As we close out 2022, a year where we’ve adjusted to hybrid workplaces as the new norm, tried to understand quiet quitting, navigated ongoing inflation and economic uncertainty, and faced increasing demands for compensation and employee engagement, it’s time to look ahead to see what the next year will hold for organizations and HR teams.

1. HR will have to bridge the divide. 

Companies are going to over-index on performance — and risk damaging the employee experience.

We are still dealing with a global pandemic, and on top of that, we now also have inflation and economic uncertainty to contend with. As businesses look for ways to cut costs and increase productivity, organizations have tried various tactics to get more out of their current workforce, including requiring employees to return to the office at least a few days a week or using surveillance software to track employees.

Increasing productivity is easier said than done. Gallup found that highly engaged teams are 18% more productive and 23% more profitable than low engagement teams. However, only 21% of employees are engaged at work globally, with workers in the US and Canada slightly higher at 33%, meaning the majority of employees worldwide are disengaged. Low engagement teams have 18% to 43% higher turnover rates than highly engaged teams, which is costly to the bottom line.

Disengaged employees are leaving companies, but the reasons why they’re leaving and the reasons that executives believe they’re leaving are mismatched. Executives attribute attrition to transactional elements — compensation, poor health, and employees looking for a better job. Meanwhile, employees have reevaluated what they want in a job in the last few years, and it now takes more than money to retain top talent. A Lattice survey of 2,000 US and European employees showed that younger workers are looking for a place to belong. Work flexibility has also risen in importance: Recent Lattice research showed that 59% of Gen Z and millennial employees would consider walking out of a job over a company’s remote work policy. Plus, in light of layoffs and cost-cutting efforts, employees are being asked to do more with less, which is a surefire recipe for burnout.

HR teams have the difficult job of finding the middle ground, working with executives to set realistic goals for the organization while also trying to increase employee engagement and retention in order to achieve those goals. HR teams can create or revisit their employee value proposition (EVP), which is the promise the organization makes to employees and candidates that incorporates company values, compensation strategy, learning and development opportunities, and more. Employees are looking at their work experience in its entirety and are looking for businesses that align with their values. By emphasizing deeper connections, personal growth, flexibility, well-being, and a shared purpose, employers can shift their EVP to be more human-centric to show employees that they are valued as people, not just line items on a spreadsheet.

Your employee experience doesn’t have to be at odds with your business performance. Check out How to Use Performance Management to Inspire Employee Growth to learn how.

2. Your managers are not okay.

Manager engagement and retention will be a mission-critical priority for HR and business leaders this year. 

It’s clear that employees at all levels have faced challenges these past years, and that is certainly the case for managers, who sit in the wide middle area between C-Suite executives and employees and have to balance the priorities of both. Good managers have a specific set of skills and are more than just advanced individual contributors. They lead, manage, and develop their teams and reports. The past few years of the pandemic and shift to hybrid work have made managerial responsibilities multiply and grow in unexpected ways — not only do they have to champion their employees but they’ve also had to help employees navigate an unsettling economy and potential job insecurity, and managers are reaching a breaking point.

With engagement and retention more important than ever, the brunt of this responsibility falls on the shoulders of managers. Gallup data shows that team engagement depends heavily on the manager, who can account for a 70% difference in engagement rates. Employees want purpose in their jobs, but the “who” that can drive employee engagement is a caring manager. A GoodHire survey of 3,000 American workers showed that bad managers not only impact engagement, but also retention, and 82% of workers would potentially quit their job because of a bad manager. One of the top reasons employees leave their jobs is because they don’t feel valued by their manager.

But managers are also struggling with engagement. According to Gallup’s State of the American Manager Report, 35% of US managers are engaged, and 14% are actively disengaged. With these rates, it’s no wonder that employee engagement rates are also low, as employees who work for engaged employees are 59% more likely to be engaged themselves. And it’s not just that managers are disengaged; they’re also burned out and leaving their jobs. Lattice research also found that middle managers (defined as managers who oversee teams of managers) were the most likely cohort of employees to be actively looking for new work (70% in the UK and 50% in the US). 

Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index showed that managers felt like they were stuck between managing executive and employee expectations, which often aren’t aligned. Over half of managers surveyed felt that their organization’s leadership was out of touch with employees. But managers felt powerless to create change, with 74% of surveyed managers saying they lacked the resources and influence to make changes for their team.

The role of the manager as a team motivator is more critical than ever, but managers are facing an extraordinary amount of pressure to have their teams deliver while trying to balance heavy workloads, manage people, engage employees, and maintain everyone’s well-being. Most managers do not have the resources or bandwidth to combat burnout when they’re facing it themselves. 

Companies need to find ways to support their managers, as they are a crucial part of improving engagement and company culture. That means including managers in the employee experience to get a full picture of how employees are doing, and implementing the right systems and processes to enable managers to succeed. Managers are less likely to know what’s expected of them than the people they manage, and over 40% of managers surveyed say they have competing priorities, so setting clear priorities and expectations can help managers focus on the most impactful business goals instead of trying to do it all. Organizations should provide career development opportunities to help their managers grow, as well as performance management resources (best practices in giving and receiving feedback, conducting one-on-ones, etc.) to help their teams succeed. And there should be a focus on well-being initiatives or programs to help managers combat burnout for themselves and their teams. 

Lattice’s 2023 State of People Strategy (SOPS) showed that manager training was the second highest priority for HR leaders in 2022, behind employee engagement. Investing in managers helps invest in the teams they oversee. Bad managers negatively impact engagement and retention and are therefore costly, but good managers give employees a reason to stay and perform to their best ability.

See what HR professionals around the globe had to say about this year’s priorities, successes, and challenges in The 2023 State of People Strategy Report.

3. Pay transparency is coming, and it’s going to be a mess.

Creating a compensation philosophy is only half the equation; employees want to know where they stand.

California recently passed a pay transparency law requiring all companies with more than 15 employees to list salary ranges for jobs. California joins the growing number of states, including Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, and Washington, that have passed similar legislation requiring employers to disclose pay. The laws vary from state to state, which may be difficult for job seekers to navigate. Still, pay transparency has benefits, such as helping to counter the gender pay gap, the difference in salary between men and women in the US. Research from 2022 shows women earn $0.82 for every $1 men earn, and the gap is even wider for women of color.

Pay transparency is also in line with what employees want from employers. A Lattice survey on compensation found that 67% of US employees agreed their company should have transparency around pay policies, and over half of respondents think companies should disclose how much everyone is paid.

Companies, on the other hand, are still catching up. Lattice’s 2023 State of People Strategy found that pay transparency within organizations is still low, and even lower at smaller companies.

  • 54% of HR leaders said only HR and finance know pay bands.
  • 25% of employees know the salary band for their job level, but only 9% know the pay band for the next level up.

With 59% of companies investing in pay transparency, and 21% investing considerable effort in it, companies are making some progress. Pay transparency helps employees have trust in pay equity across the organization and can also increase engagement and retention. For example, if employees see a comparable job listing with a salary that is much higher than theirs, that information may help them negotiate during the next round of performance and compensation cycles. It can also save time during the recruitment process by weeding out candidates who are looking for a role that pays differently.

Compensation transparency can’t happen without proper planning and strategy. Businesses need to be clear on what they are going to disclose and how. To achieve that, People teams need to develop a compensation philosophy that provides clear guidelines, ties back to company values, and explains how salaries, raises, and bonuses are structured. Creating the compensation philosophy is only half the equation; organizations then need to develop a communication plan so all employees know where they stand and what the potential opportunities are for movement within the company.

Keep in mind that compensation goes beyond salary, and a compensation philosophy should factor in a total rewards package, which can include benefits, health and wellness programs, learning and development, and paid time off. These additional items may not show up directly on a paycheck but can still positively impact the employee experience. 

One way to add structure to your compensation strategy is to use a compensation tool, which can help HR teams securely share data, collaborate across teams, and implement updates as needed.

Fair compensation can improve retention, employee motivation, and overall business performance. Download How to Reward Top Talent With Pay-for-Performance to learn more.

4. We’re returning to fundamental workforce strategies.

The world of work is moving on from gimmicks like quiet quitting, productivity paranoia, or the hybrid push/pull.

Changes in work norms have led to rebranding of old trends with new terms in an effort to describe the shifts in employee expectations. For example, “quiet quitting” is simply a new term for employee disengagement, and “productivity paranoia” is when leaders are worried their teams aren’t working hard enough with hybrid work models, despite 87% of employees reporting they are productive. And even employees recognize that these are just new names for old stories: Recent Lattice research found that 45% of employees reported that they were not very familiar, or not familiar at all, with the phrase quiet quitting — and yet 36% of those same employees self-reported having “quietly quit” in the last year when it was defined as disengaging from their work. 

Neither of these trends began during the pandemic, but coining phrases for them highlighted the fact that engagement and productivity have always been organizational priorities, and HR teams have been at the forefront of navigating this new world of work. According to Lattice’s 2023 State of People Strategy, HR leaders expect some, if not all, of their workforce to be remote, and have prioritized employee engagement; manager training; learning and development; diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) programs; and performance management over talent acquisition.

As employee expectations change and organizations adapt to meet them, we’ll see a shift from The Great Resignation to The Great Recognition. Organizations will recognize that the best employees are engaged employees and that listening to workers’ feedback is not only good for employee growth, but for company growth as well.

5. “Hybrid work” is just “work” now.

Employees who have embraced it will increasingly shape where the new workforce is headed. 

For better or worse, a majority of workers have gotten used to remote work and all that it offers: no commute, comfortable work clothes, and more flexible schedules. According to behavioral economics, people avoid loss more than they seek gain, and thus they are not likely to want to give up remote or hybrid work, no matter what the additional in-office perks are. In fact, six in 10 fully remote employees and three in 10 hybrid employees said they are “extremely likely to change companies” if remote flexibility is not an option. Even though a company’s percentage of remote workers varies significantly by industry and organization size (for example, professional services and tech companies will have more remote employees than manufacturing companies), for most employees and employers, hybrid work is not an option anymore, but rather a requirement. 

Some of the early concerns with remote work were about how managers and employees needed facetime together for productivity and engagement. However, managers have become comfortable managing their teams remotely, with 45% saying they have enough facetime to effectively manage most employees and situations. Even the 26% of respondents who would prefer more facetime feel they have enough of it to handle major issues. This is consistent across companies whether they are 10% or 90% remote. HR professionals who feel there should be more facetime cited engagement and culture as their top concerns, with productivity ranking second to last.

Employees have realized that they don’t need to go to a physical office to do work and that they want increased flexibility so work can fit into their lives instead of the other way around. Smaller companies can shift to hybrid and remote work models more easily, and traditional businesses will have to follow suit to retain talent. Gen Z not only places greater importance on purpose at work, but will also be the first generation that has not been required to be in the office five days a week. Gen Z’s percentage of the total workforce will only grow over time, and as a result, as an increasing number of hybrid or remote employees move into leadership and manager roles, hybrid strategies will improve and solidify in the long term.

A shift in employee values and demographics, new and hybrid spaces where we physically do work, and an ongoing struggle to maintain employee engagement despite internal and economic pressures have all upended traditional organizational playbooks. HR teams play an increasingly important role in balancing priorities at all levels of the organization, evolving company culture to meet dynamic needs, and driving employee and business success.

‍Resources for Humans is Lattice’s Slack community of over 18,000 People leaders. The community is designed to help HR professionals connect, share advice, and ask questions. Together, we help each other navigate challenges by sharing resources and firsthand experiences. Click here to learn more about the free community.

The following has been updated to reflect the law’s new April 1, 2020 effective date.

On March 18, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The law, which goes into effect on April 1, gives employees affected by the virus a lifeline in the form of paid leave.

The problem? For companies and their HR teams, the law is anything but straightforward. Prior to the outbreak, there was no federal paid leave mandate — now there are two. The Resources for Humans Slack community has been bustling with questions around the new law. We’ll break down the FFCRA’s main points.

FMLA Eligibility and Benefits 

Since 1993, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has entitled most employees to unpaid, job-protected leave. This simply means that employees can take their leave of absence without worrying about being fired or reassigned when they return.

Historically, employees could take as much as 12 weeks off per year to care for a new child, to care for a seriously ill family member, or to recover from their own illness. The FFCRA adds a new scenario to the list: caring for a minor whose school or daycare has been closed due to COVID-19.

This is important: Unlike traditional FMLA, which is unpaid, employees taking leave due to school or daycare closure are entitled to some paid leave. While the first two weeks are unpaid, the remaining 10 weeks must be paid at two-thirds of regular wages, capped at $200 per day.

The number of companies subject to the FMLA has also grown. Before the outbreak, only businesses with 50 or more employees were required to comply. The FFCRA now extends that to all companies with less than 500 employees. The law carves out a few exceptions, namely for healthcare providers, emergency services, and small businesses that can make the case that compliance would “jeopardize the viability of the business.” The Department of Labor is responsible for approving those exceptions.

Paid Leave Mandate

The FFCRA comes bundled with a separate paid leave mandate, granting employees a total of 80 hours (or two weeks). There’s no accrual process or minimum tenure required to qualify. The circumstances in which employees can request leave are also much broader. Under the FFCRA, the following scenarios all qualify for paid leave:

  • Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Being issued a federal, state, or local quarantine order.
  • Being advised by a health provider to self-quarantine.
  • Needing to care for someone that’s subject to quarantine.
  • Caring for a child whose school or daycare is closed due to COVID-19.

