Reinventing Performance Reviews — The POWERformance Solution
This case study documents a Fortune 500 company’s efforts to turn traditional performance reviews into future-focused reviews. The company had already revitalized the annual review form and process, and they had initiated frequent check-ins.
Current performance reviews revealed several characteristics that needed to change in order to gain a coaching emphasis in reviews.
No reviews included any specific direction for the future.
All reviews referred to team members in the third person (he and she, not you).
Most reviews consisted of vague generalities.
Most reviews did not motivate people to improve.
POWERformance™, our 90-minute, discussion-based training program played a central role in the reinvention process. An important factor in this company’s decision to use us was our smart coaching language. Because it simplifies the coaching process, not just in reviews, but also in one-to-ones, everyone felt confident this would also help managers reduce the time it takes to write reviews.
After gaining positive feedback from a POWERformance pilot workshop, the company selected the following services: trainer certification as well as master trainer certification, co-branding, reproduction rights, translations, HR portal resources, and a post-training assessment.
Since we included some human resource business partners in the certification process, they functioned as ambassadors, encouraging reinvented reviews. Forty certified trainers trained 1,000 managers in 24 countries within a period of three months. POWERformance materials were translated into seven languages, and the rollout included some virtual training sessions.
New reviews written by managers who participated in the POWERformance training showed that:
80% included specific direction for the future; 67% of that direction was considered strong
83% used you and your
97% provided specific details and examples
93% motivated team members by connecting behavior to benefits and results
Feedback from POWERformance Participants
To supplement our objective assessment, the company conducted a survey of attitudes and opinions from managers. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
Supplementary Learning Resources
The company already had two performance review resources on their HR portal: one for managers and one for team members. We revised those “how to” resources to reflect the new approach.
The resource for managers focused on the STAR model (Situation/Task, Action and Results) for writing reviews. We expanded that to a STAR-FAR model, emphasizing the need to look ahead to Future Actions and Results.
The guide to help team members write self-evaluations primarily encouraged laundry lists of activities. Our revision empowered them to highlight their best efforts. As a result, managers gained better information to use in their review comments.
Our trainer certification and rollout across our global organization moved along without a hitch.
POWERformance has been a success for us in driving a coaching culture. Not only does the data support how effective the training is, we continue to hear anecdotal reports that managers are using what they learned in their performance conversations. We feel very confident that POWERformance has had an impact on performance improvement.
Simplicity is the word I often use when I discuss POWERformance. You have made it easy for managers to understand a new coaching language and begin to put it into practice immediately following the training. We continue to hear positive feedback as the training program becomes more imbedded in our organization.
Everything you have done is evidence that you truly are our partner!