Flora's HR Diary - Perfect Performance Reviews
6th December 2011
Sometimes I think I’ve picked the wrong career with HR. Will there ever be a time when everything runs well? Managers coach and give feedback to their teams? No-one performs poorly? Employees don’t say that they want communication to improve? Hmmm, I’m beginning to think not. Luckily I went to a great HRINZ event the other week and talked to a couple of other HR Advisers and found that I’ve jut had a bad run, sometimes things do go well.
When will it happen to me though? I’d just got Doug and discrimination sorted and then last time I told you about Meena’s marketing department madness. She was having performance issues with two of her team and even though I told her what to do, she still didn’t deal with it. Then I started ringing our 57 Funky Town Store Managers and found lots of them had staff they had issues with.
I was overwhelmed! How could I deal with it all? Thank you to Carol who replied to my dilemma on the HRINZ HR Blog. She gave a great example of how to set up your HR department (have a look on the HR blog for the specifics).
In the end I decided that I would divide my stores up and catch up with each manager more proactively every month, but staggering them so I can hopefully deal with the workload that comes out of it. After I had had two monthly catch-ups with Meena and each time gave her some advice on how to have a poor performance conversation, she finally talked to Ben and Maggie about it. I don’t know if she was getting more frustrated with them or couldn’t stand having me badger her again next month! But either way, at least the process is underway and they now know what the issues are and have a chance to improve.
I think having regular catch-ups with each manager is actually going to be really useful. Even if one month everything is going fine, they know I’m there if they do have an issue. This is going to be one of my tips for other HR Advisers that I meet! It keeps you in touch with what’s going on.
But would I discover some other huge HR problem this month? No, instead my Manager Chris suggest that a good project for me to take on over the December and January period (as the stores are busy selling) is to redesign the performance review process. The fact we have lots of Managers saying they have poor performers could mean our system isn’t working.
What do we need the system to achieve?
For our Funky Town retail stores the system needs to be really simple and quick to use. We do have mystery shopper reports and store standards in place and seven steps of selling that all need to tie in. Our incentive scheme is linked to sales only, but our performance review system should be capturing what people’s strengths and areas to develop are.
For our Head Office we have a huge variety of roles – finance, marketing, the buyers, IT and of course HR. Some managers in Head Office have set some goals for employees, but they are not SMART and not enforced.
Then we also have our Distribution Warehouse that pick and sent out stock to the stores. We haven’t had any performance system in there at all before.
I’m not really sure where to start. What systems are out there I could use? Do I have different systems for different areas of the company? What goals should we use? We have some skills and experience listed in our PDs, but should we be reviewing people on these? Arrgh, I need help.
Can you help Flora?