Unlike the new FMLA provisions, payment varies depending on the situation. Sick employees or those going into quarantine or isolation will receive their full wages, up to $511 per day, for two weeks. Those caring for someone else (like a child or a loved one affected by the virus) are entitled to two-thirds of their pay, capped at $200 per day. In either case, companies can’t require employees to use vacation days in lieu of paid leave. 

Combining Leave

The FFCRA has left many scratching their heads because it contains two disparate sets of exceptions and payout rules. Both FMLA and paid leave benefits can be used in conjunction with each other, resulting in a few permutations.

Here’s the gist: At most, some employees are entitled to 14 weeks of leave — 12 weeks of partially paid leave, plus two weeks of unpaid leave. On the flip side, employees who get sick will receive two weeks of paid leave and 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Sound complicated? Here’s a visual, adapted from one published by legal professor Elizabeth Tippett, that breaks down the requirements by scenario.

Remember that traditional, unpaid FMLA hasn’t gone anywhere. Individuals who are sick, quarantined, isolated, or need to care for a sick loved one will still be eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid leave after their first two weeks of paid leave.

Similarly, state and local paid leave rules still apply. In cases where these differ from the above, remember HR compliance’s golden rule: The most generous program always takes precedence. If your jurisdiction requires you to offer leave that goes beyond FFRCA minimum guidelines, you’ll need to comply with those rules.

Keep in mind that while companies are required to pay for both forms of leave, they’ll receive a 100% payroll tax credit for doing so. What’s more, all of the above requirements are temporary and will expire on December 31.

In advance of the FFRCA’s April 1 effective date, companies should inform employees that they’re entitled to these benefits. Learn how 8,000+ other HR professionals are handling the process by joining the conversation in the Resources for Humans Slack community.

In most industries, the “Monday to Friday” job has been standard for decades. But the way we work is changing. As companies strive to create environments that engage and inspire employees, many are experimenting with a shorter, four-day workweek.

Devotees of the model say it increases productivity, reduces burnout, and helps retain top talent. So how are companies making the transition in a way that boosts both employee satisfaction and business success?

Benefits and Drawbacks

While it’s been talked about for years, the four-day workweek is clearly having a moment. Today, companies as large as Microsoft and Shake Shack are experimenting with shorter schedules, garnering plenty of headlines. Proponents claim that the shorter workweek comes with a number of benefits, including:

  • Increased Productivity: It sounds counterintuitive, but a shorter workweek could actually help you get more done. Microsoft tested the four-day model with 2,300 workers and found that productivity increased by nearly 40%.
  • Work/Life Balance. Helping employees maintain work/life balance is a key part of retaining top talent. A New Zealand company trialed a 4-day workweek in 2018 and found that employees reported a 24% improvement in work/life balance. They also reported feeling less stressed and more energized.
  • Lower Overhead Costs: Less time in the office could mean lower overhead costs for your organization. One company saw a 20% reduction in their electric bill when they moved to a shorter workweek.
  • Less Commuting: With a four-day workweek, employees have to commute less — helping them save on gas, public transportation costs, and vehicle maintenance.

Between increased productivity and lower costs, there’s no denying the four-day workweek has its perks. But the model isn’t without challenges, especially when it comes to managing HR compliance for hourly staff. Will companies who opt to cut business hours also adjust employee wages? What’s more, federal law only requires overtime pay when nonexempt employees work over 40 hours per week. That means employees who might expect or depend on overtime pay might not be eligible for it moving forward.

“There could be concerns about how people are compensated,” said Dr. Ryan Lahti, Managing Principal at OrgLeader. “There could also be questions about how scheduling is done to ensure coverage,” he said.

There are also certain fields that don’t lend themselves to a shorter workweek. “Industries that depend heavily on shipping and receiving have found four-day workweeks challenging, especially when dealing with late orders and short deadlines,” said Lahti. Industries or departments that require real-time client service might also struggle to adapt to a shorter workweek.

Whether the four-day workweek is right for your company depends on your business, your goals, and how willing you are to make the organizational changes necessary to support it. 

Defining a ‘Shorter’ Workweek 

Depending on who you ask, a four-day workweek could mean a few different things. Lahti slices it in two different ways. “Does it mean the company is going to reduce the total amount of expected work hours in a week, or does it mean the company expects employees to work the same amount of hours per week in just four days?” he said. It might come down to deciding whether you truly need 40 hours of output per week from employees.

Settling on either approach will depend on your business model and location. In Alaska, California, and Nevada, overtime pay is calculated on a daily basis — meaning non-exempt employees who work over 8 hours per day would be due extra pay. This is less of a concern if your workforce is largely salaried and exempt from overtime.

Rather than remove an entire workday from the equation, some have just shortened their Monday to Friday hours. Kira Liskew, CEO of The Eagle Institute, found that approach less disruptive. “The shorter workday allowed [employees] to avoid traffic, which further shortened the time put into work,” said Liskew. She believes that compressing her company’s workweek into longer days would have resulted in more stressed employees.  

Identifying Your KPIs

Companies aren’t just experimenting with shorter workweeks for the publicity. They’re expecting the change to positively impact business operations, productivity, employee satisfaction, and client service. The only way to understand the change’s impact on your business, team, and customers is to measure the right key performance indicators (KPIs). These can help you identify if your new schedule is working as intended and whether you need to adjust.

When implementing a shorter workweek, you should plan to measure a variety of KPIs that cover both employee sentiment and business outcomes. While your specific metrics will depend on your company’s priorities, industry, and scale, here are a few examples:

  • Satisfaction: How happy is your team with the shorter schedule?
  • Productivity: Is everything getting done?
  • Employee Attendance: Are employees showing up to work on time? 
  • Client Satisfaction: Have your client survey results changed at all?
  • Cost Savings: Have you lowered your overhead costs?

Make sure you allow enough time to pass to get an accurate read on these metrics. The more performance indicators you measure, the better understanding you’ll have as to whether the four-day workweek is an effective and sustainable model for your business.

Like any major business initiative, getting employee buy-in starts with ensuring everyone at every level of the organization is on board. Managers and the C-suite need to be aligned and supportive of the shorter schedule for it to stick. “For the cultural changes to be effective, a key component of success is that the leaders model the behavior,” said Liskew.

Given the growing number of companies experimenting with shorter schedules, getting that executive buy-in may be easier than it’s ever been. While the jury is still out on whether the trend is all hype or here to stay, moving to a shorter workweek could change the way we all do business — potentially for the better.

Mincing words might not be a bad thing after all. While there’s a wealth of information telling managers how to give feedback, what not to say is just as important.

Every employee is unique, and some of this will come down to their preferences and the way you approach the conversation. After all, constructive feedback should always be a two-way discussion. Here are some phrases to avoid so these conversations go smoothly.

1. “Always” or “never.”

Our guide to performance reviews touches on this, but it’s worth repeating. We all go into reviews knowing that, to some extent, our work will be criticized. Even the most supportive conversation can make employees feel vulnerable or a little uncomfortable. Broad, sweeping phrases like “always” or “never” only ramp up that feeling.

