If you’re like me, then there is no better feeling than finishing your day with a real sense of achievement. It’s like a drug. Better, because there are no negative side effects – just a smile on your face and a smugness to your swagger.
All humans thrive on achievement. Without a win every now and then, big or small, our confidence suffers, our self-esteem suffers, our motivation suffers, even our health can suffer.
That is why having clear assessment measures is important for driving high performance. We should know if we’re doing a good job, just by doing our jobs. We should know – based on real, observable facts, whether we’re kicking butt, or kicking dust.
Most executive teams, or at the very least, the CEO and CFO have visibility on results. But how far does that visibility extend?
In high performing organisations, every team member knows how what they do creates value for internal as well as external customers.
To provide this level of visibility, we need to recognise both lead and lag indicators of success. Lead indicators let us know we’re on the right track. Lag indicators show the results of our efforts.
When I was working as the in-house performance partner at Swisse Wellness (whilst still privately owned), it was strategically and ethically important to us to consistently achieve engagement scores of >85% and be recognized in Australia as an Employer of Choice.
To achieve those outcomes we were allocated 7% of total company revenue to invest in people, including salaries, benefits, and all other people related costs like recruitment, training, and health and wellness programs like a fully stocked kitchen to feed the team healthy breakfasts and lunches.
As a People and Culture team – we each had responsibility for managing these different ‘cost-centers’ but more importantly, we created a monthly People & Culture report to which we’d each contribute 1-2 slides. As the Performance Partner, I reported on training delivery, attendance and evaluation; engagement and climate survey data; progress on engagement projects; and team completion of 6-monthly performance reviews. Other P&C team members reported on safety measures; recruitment, induction and onboarding measures; leave and turnover measures; take up of benefits, health & wellness, and social inclusion opportunities; and participation in our volunteering programs.
Each month we’d review our results with our P&C Director as a team before she would write her executive summary and submit the deck to be included in the monthly board pack. Those meetings were essential moments in our month to celebrate our wins, observe trends, and seek opportunities for continuous improvement. They were visibility sessions and while we shared both wins and challenges; we each assumed accountability for our own roles and KPIs.
And the results?
In my time at Swisse we were recognised as an Employer of Choice 5 times through various awards – The Australian Business Awards Employer of Choice twice; The Great Places to Work Top 25 two years running, and the AHRI Workplace Wellness award.
On those days, I definitely went home smiling.
If you’d like to improve the performance of your team, I can help.
(Image: The Swisse Team of the day accepting the AHRI Workplace Wellness Award, 2015. From left – Stephanie Bown, Performance Partner; Catherine Crowley, People & Culture Director; Lisa Calderone, People & Culture Manager; George Livery, Strategy Director).