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How to Optimize Performance Management – Key Takeaways from Landing Point + LifeLabs Learning Workshop

Landing Point and LifeLabs Learning teamed up again to host a virtual workshop on how to Optimize Performance Management – a timely topic for many as we enter performance review season after having been in a different work environment than most of us are used to, either working from home or in a hybrid capacity. Our facilitator, the brilliant, Ashley Schwedt, led a highly collaborative discussion and provided actionable tips to implement immediately. Here is a recap on her top tips to optimize performance management:

  1. It all starts with creating a feedback culture – In order to optimize performance management, a company needs to first have an environment where it’s encouraged and employees are trained to ask and give feedback in all directions. Her pro tip to put this into action – have a system, a cue, or a symbol that reminds your workforce to ask and give feedback.
  2. Optimize Reviews – To improve your performance review process LifeLabs provided the acronym, FACTS to describe what makes for a positive review process: Fair, Accountable, Clear Criteria, Timely, and S This is where we spent the majority of our session discussing each area in detail. When it comes to being fair we discussed some tactics such as de-coupling compensation, deblurring calibration and overall educating reviews on bias. To be accountable – you can “provide feedback” as part of manager expectations and to consider following an identified feedback model versus an anonymous one. Setting clear criteria makes it so that everyone is on the same page and can track success properly and we also discussed updating the success metrics, especially in a year like 2020. One of our attendees gave a great metaphor about work life in 2020 – “We’re giving our employees hiking boots and a backpack and right now they want a beach towel and a cocktail” – in reference to the fact that it’s important now to ask where people are at mentally versus looking at criteria/feedback from a year ago. Timely feedback relates to the concept that a performance review should be just that – A REVIEW. Performance reviews are an opportunity to discuss the big themes from feedback that has already been given, not new feedback. Ashley recommended keeping a performance journal to track feedback given and help to identify any feedback from others, things we’re proud of, and things we try to do but fail. And lastly, be specific, instead of speaking in blurry terms like “success” and “failures,” have concrete examples that speak to the feedback.
  3. Train your reviewers – To have a successful performance review process, your reviewers need to be trained. The high level tips are to do a bias check, connect the data and impact, and ensure the tone is right in how the feedback is delivered.

The Point: Performance reviews are a culmination of feedback efforts that if done well can prove to be a highly effective tool that promotes employee retention and growth, ultimately making a company more successful overall.

If you are interested in learning more about Landing Point’s Future of Work Virtual Workshop series and our upcoming events, email [email protected].

And a bit about LifeLabs Learning – They are the go-to leadership training company for managers, execs, and teams at innovative companies like Reddit, Lyft, Warby Parker, and Tinder. Check out their Program Menu for workshop details.

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