August is coming to a close, and back-to-school season (for many) has arrived!
We all know what it means for the kids, but what does it mean for HR? For the majority of organizations this time of year marks the near-end of Q3, and it most likely means there are program milestones and outcomes you need to be ready to reflect on, report on and implement before the end of Q4.
With these points in mind we've put together a handy "back-to-school" checklist for HR to help you stay on top of things.
1. Refresh managers on giving and receiving feedback
With vacations, national holidays and the call of summer fun in general, your managers may have lost momentum in giving and receiving feedback. Consider providing them with these great resources on how and why to provide regular coaching and feedback:
- Employee feedback and coaching templates to help managers give truly helpful and effective feedback
- How Often Is Too Often with Continuous Feedback? A primer on what ‘continuous feedback' really means
- How to engage employees in coaching conversations to make it exactly that - a two-way conversation
Bonus: Your managers might also value reading this resource on how to effectively receive feedback.
2. Have employees update their progress on goals
Over the course of the summer, we do our best to stay on top of work. But providing an update on the status of our work can sometimes be difficult between trips to the lakeside/seaside or vacations spent out of town.
Now is the time for employees take a hard look at their goal progression. Depending on where they're at, they can adjust their game plan for accomplishing those goals, or work with their managers to adjust the goals themselves. Whatever the case may be, it's always good to do this exercise regularly.
Here are some great resources to support employees with their goal management:
- What Should You Do When You Don't Accomplish Your Goals? And what can you learn from the experience?
- Employee Goal Setting Template for creating effective goals
- Goal Management Center of Excellence offers great resources on the benefits and keys to success of managing goals effectively
3. Start the multirater selection process
360 degree feedback is a time-consuming endeavor but a very worthwhile one. It's a great way for employees to understand how peers and other leaders across the organization value their work and see potential development opportunities for recipients to consider.
Multirater feedback has a lot of moving parts: HR, the raters, the managers, and the employees being rated all have roles to play. Because there are so many potential contributors to this process, it can take longer than expected to complete, so get an early start on steps like:
- Selecting how many raters will be used - 8-15 raters , but make sure you at least have five to help maintain anonymity - a key to the multirater process
- Identifying who will be selecting the raters - managers, HR, or the employees themselves
- Asking managers to start thinking about who will be used as raters - managers, peers, direct reports, clients, or a mix of all of them
- Determining what aspects of performance will be assessed - core and/or leadership competencies, performance on goals, etc. - and whether you'll gather quantitative feedback, qualitative feedback, or both
Here's a great resource on how to set up an effective 360 degree multirater evaluation process.
4. Have your employees start reflecting and planning
When it comes time for the year-end review, a mid-year review or quarterly assessment, many employees are under-prepared. A great best practice is for employees to record performance successes, challenges and outcomes all year long.
The benefit is that when it's time to complete a self-appraisal, employees will be infinitely more ready to write a great self-appraisal, set their goals for next performance period, and give great feedback to those around them.
If your employees haven't started or added to a performance journal, encourage them to do so now.
Here's a resource on how to write a great self-appraisal that can help them get ready.
5. Start evaluating your performance management program
You have likely heard about this shift in any HR or business publication: A growing number of organizations are calling into question the value of longstanding HR processes. You might be considering how to adapt your organization's performance management processes to maximize your employees' potential.
The next generation of performance management focuses on creating an ongoing dialogue about performance between managers and employees, emphasizing the link between employee satisfaction, contribution and engagement.
The following resources can help you in assessing whether your current talent programs are truly delivering the outcomes your organization and your people need to succeed:
- Driving the Future of Performance Management - use this eBook to learn how ongoing performance management practices can help maximize your employees' potential
- Are you using HR analytics and metrics effectively? Your HR data is waiting to be analyzed.
- 5 Ways to Transform the Annual Performance Review - discover how to reinvent your old annual review process into something that's more strategic and responsive
Maximize your employees' potential
No matter what areas of focus are of priority to you and your organization this fall, we hope the above ‘back-to-school' checklist gets you thinking on how to effectively use your talent management process to drive employee engagement and contribution.