Instead, identify what you’re actually trying to say. For example, maybe you’ve noticed a  pattern. Maybe an employee is inconsistent with deadlines. Tell them you’ve noticed that they’re usually great about timeliness and ask what behaviors helped them find that success, or what they’re struggling with when they’re late. This opens the door for them to share any issues they’re running into and can help you find solutions together. 

2. “Do it like this.” 

It’s one thing to offer suggestions if an employee asks. It’s different (and potentially patronizing) to provide unsolicited directives or talk about how you would handle a situation. In fact, “do it like this” has been identified by EQ expert Justin Bariso as a phrase emotionally intelligent people avoid. Remember that an employee’s approach to something isn’t wrong just because you would do it differently.

Instead, start with questions to identify what your employee is struggling with. If you’ve been through a similar situation, ask if they’re open to hearing how you dealt with it. While they might have a valid reason why they can’t do what you did, you’re still working together to find a solution.

3. “Everyone has noticed that…” 

This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when giving feedback. Nothing will make an employee feel attacked like being told “everyone” feels a certain way. While you may need to address how an employee’s behavior impacts others, don’t bring peers into the conversation unless absolutely necessary.

Instead, craft your feedback in a way that conveys the issue without making employees feel like coworkers have been complaining about them. Consider saying something along the lines of, “When you’re behind on your deadlines, it impacts the team’s ability to be successful in presentations.”

4. “But so-and-so can…” 

Here’s a common scenario: While one member of your team seems to be struggling, others with the same workload are doing fine. Don’t compare an employee to their peers during a review. This consistently ranks as something bosses should never do during reviews because it only alienates employees, fosters resentment, and makes problems worse.

Instead, if an employee can’t handle their workload, ask them what’s going on. It’s possible that they’re just unclear on expectations or they’re working on a project you don’t have visibility into. Whatever the case, you can find out why your employee isn’t handling their workload gracefully and help them figure out the best path forward.

5. “Everything is great.” 

Don’t get us wrong: Giving praise is important and you should be doing so consistently. That said, appreciation isn’t necessarily the same as feedback. Performance reviews are a time for employees to take stock and set goals. When they hear nothing but positive reinforcement, it can be a letdown for employees looking for ways to develop.

Instead, use reviews to help employees identify what’s next and how to get there. Perhaps they want to grow with the company or develop new skills. Maybe an upcoming project provides them with the perfect opportunity to get started. Even if you don’t have a lot of concrete feedback, you should at least be able to have a motivating, goal-oriented conversation.

As a manager, your words matter — especially when giving feedback or conducting a performance review. By avoiding these troublesome phrases, you can minimize negative responses, deliver more impactful feedback, and help employees grow into stronger, more confident members of the team. 

Looking to improve your approach to employee feedback? For more advice, read our Ultimate Guide to Feedback

The Path profiles people working in what we think of as “dream jobs,” living their best professional life, and looks at the people and practices that helped get them there. We talk to these amazing folks about how goal setting, great managers, tough conversations, and key moments of praise helped set them straight or lift them up at instrumental moments and take them where they are now running the show. 

It’s hard to talk about music television without thinking about VH1. The network, which has been around since the mid-80s, first rose to fame through music videos, eventually foraying into popular reality television programming, like Behind The Music and Love & Hip Hop. Like many TV networks, a changing media landscape has meant a need for diversification, including a strong social media presence — something VH1’s Senior Social Media Manager Bianca Kea knows all about.

The Harlem-based social media expert has a long professional path prior to arriving at her current role. She’s worked at advertising agencies in New York and Los Angeles, on accounts including Dannon and Toyota. After deciding to leave the advertising world, Bianca got involved with social media, working with brands like CurlFest and HelloBeautiful, a beauty brand for Black-millennial women, where she further honed her skills. In the summer of 2019, Bianca joined the VH1 team where she currently runs their social media accounts.

Here, we chat with Bianca to learn more about her journey, the power of affirmations and mentorship, and why she believes service is crucial to leadership.

What did you go to school for and what did you think you wanted to do at that time in your life?

I got my BA in Psychology and Political Science from the University of Michigan. For the longest time I wanted to be a psychologist, but halfway through my college career, I had a change of heart after landing a gig in advertising. I stuck with my majors because I still had an interest in the work but I ultimately knew I didn’t want to go in that direction. 

How did you end up getting hired for the position you’re currently in?

I had been applying for new jobs for six months prior to applying for the current role I was in. I had interviews with top entertainment, media, and tech companies. But either they weren’t trying to pay me enough or the vibe was off. So when I had applied for this role I was feeling discouraged. I saw Viacom was looking for a Sr. Social Media Manager and truthfully I was skeptical to apply because I had applied to jobs at Viacom in the past but never heard anything back. I applied and a day later HR reached out asking to schedule an interview. The whole interview process took a couple months with multiple rounds of interviews but eventually, I got an offer. It was completely worth it. 

Tell me about someone who’s made a significant impact on your career trajectory—whether that’s a mentor, a manager, or someone else crucial to your success.

My director at my previous job, Interactive One, had a significant impact on my career trajectory. She was the first Black Women in a leadership role that I had direct access to. I was able to observe how she moved, how she spoke, and she also put me on “game” on how to be successful in a tough industry like entertainment and media. While she was my director, I also saw her as my mentor. She led our team with compassion and that’s something that I’ll always remember and take with me now that I’m in a leadership position myself.

What are some daily habits you absolutely make sure to schedule into your day?

I try to start my morning with meditation and journaling in my Alex Elle ‘Today I Affirm’ journal. I started this new routine back in September so I’m still new to journaling and meditation, but I have noticed how much it helps center my thoughts and ease my anxiety. 

What do you love most about your job?

That I get paid to be creative and strategic while also connecting with people online via social media. Because social media is such a fast-paced industry, it allows me to never get too comfortable, which I think is important if you’re looking to be excellent in your field.

Has there been a time when someone took a chance on you? 

Of course! My director at the Ad Agency took a chance on me when I was just a young woman fresh out of college. I was eager to learn but had very little professional advertising or marketing experience. But they took a chance on me anyway and I’m so grateful they did. Same goes for my director at Interactive One. At that point in my career, I had experience but my challenge was translating my freelance and advertising skills in a way that would make me successful in my new role.

While I think it’s important to acquire some knowledge and skills, I also think it’s extremely important to take chances on people. Some of the greatest leaders of today are where they are because someone took a chance on them. We wouldn’t have Ava Duvernay, Oprah, or Issa Rae if someone didn’t offer them an opportunity.

What’s been the biggest learning lesson in your career so far?

My biggest learning lesson in my career thus far is to always be kind, stay focused, and remember your work will speak for itself. Also, learning not to be afraid to speak up! Because closed mouths don’t get fed. 

