My guests on this episode of Punk Rock HR are both from Betterworks: Andrea Couto, head of solutions engineering and sales readiness, and Harini Sridharan, head of product marketing. We discuss the evolution of performance management into performance enablement, why small businesses can experiment with performance enablement, the role of people analytics in performance and much more.
Harini has been with Betterworks for over a year, and her role is to present a compelling narrative for how Betterworks can change organizations’ lives, especially regarding performance management.
Andrea has been at Betterworks for close to a year and has nearly 25 years of experience in human capital management technology. Most of that time was spent in solutions consulting, where she helped customers find the perfect technology for their business needs.
We often talk about performance management being bad — or worse — but in this episode of Punk Rock HR, we’re showing you that it doesn’t have to be that way.
Punk Rock HR is proudly underwritten by Betterworks. The world’s most dynamic organizations rely on Betterworks to accelerate growth by supporting transparent goal setting, enabling continuous performance and learning from employee insights. Betterworks is on a mission to help HR leaders make work better. Discover how they can help you by visiting www.betterworks.com.
Performance Management’s Ongoing Transformation
Performance management evaluations started in the 1950s as personality-based assessments, Harini notes. That quickly evolved into objectives-based performance management. “There’s been lots of fine-tuning that happened along the way, but it’s not until more recently when the concept of continuous performance enablement model came into being,” Harini says.
Continuous performance enablement is designed to elevate performance management as a more effective tool for employees, managers and leaders — and especially managers.
Traditional performance practices fail managers, Harini says. “Performance management and performance tools have done nothing for them,” Harini says. “Nothing to make them more effective. Nothing to simplify their lives as managers. Nothing to help foster better connections with their employees. All it does is give them a form to do a performance assessment.”
Managers need the right tools and guidance if they’re to develop their employees, and that’s what performance enablement addresses.
By combining a wealth of data, the right tools and a people analytics approach, “we’re able to figure out, ‘all right, managers, how can we help guide you to play on employee strengths, create stretch goals, and suggest and recommend these stretch goals or pull out employee strengths that maybe the manager just doesn’t have insight into today?’” Andrea says.
How Small Businesses Can Implement Performance Enablement
It’s easy to talk about performance management and enablement only in the context of larger organizations. This approach is also possible for small businesses that are willing to experiment, Harini says.
“Why not experiment with different tempos of goal setting and check-ins to see what works best for them?” Harini says. “They have a lot more of that flexibility and that ease of making change. That’s really a benefit that’s only easily available to small companies.”
Small businesses can also give more latitude and authority to managers than larger organizations. “You start with the sentiment that your managers are smart and capable and want to do the right thing,” Harini says, “and enable them to do what’s right for their teams, and then ultimately later you can come up with something that works for the entire company.”
Andrea brough up the example of Gympass, which operates by the mantra that every employee is a leader. This shift gives more autonomy to managers and employees, builds trust throughout the organization and drives better performance.
People Analytics’ Role in Performance
People analytics doesn’t have to be the enemy of being human. Already, Harini says, HR leaders recognize the value of people analytics for measuring adoption and compliance, for tracking progress against business goals, and much more.
“Is there an actual correlation between an optimal number of check-ins and conversations that I am trying to bring into effect and performance that comes out of teams?” Harini says. “Is there something that we can do for a specific department or demographic group to make them more productive, more engaged?”
Those are what Harini calls “higher-order questions” that HR has struggled to answer but where people analytics can help.
Andrea notes that Betterworks wants to use people analytics to move from backward-looking metrics to helping managers and employees access real-time insights to make in-the-moment changes.
And there’s much more to come: “I feel that we’re going to see a big wave of in-the-flow-of-work capabilities continue through well into 2030 and meshing that with responsible AI,” Andrea says.
The goal isn’t to replace the manager but to help them do an increasingly difficult job. “With responsible AI and all of the content that’s being shared in conversations and feedback,” Andrea says, “we’re going to be able to present all of that to managers so that they can have better conversations and, more importantly, build better relationships with their employees.”
