of alignment and focus on anything a manager and employee may not view similarly.
We also set individual bi-annual goals that are tied to the department, division and company goals. This creates a sense of accomplishment because we are united in our purpose and direction.
What advice do you have for delivering constructive feedback in a performance review?
It’s hard to have a conversation with an employee who’s not meeting expectations. But really delving into the “why” will uncover reasons that are inhibiting someone’s success. For example, if your customer support advocate has a daily goal to handle 20 customer calls but consistently falls short, you could assume this person is an underperformer or not engaged.
Upon deeper investigation and asking the question, “What one thing affects your ability to do your best work?” you might determine that 50 percent of that employee’s day is spent supporting other team members because they are the subject matter expert in a particular domain.
In this case, the employee may be a superstar. And as a manager, you need to remove the impediment (cross-training the team) to work in partnership with your direct report so they realize their potential. On the flip side, it’s best to be honest and direct with an underperformer and work on a plan of correction so they can be a successful contributor and feel a sense of accomplishment and job satisfaction.