Tell us about your first experience as a manager. What have you learned since then?

My first experience as a manager was when I was working at the ad agency. I got promoted and had an assistant under me. Truthfully, because the assistant was so great at his job and our team was so collaborative, it didn’t feel like I had to manage him. It was a great experience. 

While some of my experiences have been great, others have not. I’ve learned that being a manager is a difficult role. It forces you to step up and mature because you’re no longer responsible for just yourself. You have a team and other people’s careers that you have to take into account, which is a big deal. But I’ve learned that transparency, authenticity, and kindness will be your greatest tools when managing others.

What do you think makes a good leader?

Serving. If serving is below you, then leadership is beyond you. 

How do you approach difficult conversations with your team and other colleagues?

I aim to approach difficult conversations with compassion. Before I have any conversation I truly try to put myself in the other person’s shoes and remember what it felt like to be a coordinator or assistant. Although the conversation may be difficult, I never want my team members to feel uncomfortable so I try my best to be clear with my language and expectations while also empowering them to do better. 

Has goal-setting played into your career? If not, what practices have helped you get to where you are today?

Goal setting has absolutely played a significant role in my career. think it’s important to speak over your goals and dreams. I personally enjoy writing them down in my journal or creating vision boards. I love being able to look back at my vision board throughout the year as a way of checking in with myself to reflect on my progress or to remind myself to get to work. 

What do you think managers and leaders need to be doing to create better workplaces?

I think everyone should take some sort of manager or leadership class because honey, there are a lot of managers out here that don’t know a lick about leading a team. Having a bad manager can truly make or break your career and I wish companies understood the importance of equipping managers with tools to help them be successful, such as communication, professional writing, and leadership development classes. 

I think healthy and happy workplaces are created when everyone is able to be their authentic selves while also having the opportunity to learn and grow. 

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Stay focused and remember that your path may not resemble the path of your friends or colleagues, and that’s okay. You’re destined for greatness—but you have to stay focused. 

Want a career to keep you on your toes? Human resources might be a good place to start.

Change comes with the territory. You’ll need to navigate acquisitions, IPOs, upsizing, downsizing, and everything in between — not just for your team, but for employees at large. That might be why a recent study ranked HR as one of the most stressful professions.

Navigating change is hard, so don’t go it alone. Here are some proven strategies shared by HR professionals at Lattice’s recent Resources for Humans Live event.

1. Don’t lose sight of culture.

Company culture’s importance isn’t news to anyone in HR. But in the face of steep hiring goals, IPOs, or acquisitions, it can easily get lost in the shuffle. If you know change is coming, take the time to formalize your culture and values so that you don’t lose sight of what makes your company great.

Beth Karlsson, Pinterest’s Head of Talent, didn’t want the then-private company’s identity to slip through the cracks. Ahead of its IPO last year, she knew it was time to put pen to paper. The company needed a cultural compass to inform everything from hiring decisions to corporate programs. “We sat down with our CEO and the rest of the leadership team to create our core principles,” she said.

The exercise paid dividends, giving the company a means of gut checking every big initiative or decision moving forward. “Having a place to go back to pass decisions through was hugely helpful in grounding ourselves,” she said.

Preserving culture in the face of change isn’t always the challenge teams face. Sometimes you need to figure out how to get two pre-existing cultures to gel. In the case of an acquisition, the term “culture clash” might even come to mind.

It’s a dynamic Tami Rosen, Chief People Officer at Luminar Technologies, is more than familiar with. Prior to Luminar, she was an HR leader at both Apple and Goldman Sachs — two businesses that together account for over 100 acquisitions. The biggest mistake company leaders make is to get lost in the “dollar and cents” of the deal, not the “people, the purpose, and the integration,” she said.

“Take the extra time to make sure that you understand the culture of the company you’re buying,” she said. Finding commonalities between your two cultures could be key to winning employees’ hearts and minds. That’s especially important when dealing with managers, directors, and other leadership, since trust often trickles down the org chart.

“[They’re] the glue of the company you just bought…Think about how you get those leaders integrated into your company first. Because if you get them integrated, they’re going to get their teams along for the ride,” she said.

2. Embrace process — especially in recruiting.

Early-stage startups aren’t known for having a lot of HR processes in place. When you reach hyper-growth status, playing it fast and loose with talent acquisition isn’t practical. It’s time to trade in those casual coffee interviews for a structured recruiting process. That means using applicant tracking systems, setting formalized interview stages, and leveraging templates for job descriptions, email outreach, and more.

Prior to Pinterest, Karlsson saw firsthand how important doing so was at Apple. Fifteen years ago, she started with the tech giant just as it started scaling its retail operations. There were just over a hundred Apple Stores back then. Today, Apple operates 500-plus stores across 24 countries.

For Apple’s HR team, it was sink or swim — and operationalizing the company’s recruiting funnel was the only way to stay afloat. “We were hiring hundreds of people a month, even 400 to 600 people a month…You have to really have incredibly tight recruiting operations,” Karlsson said. That trial by fire later helped her scale Pinterest’s staff from 200 to 2,000 over just two years.

That focus on recruiting efficiency doesn’t mean eschewing culture fit. Nathalie McGrath, formerly the VP of People at Coinbase, helped come up with a list of behaviors for her interviewers to look for. “Be curious” was one, as was “bring positive energy.” The exercise didn’t just help answer what “culture fit” meant for recruiting, it gave Coinbase a chance to look inward and pin down its identity.

“Fundamentally, I believe that culture is a combination of behaviors, decisions, and values that exist within an organization,” she said. McGrath rolled out behaviors with a training program led by the company’s head of recruiting and CEO. In conjunction with that training, her team also rolled out a set of standard questions that interviewers could use when evaluating candidates.

For the cryptocurrency software company, the investment in process and training came with big returns. McGrath and her recruiting team grew Coinbase’s headcount from 250 to 750 employees in just one year.

3. Lean on managers and leadership.

Leading through change, good or bad, isn’t a one person job. Though companies often pin it on HR departments, change management is a company-wide effort. That’s what your managers and executive team are there for.

“When you’re growing and scaling, you’re no longer able to hold your entire team accountable. You have to depend on your managers and your leaders,” McGrath said. That’s largely why her company made manager training such a priority early on. Smaller startups, which often abound with “green” or first-time managers, stand to benefit from programs like that.

But depending on managers to help employees navigate change doesn’t mean leaving them out in the cold. It’s important to trust and equip them with the information they need. Without that kind of transparency, you won’t just lose face with leaders, but their direct reports as well. That’s something McGrath has seen play out firsthand.

“You find that if employees go to their managers and they don’t know what’s happening…they start to lose trust in their managers. Making sure your management layer has as much information as quickly as possible is really important,” she said.

Transparency means transparency. Stretching the truth or being evasive with managers is going to cause unnecessary problems. If you don’t know the answer to a question, it pays to be forthright. Saying “I don’t know, but I’ll find out” won’t ultimately shake managers’ faith in your team. That honesty isn’t just a best practice for HR teams — it’s an approach managers should emulate in their own day-to-day work with direct reports.

“If you tell us the good, the bad, and whatever the ugly may be, we can deal with it. But if you go out there and you give a line or you spin a story, it will come back and it will haunt you and it will be harder to come back and get that trust again from your people,” said Rosen, recalling her time at Goldman during the 2008 financial crisis. “They’re going to look to you and your HR team for the source of truth and reason,” she said.

We’ve all heard the cliché about opportunity and change. But here’s the thing: It’s true. Unexpected turns really do lead to growth. Pinterest’s IPO made that patently clear to Karlsson. “I think that was a moment of heat and crunch for us as an organization. We were able to grow something really powerful and important for the company,” she said.

Change fosters growth. But just as importantly, it creates lasting bonds and unlikely friendships. “There’s something about human dynamics and human behavior when you go through something really hard,” McGrath said. She regularly grabs dinner with past coworkers, now close friends — some of whom she occasionally butted heads with.

Upheaval can frustrate or energize, divide or unite. But it might have been Karlsson who most aptly described its power.

“In moments of high change and heat, great gems are born,” she said.

Brad Holliday has worked on the executive level of HR at several Fortune-ranked healthcare, service & manufacturing corporations and their subsidiaries, such as SPX Corporation, AdvancePCS/Caremark, and Schaller Anderson (an Aetna company), and now Caravan Health. Caravan Health helps physicians and hospitals work together to create, operate and manage successful population health management programs that improve patient care & patient outcomes, clinician satisfaction and financial performance. 

Here, he shares stories from his 30 years in HR, and how they’ve informed his HR philosophy. 

I would say that my favorite part of HR is really finding and leveraging talent management to the greatest benefit of both the organization and the individual employee, and then determining how to make that real for all that are involved, employees and customers alike. How do we make sure that they see that we live by those values which fulfill that culture and exceed customer expectations? How do we build a communication plan so employees understand how to get there? How do we build a behavioral plan so we seek employees’ help in making that happen? I’m a big believer in engaging staff and building a process agenda to integrate these behaviors across all functions, enterprise-wide.

That means we’ve got to have stakeholders across the organization that are helping us figure out how we’re going to integrate these behaviors across the organization. And finally, aligning our leadership values with our decisions by making certain that we’re walking the talk from the top of the organization. Those are the things that make me come to work every day.

1. Sometimes the biggest, most important part of HR is simply remembering the details.

Of course, sometimes one of the most frustrating parts of the job is when you think you’ve thought it all through. You have a great idea. You got buy-in from the executive team. You’ve gone so far as to take it to your board. You’ve got board approval. So everybody’s excited, you feel like you’ve got the wind at your back, you start to implement something, and then you realize the big hole in your plan, the one spot you missed. It’s that old adage: the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

I can think of a particular example where we implemented a plan and exactly that happened. The technical term for what we wanted to implement was a “participation unit plan,” but we referred to it as a ghost stock option plan in a privately-held company that I joined down in Phoenix several years ago.

And we put this thing together, put a lot of thought into it, a lot of work into it, general counsel and myself. I can’t count the hours that we spent on this thing. We then rolled it out, with the intent of making sure that we provided a feeling of ownership in the organization for everyone, at all appropriate levels. The feedback from everybody that we were meeting with was off the charts. They are thrilled to be part of an organization that’s doing this, because they’d never been with a company that allowed employees at an individual contributor level to have stock options.

We get 90% of the way through the process and realize we didn’t develop a table for the executive assistants. And we were shocked at ourselves: How could we possibly have overlooked them? Just speaking for my own executive assistant, my days don’t happen without her. We had around 2700 employees. So while the admin staff might have only made up a very small percentage of those employees, they still were very, very important. And to have completely overlooked them like that was just embarrassing.

And it wasn’t like, “I caught it and I fixed it.” It was thanks to employees speaking up and saying sort of, “Hey, what about me? Tell me you didn’t forget about me. When’s my meeting gonna happen?” The CEO’s executive assistant and my executive assistant knew that all this stuff was going on and had been rolled out. If they hadn’t started asking questions about when we were going to meet with them, I promise you, we would have finished the rollout and we wouldn’t have addressed them at all. Luckily they were comfortable enough to start asking those questions.

2. Stay in touch with your company’s employees — and avoid being seen as part of “Oak Row.”

It’s important for me to stay in touch with employees. You rarely find me in my office — which I know has frustrated every CEO that I’ve reported to — and before I was at the executive level, every HR VP or director that I reported to.

I’ll go all the way back to the start of my career when I started working in HR in Topeka, Kansas back in the mid- to late ’80s. I spent my time out on the manufacturing floor, walking around talking to people. I grew up on a dairy farm so I could weld, but I couldn’t run much of the equipment there and certainly wasn’t qualified to the level of welding these guys were doing. But sometimes I could still help them by doing something as simple as holding something while they worked, showing that I wasn’t afraid to get my hands dirty alongside them. It was during those moments when I could ask them what was on their mind. I really appreciated that one-on-one communication with employees. And it definitely helped our conversation that I was making myself available to them, instead of them having to come to HR. 

One thing that really struck me was hearing a group of employees referring to all the people on “Oak Row.” They were referring to this oak-colored paneling that was in all of the offices for the managers of the company. And to be clear, they used that term in a really negative way. I realized I needed to be seen as not part of Oak Row. I needed to be seen as one of them. Ever since then, I’ve carried that with me as a practice for staying connected and engaged with staff.

Similarly, when I went to work for PCS Health Systems, one of the requirements to be in management for any Eli Lilly company was you had to do a rotation in the business. And so my rotation was with sales. I spent nine months out of HR riding around with salespeople. This practice was core to the Strategic HR business Partner model, as it forced us out of our comfort zones as HR professionals and made you think like part of the core business. I believe it dramatically helps the HR professional to look at the business in much the same way those inside a business unit do, rather than only as we do from HR’s perspective — which is mainly one of policies, practices, compliance, strategy, change management and employee engagement.   

My sense is always that employees aren’t necessarily looking for a voice in the decision-making process, but they are looking for a voice overall. They want to know that we’re paying attention to them. We’ve had feedback from employees saying, “It sure would have been nice if people at the top of the organization had talked with those of us that are actually doing the work before they made the decisions.” And that’s an indication that we dropped the ball. We made a change, it impacted people, and we didn’t think about the impact to people before we made the change.

3. Part of that means being aware of the grapevine.

You know, the grapevine is the phrase that many in HR use for gossip. And I think the grapevine is going to exist in every organization, doesn’t matter how transparent you are. The key to working with and managing the grapevine is your company’s level of transparency. 