Finally, people analytics data should be accessible to everyone. “Don’t keep this data within HR. Just democratize the data, share it with the business folks, always map it to what business cares about,” Harini says.
People in This Episode
Andrea Couto: LinkedIn
Harini Sridharan: LinkedIn
Punk Rock HR is sponsored by Betterworks. The world’s most dynamic organizations rely on Betterworks to accelerate growth by supporting transparent goal setting, enabling continuous performance and learning from employee insights. Betterworks is on a mission to help HR leaders make work better. Discover how they can help you by visiting betterworks.com today.
Hey, everybody. I’m Laurie Ruettimann. Welcome back to Punk Rock HR. My guest this week is Andrea Couto and Harini Sridharan. They’re senior leaders at Betterworks and they’re here today to talk about all things performance management and where it’s headed in the future and what good looks like. I think that’s what interests me most about this conversation. You know, we often talk about performance management is dead and it stinks, and Harini is on a personal mission to go from sucky to sticky performance management and performance enablement. I love it. It was just such a fun conversation. So if you’re ready to dive in to fixing the world of work and the world of human resources, well, sit back and enjoy this talk about performance enablement with Harini Sridharan and Andrea Couto of Betterworks on this week’s Punk Rock HR.
Hey, Harini. Hey, Andrea. Welcome to the podcast. You know, there are two of you here, and I’m going to be like an air traffic controller. So before we get started, maybe we can start with introductions. And Harini, why don’t you start? Why don’t you tell us who you are and what you’re all about?
I’m excited to be here. So I’m a product marketer at Betterworks. I head up Betterworks’ product marketing team, and I’ve been here for over a year. My job is pretty much about having a compelling narrative for how our audience or our market can change their life, specifically around how they do performance management from being sucky to sticky. And that’s what this stuff —
Sucky to sticky.
Yeah, I love that. Harini, you were mentioning as we were kind of doing the pre-show that you are a fellow cat lady, or at least you’ve had a cat that you enjoyed. Is that true?
That is true. I’m still a cat person. My husband is allergic to cats, so we don’t have one anymore, but we have neighborhood cats who come around in our yard, the indoor/outdoor cats who come around in our backyard, and I get my filling of cat love.
There you go. There you go. I love it. You know, I happen to be allergic to cats, too, and I have three, so I must be insane. I don’t know what’s happening here. So it’s good to have you on the show. And Andrea, you’re up next. Why don’t you tell everybody who you are and what you’re all about?
Oh, hey. Hey, everyone. I’m Andrea Couto. I am the vice president for pre-sales and sales readiness here at Betterworks. I’ve been in the HCM technology space for nearly 25 years, and when I moved into the solution consulting space, what, about 17, 18 years ago, I found that it was an amazing opportunity where we get to match the customer’s business needs to tech. And honestly, I’ve never looked back. We love aligning the “why this platform is the best option for you” and whether that’s right now or down the road. And I guess it’s that consumer behavior aspect that spoke to me with my marketing degree years ago that I got. It’s kind of like that “why” that I love about this role.
And so that’s what I’ve been doing for really the last 20 years, is leading pre-sales organizations to present solutions in the most visual way possible so that customers can feel their work lives changing.
And I joined Betterworks, gosh, about eight months ago, because they are fundamentally focused on helping organizations change that status quo on what performance management should look like. So happy to be here.
Yeah, we’re happy to have you. You know, it’s funny when you mentioned pre-sales, because what do I know? I’m just a former HR lady. But I think all sales is kind of pre-sales, right? Because even if you make a sale, you’re always looking to add on and to add value to the customer, so it’s this ongoing cycle. Is that what you mean by pre-sales?
Yeah, exactly. It’s we basically are forging that relationship from the point that they’re what we call a prospect — before they physically become contractually a customer. So yeah, it’s all about the pre-sales activities from the point that they are engaging an interest in Betterworks. We’re having conversations around what their specific business needs are, why are they looking at a solution like this today, how can we align business initiatives to that, all the way to helping them create that vision of what their Betterworks platform will eventually look like.
Well, I love that you’re both focused on making performance management less sucky and more sticky. Harini, that was hilarious. I love that. That’s amazing. And everybody knows that Betterworks has been a sponsor of my podcast all season long, and I’m really grateful for it, because I love having a conversation around how performance can go from just a general pain to something that enables an organization to change and to really value the humans that work at the organization.
So performance has been broken since I started in HR in 1995. And I just wonder, maybe, Harini, can we start with you? You’re an optimist. So what’s the trend line for performance? What’s it going to look like in 2030 and beyond?
Yeah. So when I joined Betterworks, and I was reading up about how performance evolved, what’s not working with it, this is really interesting, random, that I learned that, very early on, when it started out in the 1950s, performance management evaluation was a personality-based assessment. Obviously that didn’t last very long, because folks realize inherited or innate traits don’t have anything to do with one’s productivity. That was interesting.
And more recently, it’s changed so much. It took so many years to change. Oh, since the 1960s, when it became more the MBO, management by objectives-based performance management, with the 360-degree feedback, there’s been lots of fine-tuning that happened along the way, but it’s not until more recently when the concept of continuous performance enablement model came into being. And it’s not until the whole pandemic when it actually started catching fire and becoming more prevalent.
But looking forward, as we have been talking to our customers, our HR advisory board and the larger HR community, for me, two things majorly stand out. Performance management should now start focusing on the managers. In spite of knowing that managers are so important to driving employee success, performance management and performance tools have done nothing for them, nothing to make them more effective, nothing to simplify their lives as managers, nothing to help foster better connection with their employees. All it does is give them a form to do a performance assessment. So I feel that’s top of mind for all HR leaders.
The other big topic is a high interest in higher-order analytics around performance enablement. It’s not like they don’t have analytics today, but it’s all the transactional metrics around things like, “Well, I set up a program. I put together a program in place. Are folks adopting that program? Are folks complying to that program?”
It’s very transactional, compliance-based. It’s not around things like “What kind of data do I have that correlates things like goal progress or check-ins to performance?” “Is there an actual correlation between an optimal number of check-ins and conversations that I am trying to bring into effect and performance that comes out of teams?” “Is there something that we can do for a specific department or demographic group to make them more productive, more engaged?”
We are unable to answer those higher-order questions yet, and I think that’s another thing that’s top of mind for HR that now, with the advent of AI and analytics, will soon become important.
Yeah, I love all of that, and I really love the integration of the people analytics in a smarter way. Instead of just having a dashboard that doesn’t mean anything to anybody and we ignore, it’s a dashboard that actually means something. I don’t know, Andrea. What do you think? Where’s all of this headed, and is it just going to be more work for HR?
Oh gosh, I hope not, right? I mean, that’s the whole aspect of Betterworks’ mantra, is to make everyone’s lives easier in the workplace while giving better insight into how people are performing and what can you continue nudging and tweaking to get better performance out of your employees. So we have organizations come to us because they’re trying to move away from that heavy, after all is said and done, 10-page performance assessment that includes seven to 10 competencies and maybe five skills, and give me examples of why you’re rating people the way that you are. As we all know, that’s very backward-looking, right? It doesn’t really pinpoint today exactly how that employee has progressed and how they’re performing.
So our objective is really to make it easier for managers and employees to determine what are all of those performance factors that are happening all day, every day. How do we make that easier for folks to capture that in the moment when it matters? And that’s what this whole premise of “in the flow of work” means, right? So we are doing a little bit of that today, but I feel that we’re going to see a big wave of in-the-flow-of-work capabilities continue through well into 2030 and meshing that with responsible AI.
So it kind of goes back to what Harini said. I mean, we managers are so critical to employees being engaged, being inspired, being motivated, and it’s going to just get harder for managers to keep employees happy in their current job roles. And so with all this data that’s being captured with AI and blending that with demographics and the performance platforms, then we’re able to figure out, “All right, managers, how can we help guide you to play on employee strengths, create stretch goals, and suggest and recommend these stretch goals or pull out employee strengths that maybe the manager just doesn’t have insight into today?” Suggest agenda topics for one-on-ones.
