So you're thinking about switching gears and investing in a performance management system? Before exploring the market and researching which tool supports your company's goals best, you will first need executive buy-in. How can you get them excited about the idea and see the urgency of this change?
Studies show up to 70% of change initiatives fail. Interestingly much of this is attributed to “creative disobedience” from the executive team. Even if you have your own HR budget which you can use to invest in new tech, to introduce a successful change, you first need to gain complete executive buy-in.
Creating a feedback culture requires a change not only in habits but also in mindset. If your executives aren’t onboard with receiving feedback themselves, it will come across as a top-down directive, rather than a company-wide culture shift. Instead, executives must emphasize, communicate and lead by example, demonstrating to the rest of the organization that feedback and more regular conversations are necessary to reach the company’s objectives.
Investing time in empowering your C-Level to become advocates for this change will activate the motivation you need.
Having helped over 200+ companies revamp their performance management processes, we’ve identified 8 key steps to take:
1. Dig to the root of the problem and create urgency
Even if you know introducing a feedback culture will help solve several different problems, culture change is a long-term benefit which will take time to implement and, therefore, also take time to demonstrate the value to your executive team. Instead, it’s important to start by focusing on one or two more immediate and specific pains the tool could help you solve. What is the current impact of this pain and why is it critical to address it now rather than next year?
If you’re having difficulty picking one more urgent need, the trick is to consider what triggered you to search for a performance management tool. Is your company grappling with the need to train a large influx of new or inexperienced managers? Are you experiencing low engagement levels? Do people feel they’re getting the development and coaching they need? Is everyone simply tired of using pen and paper to fill out, distribute and analyze performance?
Data and engagement surveys can give you a deeper look into your company’s needs:
2. Gather your data
Being responsible towards investors, your executives arm themselves with data and calculations to prove the value your company is or will bring them in the future. It’s time to speak their language. The most effective way to communicate your point is by coming armed with, not only the storyline of the problem but also the facts and figures they’ll be looking for. You can gather data points like turnover and demographics from your HRIS. Another place to gather even deeper insights is from your engagement surveys. Do you see any trends?
Check out this article with 15 questions to help you do deeper in your next engagement survey
3. Link to company-wide objectives
It’s time to think wider than your HR team’s goals. While engagement is important, how can you link an increase in engagement to an increase in productivity or revenue? How much time and therefore money will your company save by shortening the review process? How will reaching HR’s targets impact the company’s bottom line?
For example, consider:
How much you could save by reducing turnover
What’s the ROI of increasing employee engagement?
Remind them that performance management isn’t a nice to have, it’s key to driving the business.
Check out this guide to help you calculate cost of employee turnover, engagement, productivity and ROI of your new performance management system
4. Have a detailed plan in place
What do you want the new process to look like, what features will it include and how will it solve the challenges your company wants to overcome? Having vast experience helping different types of companies create their own process, our friendly CS team are happy to help by advising you on a structure that will target your specific pain point.
Check out our guide to the different Review types (upcoming) you can set up in Impraise and the challenges they can help you solve
It’s important that you not only know what you’d like the new process to look like, but also come armed with a plan for rolling it out within the company. No matter how great a structure you come up with, for adoption to be successful, you need an effective internal marketing plan that will help ingrain feedback exchanges into people’s normal work habits. This is where you address the ‘why’ and ‘how’ for managers and employees. Why will using the tool benefit them? How can they successfully implement it into their workflow? This doesn’t just include formal internal communications. Finding fun ways to get your people excited about using a new performance management tool can go a long way.
Check out these unique ideas to drive internal user adoption
5. Make your goals SMART
Along with your plan, set goals and milestones to measure success at each implementation phase. For example, your first goal should be to set up your first review. To measure the success of this step you could consider setting a goal for participation, completion or set up an engagement survey to gauge how well the first review was received. Check out this article on setting short-term performance management goals for inspiration.
Your long and short-term goals will be different depending on the pain you want to solve. Your CS representative will help you come up with goals which you can then track using your HR Dashboard.
Tip: We suggest our clients set their HR goals and milestones in Impraise to start getting into the habit of using the system
6. Plan what you’d like to do with the extra time/resources you’ll be saving
So you’re going to be saving x extra hours on performance reviews. That’s great! Now what are you going to do with the extra time/money you’ve generated? This is your opportunity to use that time to focus on new challenges facing workplaces today such as creating an engaging culture and optimizing the employee experience. Having a plan in place will demonstrate the additional benefits your HR team can bring by saving time on administrative tasks.
Check out: Will HR Tech Replace the HR Manager?
7. Get a commitment from them
At this point, the C-level may be pumped about the idea of introducing Impraise within your organization. This initial enthusiasm is great, but you need to ensure that they’ll not only be an advocate of the process, but also become a key player.
For example, get a commitment from your CEO to publicly announce and endorse the change in the next company-wide All Hands. Consider making eNPS a company-wide KPI. If that’s too much, consider integrating open, honest feedback into your company values.
Check out: Employee Loyalty is the New NPS
8. Keep them involved
To keep up this initial excitement, it’s essential that you continuously keep them in the loop about progress made on your quarterly goals and milestones. By demonstrating the value your new performance management system is bringing to your company you’ll be able to keep the executive level actively engaged in creating a vibrant feedback culture.
See how Bynder's CEO and HR team joined forces to create an effective performance management system for their culture: