We're in the final months of 2016, and while it's been a memorable year, for many organizations this is not the time to reflect on the past. Rather, it's time look forward and plan for 2017.
The year's end provides a great time to hit the reset button. Part of this planning will always involve at least some looking backward, but only in service of adjusting and course-correcting. Maybe there was a new strategy implemented in the past year that needs some fine-tuning, or a highly successful effort that needs to be pushed even further forward. But the focus here is on the future. The start of a fresh calendar year is the time to jump-start new strategies and get big ideas off the ground. That's what makes the planning process exciting!
When building a people strategy for 2017, there are a few different things you might want to focus on. You might want to create a culture of ongoing feedback and recognition. You might want to focus on ensuring that employee goals are directly tied to organizational strategies. Learning and development, talent mobility and ongoing performance management; these are all great things to focus on.
What are your top two performance management priorities in 2017?
Regardless of your 2017 focus, we recommend taking three steps in order to turn your people strategy into a reality, and we've assembled some materials to help you along the way in our 2017 planning toolkit.
Plan your strategy
In the planning stage, you'll select your focus for 2017, and then figure out a way to make it happen. This first stage, arguably the most important one, sets the foundation for your 2017 people strategy. Whether that's developing great managers, ensuring that goals are aligned across the organization or conducting ongoing performance conversations, it's a good idea to do research to see how other businesses have had success.
Before you start plotting out your course, read our eBook Driving The Future Of Performance Management, which goes over what best-in-class organizations are doing in order to push their people strategy forward. We also recommend watching our webinar 4 Strategies for Aligning Your Talent and Business Plans, which helpfully goes over ways in which you can ensure that your people strategy for 2017 will be on-track with your organization's overall business strategy.
Prepare to implement it
You know what your 2017 performance management plan will focus on. Now it's time to prepare to make it happen. Let's say your 2017 performance management focus is to make performance conversations more frequent than the typical annual review. How often will those performance conversations occur? How will you manage the change from the previous process to the new one? How will you get everyone in the organization on board? These are the types of questions HR leaders need to ask in order to make sure that talent management strategies yield their intended result, whether that's decreased turnover, increased employee engagement or improved employee performance.
We have three helpful resources on this front. First, an eBook on reinventing your annual review process, which provides five different alternatives to the traditional annual performance review. Next, a performance management workbook which provides tried and tested templates to create a foundation for your new HR processes. Finally, we suggest reading this article on managing the change and ensuring your organization is on board with the new focus in 2017. After all, people strategies work much better if the people they involve have bought in to them.
Get the tools you need to succeed
You have your plan. You know how to implement it. Now it's time to make sure you're well-equipped to succeed. You wouldn't build a shelf without a hammer, a drill, a saw; for that same reason you shouldn't try to build a performance management plan without the appropriate tools.
Our 2017 toolkit includes the tools you need for your organization to succeed in executing on your people strategy for the New Year. For instance, it offers templates for giving and receiving regular feedback, holding regular performance conversations and coaching employees to reach their full potential. We've also bundled in a blog post on peer recognition, and how it can help increase feedback across an organization.
Win with talent in 2017
As the days get shorter and the weather grows colder (unless you're in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case, we envy you), seize the opportunity to hit the reset button and craft your 2017 performance management plans. All the resources in this blog post are available for download in our 2017 performance management planning toolkit. With this toolkit, your organization will be able to plan, prepare, and execute on a best-in-class talent management strategy in the New Year.