Those are things that managers kind of have to come up with on their own, but I think with responsible AI and all of the content that’s being shared in conversations and feedback, we’re going to be able to present all of that to managers so that they can have better conversations and, more importantly, build better relationships with their employees.
Well, I think that’s the core of this — building better relationships between the worker and their manager, right? I mean, that is such a trusted and important relationship, and yet when I think about performance management really being broken in the trenches, it’s often broken because HR becomes the police or the choke point, or it becomes an HR process and not a manager process. And this is a theme that keeps coming up with Betterworks, that this is about enabling the organization to do better work to free themselves to become more innovative and disruptive, not to give HR another technology platform that they have to administer.
So I love all of that, but I just wonder when it comes to performance management and performance enablement — and Andrea, I know you have a POV on this — what really works in the trenches? When you’re talking to people out there doing the work and coming to Betterworks, and then they use Betterworks and they’ve evolved, what actually is going right when it comes to this whole entire process?
Oh, it’s a few different things. So it’s absolutely making sure you’re playing to people’s strengths, so being able to determine what people’s individual strengths are and then playing on those strengths. So as you are creating different business objectives that you know your team needs to work on, making sure you’re putting the right people on the right project teams or having the right people lead the right project teams, or even work on their own, whether it’s individually or as a team, so playing to those strengths and weaving that into the goal achievement aspect.
But, my gosh, what’s really critical is frequent conversations between managers and employees. That’s super-critical. And one thing that we’re also talking to customers about now is, how do you help employees that are new to your organization, even new to the workforce, how do you help them create better connections, not just within the team and the manager, but outside that circle and better degrees of separation, so to speak. So assisting with, whether it’s informal or formal mentors, allowing employees to have that kind of a skip-level conversation, so to speak, if they want. I think that is what’s critical, but we’re also seeing is working.
We have several customers of ours that have been with us for a number of years. They came to us because they wanted to change the status quo, and so now they continue to push that envelope even more. So they’re just continuing to change things. So they’re just tweaking. They’re going from that annual review to quarterly, but then beyond that, they’re going into, how can we create very personalized conversations for employees that have been here for this long that are this demographic and ensure that they’re getting what they need to, because we’re either seeing performance drag a little or we’re seeing it improve and we want to make sure we keep them.
Well, that makes sense. You know, Harini, I have been part of many academic endeavors to rethink and teach performance management at the university level, at the institute level. This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. And I just have this point of view that performance management is change management. That’s what I think. But I wonder, when you see it go well out there, what are you seeing? Because when I see it go well, what they’re doing is just really leaning into those change management principles and doing it on a rigorous, even daily basis from the manager to the employee. There are no surprises. Everybody understands what they’re accountable for, and if things change, there’s amazing communication. This does happen in the world, but I wonder if you see that.
Yes, that does happen. I would say a few things are important. Yes, change management is the hardest part of all of this, right? Because the good thing is, I don’t think, with performance process, anybody is going to deny that the existing processes aren’t working well or need to be changed.
Yeah, that’s a pretty easy thing to beat up on.
But even then, I think there’ll most definitely be complaints about, “Oh, yet another thing to do,” and lots of reasons why this is just not a good time for a big shift. And that’s why I think two big important things are really important. I would say it’s key to reinforce what is not changing. Maybe the bonus program is not changing. Maybe the fact that you still have a year-end evaluation process for determining pay changes is not changing. So it’s really important to emphasize that part of your world is still going to remain the same. We’re just going to start making these slow changes.
And with the incremental changes, as well, it’s really important to make sure that the first couple changes that are made compelling and uncontested priority. This really helps all employees and managers get behind the overall effort. And we’ve even seen a few customers do this really, really well.
Well, I would love to hear about that. I mean, if you have one really good customer that you think exemplifies a movement forward in this performance quadrant, because so often we talk about, pie-in-the-sky, conceptually, what good looks like, but we don’t acknowledge that good took a lot of hard work. But people did it. So who do you got for us that’s a great example of that?