If you’re hiding out and holed up in your office all day, and if you’re seen as unapproachable by employees — I’m a farm kid from Kansas, so I’m going to use these farm analogies — you have to realize that kind of thing is fertilizer for that grapevine. And if you keep doing that, that grapevine’s going to grow into this big, gnarly mess. Because grapevines are largely built on misinformation.

So we have to get in front of that misinformation and make sure that we sort of head it off at the pass, and let people know what the truth is. And if it’s something that we don’t know the answer to, we have to tell them that we don’t know the answer to it, but that we’re working on it. And it’s amazing how much credibility you gain with employees when you just look them in the eye and say, “You know what? That is a great concern. And I understand your concern, I share your concern. I may not have an answer for you right now, but we will find an answer. So we will give an answer back to you, whether it’s in our next all-hands meeting or all-staff call or some other form of company communication.” I’ve been in organizations of different sizes, and you manage those different ways, but no matter what size of the company, you have to make some commitment that you’re going to follow back up to the employee with facts. It’s only with hard information that you can start to take the roots out of the grapevine.

4. Going from paper to SaaS changes how you approach performance management. (For one thing, it makes it a lot more efficient.)

I’ll go all the way back to when I worked at PCS Health Systems. We were almost 4,000 employees. I would say even though it was paper and pen, it was a best in class talent management process. But it was paper-based. And one of the expectations of the strategic HR business partners was to go through each and every performance review to do some kind of legal review. If for nothing else, it’s to make sure that we didn’t have somebody out there putting in a statement like, “Brad does pretty well with technology for a guy his age.” If I get laid off or I’m terminated or whatever, the existence of that phrase in a performance evaluation would have huge legal ramifications. 

I think that we have to have more platforms like Lattice. We have to have more platforms that take us away from paper and take these processes that are so critical to us as managers and leading an organization and automate them. 

5. Feedback is always important to a company.

I think that it’s critical for each of us to receive feedback on how we’re doing. Whether it’s in our marriage or as students or as athletes or whatever our role in the moment might be. We all have a driving need for some acknowledgement that we’re either doing well or that we need to up our game. It’s just part of the human psyche. In the workplace, I believe it’s crucial for every single employee in my opinion to have “line of sight.” All employees need to understand how their diligent work and their discretionary effort leads to the success of their team or their department, how the success of the team or department leads to the success of the company, and how the success of the department leads to that merit increase or variable compensation which ultimately links back to their pocketbook. 

And not just to fulfill that need of the human psyche. If you’re running a business, you need to have the business operating at its highest capacity. If you’ve got a V8 engine car, your car needs to be running on all eight cylinders. And if all eight cylinders aren’t firing, then you take it to the mechanic and you get it figured out and you get it fixed. It’s the same kind of thing in an organization. And if we’re not properly diagnosing and addressing the performance issues of our employees, then the car’s not going to run right. We’re not going to get to the grocery store or that vacation destination or whatever it is that we’re going to do in our car. We’re not going to get there as quickly as we should. We may not get there at all if we’re not performing that diagnostic. If we’re not sharing that feedback with the employee and helping the employee to understand that they’re missing the mark and here’s what they need to do make sure they’re hitting the mark. 

I think it’s important to demonstrate to them that this is important because we’re showing an investment in them. If an employer really didn’t care about this stuff and the company is an employer in an at-will state, the employer can just boot the employee out the door if we wanted to. And the company can go hire somebody else. But that’s not what I believe the majority of employers in America today want to do. We want to spend this time giving employees the feedback that they need, that they want. 

6. And when it comes to the future — people are still the answer, not just technology.

I’d like to see us go more towards the people side in the future, rather than just technology as some magic end-all, be-all answer. I think we need to see a real focus on life balance in the workplace. Even that term “work/life balance” — I think we’ll find ourselves turning away from it. I’ve found it eschewed by so many leaders I’ve talked with over the years. We can’t continue to believe that our employees are just cogs in our machine. They are people with families and they’ve got lives, too. And then we need to find a better way to address that intersect between the need of my company and the needs of all of us as employees.

While employee performance management measures the effectiveness of an employee in a particular role, business performance management (BPM) measures the overall success of a company. By measuring and analyzing financial health as well as customer and employee satisfaction, your company can holistically evaluate its current success and identify areas for growth. While financial and customer data is usually handled by other departments, your Human Resources team can help with the employee satisfaction side and pull relevant data to help the business performance management process move along.

If you’re asked to present the full picture of employee satisfaction during your company’s next business performance management process, you might be wondering what factors you should include in your assessment. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll share the top areas of the employee experience that impact job satisfaction, and how these areas can help improve overall business outcomes. Here’s a look at what Human Resources and People data to include in your business performance management audit, and how to use these findings to improve your business today — and in the near and distant future.

5 Areas to Include in Your Business Performance Management Audit

1. Engagement

A key aspect of business performance management is understanding how your employees feel about working at your company. If your organization offers roles, projects, and career opportunities that invigorate employees, your firm will be able to attract, grow, retain, and engage top talent more easily. One 2020 Gallup survey revealed that companies with high employee engagement actually experience better customer engagement, higher productivity, better retention, fewer accidents, and 23% higher profitability than businesses with low engagement.

On the other hand, not investing in employee engagement can actually come at a high cost for your business. Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace Report found that active employee disengagement costs American companies $483–$605 billion every year in lost productivity. That’s why being highly attuned to employee engagement should be a fundamental concern for your business.

To start prioritizing employee happiness, you need to understand what the current state of employee engagement looks like at your organization. Engagement, employee net promoter score (eNPS), and pulse surveys allow you to quantify employee engagement, track changes in workplace sentiment, and measure the impact of company-wide HR and People initiatives. These surveys will also let you benchmark your business’s eNPS and understand how your company compares to your competitors against whom you might be vying for talent. 

With Lattice Engagement, you can create and share surveys to understand exactly how your employees feel about working for your company. These rich insights can help you identify what elements of the employee experience keep your employees engaged, and what areas you can improve. This will allow you to build a better workplace for both your current and future employees. 

That said, in order to truly move the needle on employee engagement, you need to work closely with the individuals who have the most influence on your employees’ day-to-day workplace experience: managers. Offering robust training programs for new and existing managers can teach them the skills they need to lead successful teams, develop their employees, and recognize and reward the great work of their people.  

While your managers should use one-on-ones, team meetings, and performance reviews to meaningfully connect with their direct reports, they can also share feedback and recognize their employees’ accomplishments asynchronously to engage their teams, too. With an employee recognition tool like Lattice’s Praise, managers can easily commend and increase the visibility of a direct report’s exceptional achievements. This allows your employees to feel seen and celebrated throughout the organization for the outstanding work they’re doing, which can be a great boost for morale and engagement. 

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2. Professional Development

There are two main aspects of professional development that employees often care about: upskilling and career growth. The former is a strong motivator, particularly for younger generations looking to establish and grow their careers. In fact, according to Gallup, 87% of millennials find professional or career growth and development opportunities important in a job. 

