A guest post by Stan Duncan, Senior Executive Vice President of U.S. Human Resources and Global Head of Management for Westfield, LLC.
Though many may not think of performance management when listing key business disciplines, it certainly holds as much importance as sales and marketing, accounting, or operations. It is through effective performance management that companies have the ability to truly gauge employee satisfaction, make sure valuable team members are engaged, meet goals, and improve overall health of the organization. Other benefits include the opportunity to address performance problems and improved communication between employees of all levels.
When recent employee engagement results at Westfield indicated that despite an overall positive sentiment, there was a feeling that the performance management system could be improved, we took the feedback very seriously. Accordingly, the senior leadership team engaged in intensive research regarding effective performance management and worked to make significant changes to the performance management culture at Westfield. Our new program was recently unveiled to Westfield employees. Some of the significant changes include:
• A consistent framework for all employees in terms of how performance is evaluated, shifting away from the subjective evaluation tools used in the past
• A standardized method for managers to assess and establish performance goals, providing more consistency in results
• A strong emphasis on performance when determining promotions vs. hours worked
• Incorporating measurement of core values within the review process
• Introduced a balance of reward results, competencies and behavior
Ultimately, we believe that it is imperative that we are transparent with employees regarding how their performance is evaluated. The transparency will heighten accountability for both employees and the organization. In the spirit of this sense of transparency, we have been forthcoming with employees over the results of the survey and the steps we are taking to respond.
Strong individual performance leads to strong organizational performance and greater capabilities. Our goal to ensure that all employees understand Westfield’s vision and core values and how their work contributes to Westfield’s success. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we want employees to feel that their efforts are appreciated and noticed and that Westfield provides them with the ability to develop their careers.
Optimize the effectiveness of high performing teams; true performance orientated culture creates an environment where there is clarity for the outcome and team members hold each accountable for results. No one goes underground in this type of high performing team in fact team members demand excellence from the team/project.