One that comes to mind is ATB Financial. So they’re an Alberta-based financial institution. They’ve been here many years. I think they started in the 1930s. And they’ve really been seen as a catalyst for economic growth in their province in Canada. A large institution. They have 5,000 employees and they have like 800,000, I believe, clients, and really large, right? And they revamped their performance program more recently, and just like I mentioned, they planned for a more gradual transition. They had their annual performance system in place like most other companies, and it’s really hard to do away with it completely, because like I mentioned, it’s so closely tied to their incentive program. It’s usually companies have performance-based pay programs.
So instead what they did was, just like I mentioned, they kept their year-end evaluation. They just coupled it with more meaningful, more casual year-end conversations between the team members and their leaders. This is the time when they collect the performance data and talent data, and this is when they did calibration based on the same. So their processes around this year-end performance remained the same. All of this analysis is what they used to inform decisions. But at the same time, across the entire year that preceded that year-end evaluation, they also introduced quarterly conversations and the more frequent feedback and coaching that Andrea mentioned to ease into a more continuous process. That way, they also eliminated any recency bias with that year-end evaluation so that they had these frequent check-ins throughout the fiscal year. And the employees and the managers built a steady stream of performance data and steady stream of connections and relationship that boosted employee performance, but at the same time, also collected all of this data that provided an input to their year-end evaluation. So it wasn’t just what happened recently. It was based upon what happened across the entire year.
Well, I like that. It also tells a more fair and accurate and transparent story around employee performance, around the relationship with the manager. What’s working, what isn’t. So it’s nice to see a trend line that’s established through this process. So that’s a really great example. Andrea, what are your thoughts on that?
It’s interesting. When we talk to customers, anyone that knows me knows that I love to shop, so this is going to be a bit of a shopping analogy or clothing analogy. So it’s a bit like cleaning out your clothes closet when you approach this kind of transformation. You’re not going to overhaul and throw everything out in your closet overnight, right? You’re going to keep some of the good pieces that you know they’re classic, they work, and you weave in on-trend items here and there, right?
Harini just said “easy things.” So in that same vein, and this is where listening is going to be really critical, so listening to what’s really truly moving the performance and productivity needle in those performance assessments, what’s keeping employees motivated and inspired, and be OK with cleaning out what’s not working. And so this may mean competency assessments. Maybe they’re too heavy. They’re not really a performance driver, and, you know, maybe the descriptions are too specific.
Or maybe cascading goals from the CEO to the divisional VP to your hiring manager all the way down. Maybe that no longer makes sense. There are a lot of things that we can listen and observe and actually cut to get to some of those quick wins. I love that idea.
I’m also concerned, though, that sometimes when we talk about performance enablement, performance management, we talk about this elite way that big companies can do this. And every big company was a small company at some point. So I don’t know. I’d love to hear from both Andrea and Harini on this. If I’m an organization with fewer than 500 employees but we have big aspirations, big goals, what do we need to do now to get ready for not only financial growth but people growth, as well? Andrea, what do you think about that?
Absolutely, especially with the fact that we’re going to really get into this economic downturn, could potentially become a recession. So just continue focusing on getting the right people on the bus. Even though they may not necessarily be in the right role at that time, just getting the right people on the bus, maybe even forging the right role for the right people. Being transparent with business goals and where the organization is going is also critical. Communication during tough economic times is key. Everyone knows when the company is doing well because everyone loves talking about all the good things that are happening, right? But —
Yeah, everybody gets cupcakes.
Exactly, yeah, and trophies, but give tough times equal playtime. Employees have more skin in the game because they only want the company that they work for to be successful. And this last one I think is really critical, and we used this back at my previous company: Ask employees for innovative ideas. Just send out a survey and ask one big question: What’s the one big idea that you have that can address our business, whether it’s saving us money, growing the business, making customers super-happy or reduce risk? You may be surprised which employees come up with the big great ideas. And have them be on the team to implement them. Maybe even if it’s the right perspective, have them lead the team, and, of course, recognize them for their contributions that they brought to the table.