To help your employees develop new skills and hone existing ones, your business can offer professional growth stipends, internal mentoring programs, on-the-job training, and one-off training classes. Offering these ancillary benefits shows your employees you want them to learn and grow with your organization. It can also help engage and even retain your talent, with 94% of employees saying they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development, according to LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report.

While these types of approaches can be a great way to scale professional development at your company, professional development is an area that can vary widely from person to person. That’s why you need managers to step in and help guide their employees’ career paths. Your managers should have ongoing career conversations with their teams to learn each of their employees’ career goals and understand how to help them advance vertically or laterally within your organization.  

Performance reviews, in particular, provide managers with an excellent opportunity to discuss career goals with their employees. During employee appraisal conversations, managers should share performance feedback with their direct reports to help them identify their strengths, weaknesses, and areas of opportunity. Even if an employee has strong performance, their manager should aim to share constructive feedback with them or push them to challenge themselves more — whether that be learning a new skill or taking on a new project outside of that employee’s job description.

Lattice Reviews helps you foster a work environment and company culture that invests in internal growth and motivates employees to grow with the company. When reviews are simple and seamless, managers can spend less time filling out administrative paperwork and more time having meaningful conversations with their teams. Your employees will notice the difference and you’ll notice the positive impact effective reviews can have on employee morale, engagement, and loyalty.

But in order to have meaningful and productive career conversations, managers need to know exactly what career paths are available to their employees and what skills, competencies, and experience they need to be qualified for their dream role. 

Having clear, detailed, and documented career paths can spell that out for your managers and employees. With a tool like Lattice Grow, your business can create, store, and share competency matrices with employees and managers. With this information, your managers can coach their direct reports in weekly check-ins and annual, biannual, or quarterly performance reviews to ensure they stay on track to meet their personal and professional goals. Career paths can act as growth guides for your teams and motivate your employees to envision having long, successful, and fulfilling careers at your company. 

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3. Goals

Goals do more than just motivate individuals to do their best and help measure the success of those efforts — they also help give work purpose and meaning. 

By taking goal-setting seriously, your business can ensure your employees understand the impact of their day-to-day responsibilities and feel connected to your company’s overall mission. This can be done by setting effective cascading goals. Cascading goals ensure goals align at the organization, department, team, and individual levels so that everyone in your company understands how their accomplishments contribute to advancing the business. This method, paired with either the SMART goal or Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) goal-setting framework, can help improve organizational transparency and motivate employees. 

But while your business can benefit from having strong, clearly defined goals, your HR and leadership team will also want to know how successful your departments, teams, and individual employees are at meeting or surpassing these goals — especially when trying to assess your business performance management. 

With Lattice Goals, your employees can easily submit their personal goals, map them to organizational goals, track progress milestones, and share updates with their manager. Managers and business leaders can track goal status and progress to identify where they can take action and keep the company on track, allowing them to monitor goal completion and understand how employee productivity is impacting overall business performance management. 

Goals are an effective way to ensure that your employees are making progress while helping your business grow. While assessing employee goal completion is a key part of any business performance management process, you must also remember that goals can boost employee engagement, too. Instead of having goals solely tied to productivity, remind managers to encourage their employees to set personal career development goals as well. This could include learning a new skill, taking a class outside of work, attending a conference, or even speaking up more in meetings. These personal goals, while not directly tied to your business goals, can help your employees grow professionally and shape their careers with your company.

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4. Feedback

Waiting to share feedback until the performance management cycle ends is too little, too late. Your employees should give and receive constructive feedback regularly throughout the year in order to push themselves and others to do their best. 

The key to creating a culture of ongoing feedback is to embed it into your employees’ existing behaviors. For example, if your managers are already meeting weekly with their direct reports, advise them to share regular feedback privately with their employees during this time. Or, encourage them to shout out an employee’s great work in their next team or department meeting. 

Feedback can also be given and received asynchronously, too. Lattice’s Feedback tool allows every employee to give and receive feedback to and from their manager, direct reports, peers, and team members. Employees can even request feedback from specific individuals, like their manager, to gain valuable and actionable information they can use to improve their performance and teamwork skills. 

Giving and receiving feedback takes practice — the more your employees do it, the easier it will become. While project-based reviews, team meetings, notes on a pitch deck, and one-on-one meetings are all instances when managers can offer a performance assessment and help to coach their teams, the most in-depth feedback conversations typically occur during quarterly or annual performance reviews. These formal feedback sessions are often when managers have a chance to give employees the most concrete feedback on their individual performance.

To help your employees get the most out of your company’s performance reviews, consider implementing 360-degree feedback that combines the points of view of the employee, their manager, and their peers. This more holistic and objective employee performance evaluation can give an individual more actionable advice on how to improve in their day-to-day role than a manager alone could typically provide. Utilizing a performance management system like Lattice Reviews makes requesting and collecting these different performance assessments for an employee’s review easy and painless, allowing managers to focus on sharing their feedback effectively and empathetically.

A culture of feedback is crucial to your overall business success. It indicates that your employees are listening and growing in ways that improve the way they do their jobs and collaborate with others. Understanding how open your employees are to giving and receiving feedback is a key indicator of agility, flexibility, and growth in any business performance management process. 

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5. Analytics

Lastly, a large part of any business performance management process is quantifying the state of your business and measuring the impact of your past actions. While many elements of the employee experience are difficult to quantify, People analytics and the right metrics can help you put a number to most of the factors mentioned in this guide. For instance, data from your employee engagement, eNPS, and other employee surveys can allow you to quantify employee sentiment, track changes over time, and understand the impact of your initiatives.

If you’re looking for even more People data to use, try partnering with a People management platform like Lattice. With Lattice’s robust People analytics dashboards, you can get a bird’s-eye view of how many employees are participating in one-on-one conversations, conducting performance reviews, giving and receiving feedback, recognizing their teammates’ hard work, progressing toward their goals, and more. 

This data can give you robust insights into different areas of the employee experience and help you understand how your teams are working together and toward business goals. When your company is conducting a business performance management audit, having this data is key for conveying the importance of your HR and People efforts and the role your employees play in your overall business success. 

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The Best Defense Is a Good Offense

Business performance management is a huge asset for your business. While it allows your senior leaders to understand the state of business effectiveness, it also provides an opportunity to highlight all of your impactful HR initiatives as well as proactively work to develop and empower employees. 

Periodically evaluating your business performance management keeps you from ending up on the defensive and dealing with problems that could take a serious toll on your company, like low engagement, high turnover, or workplace conflict. Proactively addressing problems and ensuring your employees have clear goals and the knowledge and support to reach them will set your company up for success. It’s essential to recognize the value your employees bring to your organization and invest in their growth and development to maintain and accelerate your business’s momentum — now, and in the future.