I think that’s super-smart. I would never ask an employee for an answer to an open-ended question like that, only because so many of them are smartasses. I have just worked in HR for too long. But I love your optimism, and I think most people bring emotional maturity to work, but it’s always that one guy who’s like, “You know what we should do? Cut CEO pay.” And it’s like, OK, Einstein, thank you for that. Appreciate you. Yeah.
Well, Harini, I’m cynical, but what do you think about this? Because although we may face an economic downturn globally, we may not. I mean, we may slide through it. There are economists who feel that way, and I feel like even when times are tough, we should always be focused on getting our organization ready to just take off. I mean, that’s the whole point of this. When we work in human resources, we’re enabling the organization to do great things. So how can we make sure that we’re doing that with people? I don’t know. What are your thoughts?
So I just don’t want to quip that I actually do like Andrea’s idea, because we converted an employee-led feedback into something like a hackathon. Then it’s not about giving critiques, it’s about, “well, what are you bringing to the table?” And we just ran a hackathon at Betterworks, so that’s top of mind for me. And I think that’s a way to get the critiquing outliers out on the table.
So I think small businesses have something unique. They can do a few things much better than large companies, and one of that is experimenting, just because they’re so much smaller, they’re nimble, they’re used to trying out different things. That’s part of what they do as startups and small companies. So why not experiment with different tempos of goal setting and check-ins to see what works best for them? They have a lot more of that flexibility and that ease of making change. That’s really a benefit that’s only easily available to small companies. You could give a lot more authority to your managers to determine what’s right for their teams, right? You start with the sentiment that your managers are smart and capable and want to do the right thing, and enable them to do what’s right for their teams. And then, ultimately, later you can come up with something that works for the entire company, but just take advantage of the fact that they’re really nimble and experiment.
That’s a really good point, Harini. Gympass, 1,500 employees. Just read a great article about them, I think last month, in Fast Company. And their whole mantra now is every employee is a leader. And so what that’s done is it’s allowed employees to realize, within the confines of their role, “Hey, we can come up with our own ideas” — maybe it’s a new process, maybe it’s a new product, whatever — and then deploy it and see what benefit it has. And then that way they’re just kind of riffing off each other in their teams as to how can we keep improving this, or where do we need to tweak it, and it’s those ideas then that can get brought forward into the rest of the organization to be used broadly. So I completely agree with you, Harini.
I love that example. That’s a really good one.
Well, back in the day before COVID, right, we were in a different world, and I remember we were talking about all kinds of stuff in the HR and tech industry, like chatbots and geofencing for time and attendance systems, and all sorts of crazy stuff like that. And we were talking about people analytics, but then COVID happened, and we kind of moved away from technology and tried to get radically human. And if I never say “radically human” again in my life, I would be OK. But I think the pendulum is swinging back and we’re recognizing that there is a role for technology. There is a role in helping to move our organizations forward. It’s the old saying, what gets measured gets done. So I thought, Harini, maybe we can start with you. I mean, people analytics are back, and I just wonder, what’s your take on that, and how can HR use those analytics to strengthen the traditional performance management process and tie it into business objectives?
Yeah, there are so many angles with which you can look at people analytics, right? There are some that’s already happening now, which is obviously, HR leaders take the effort to put in a new performance process in place. So right off the bat, it’s very easy to measure adoption and compliance. Did folks understand, adopt the behaviors required of this new performance process? How many check-ins were created? We are hoping that check-ins happen quarterly. Is that happening? How often was feedback requested and given? Is it happening as continuously as we want it to occur, as opposed to an annual basis?
And then there’s the momentum on business priorities, not just looking at what HR cares about and the program that they’ve put in place, but the kinds of things that business cares about. What’s the percentage of goals set, and what’s the progress and completion across those goals to our organization? What percentage of those goals are aligned to the goals that business cares about, aligned to the goals that business has set for itself?
And, is there a correlation between what HR is trying to run and what business wants to bring about? For example, we institute a process for more frequent check-ins. Is there really a correlation? Is it really impacting how many goals are getting completed, how fast they’re going to get completed, how it’s impacting performance scores? If so, by how much? Is the more agile goal setting process leading to more goals getting completed? And are all the demographic and minority groups also seeing equal value and increased engagement with all of these changes?
And ultimately, last but not the least, using ENPS and the employee poll and survey data to ask how employees and managers are experiencing the change, right? Yes, we have all of this data now to get more of the instantaneous information about how engaged employees are, but couple that with the annual surveys, as well. That’s what I’d say. And then, don’t keep this data within HR. Just democratize the data, share it with the business folks. Always map it to all what business cares about.
I love your insight around using this data to even understand if what we’re doing is worth our time. That is such an important question. Does this correlate to business productivity? Does this make you a better hiring manager? Are we talking about performance too much, which I think is an excellent question, right? Or not enough? So I love really taking the opportunity to look at business processes through the lens of HR and people analytics. It’s such a smart and interesting way to think about it.
Andrea, I wonder what’s your take on this? Everything old is new again, right? So here we are talking about people analytics. Is it worth it?
Oh, absolutely. You know, it’s interesting. It’s a really timely question, because earlier this month, I had the privilege to watch Anthony Klotz, who is a PhD and professor with the University College of London. He’s actually the person that coined the phrase “the Great Resignation,” and he had a really interesting story around how that whole thing just catapulted. But he was talking about kind of what’s changed since the pandemic. And he was talking about old mindset versus new, and he said a number of different things. But one of the things that’s really key to what you were getting at, Harini, is the old mindset was to treat everyone the same, where now we need to be hyperpersonalized, and we need to craft programs for different demographics, and that is really where people analytics come into play.
So what if you could see, back to Harini’s point, how the number of conversations, the quality of the conversations, have varying impact on performance and business goal achievement in different pockets of the organization? And when you then look at that by tenure at the org or time in the general workforce, is there a difference, and is there an impact on different programs that you institute? So whether an employee is part of a formal mentor program or has an informal mentor or nothing, what’s the change in performance related to all of these different work and life demographics? So absolutely, people analytics is definitely here to stay.
Well, amazing. As we wrap up the conversation, I wonder, and we can start with you, Andrea, what you would like to leave our audience, our community, with in regards to just this whole conversation about performance management and the just transformative power of thinking about it as performance enablement? What do you want them to know? What do you want them to remember?
Yeah, so it kind of goes back to, again, clean out your closet. I don’t want to Marie Kondo this, but I kind of go back to the cleaning out your clothes, your closet analogy. So here, again, focus on what’s working. Be OK to say, if this isn’t working, let’s push it aside. It’s all right to let it go. And ask people for the big ideas on, “What do you like about the performance program that we should absolutely keep? What could we potentially set aside?” And then ask for new ideas. That’s the big takeaway.
And Harini, what about you? What do you want to leave everyone with?
I want to come back to why this really matters, right? It’s close to my heart, but I also feel it will resonate with most employees out there. I am an employee. I’m a manager. I’m a mother of two young kids and trying so hard to balance work and life, meaning my work life being better means my overall life is better. And that’s ultimately the goal of everything that we’re talking about performance management, right? And I sincerely, strongly feel there is a way to bring performance management and enablement to a point where it makes employees’ lives better, and at the same time, it works to the company’s benefit, as well.
So, for example, is the company looking at investing in their R&D division and innovating in a particular area? Ask the corresponding people question: Are they engaged enough? Do you know what skills are expected of your employees? Upskill them. It’s not just good for your initiative around innovating. It’s also employees themselves also want to grow their careers in your company. They want to upskill. They want to see a career path within your company. Or, oh, the company thinks the right thing to do is moving from a completely remote setting to part hybrid. That’s a big change for employees. Do you know how to constantly keep a pulse on your employee engagement levels with that change? Always bring it back to people. It matters because it’s possible to get to a point where employees are happy and it’s productive for the companies, as well.
Well, from your lips to the world’s ears, I hope that’s true, and I believe it to be true, and I’m so grateful that both of you spent time today. We’ll make sure we include your LinkedIn information, all of your contact information, and the Betterworks information in the show notes. Andrea, Harini, thanks again for being a guest today.
Thank you, it was a pleasure.
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