Canadian HR Reporter

April 2020 CAN

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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F E A T U R E S www.hrreporter.com 19 P erformance management has definitely seen a shift over the past few years, according to Cheryl Fullerton, executive VP of people and communications at Corus Entertainment in Toronto. "For one, we've started to learn a lot more about neuroscience and, with some rigour, how people reacted to certain things and how to best talk to people and influence behaviour." That led to the conversation about ratings and rankings and what works and doesn't work — and many employers giving up the traditional practice, she says. "It actually might intuitively feel like it's gotten less scientific, but it is actually recognizing the science of human beings and how we operate in a more fact-based way, which I find fascinating," says Fullerton. "Quite frankly, that kind of process drives minimum compliance behaviour, which means people will do the process to get off the followup list, not to make their employees stronger." More recently, employers have been thinking about disruption and building resilience and how an organization deals with what, she says. That means having the ability to change, knowing what you need from people "and how do you build innovative culture and support into it, how do you bake that kind of thinking into everything you do? — which has gone to performance management as well," says Fullerton. "We're all talking a good talk about needing people to be flexible and malleable and 'The jobs of the future won't be the jobs of the past, let alone today' — and yet we don't at the same time really equip people to think about themselves in their career and how do managers talk to leaders and set them up for success in that kind of world? "That's a whole different kind of ballgame for people to operate and succeed. And we have to think about everything we're doing with them to see if we're reinforcing that kind of mindset." As a result, after doubling the size a few years back after a major acquisition, Corus changed everything about its performance management, she says. "We did some hard work about three years ago, to really sit down and go to first principles on what do we need to achieve. What kind of culture are we building? What do we want to talk to people about and how do we enable their success? And we created a brand new… coaching guide, so it's a performance development process and toolkit." Before, there was an annual review and some encouragement to have check-ins through the year, but now it's much more of an always-on coaching culture, says Fullerton. "At the heart of it, the structure we use means that the people in the organization are aligned to what's important. They're equipped to do great work. And they're inspired to love what they do. So, we use that 'aligned, equipped, inspired' as our North Star of what we're trying to create here." So, the performance development is built around those components, she says. "Our whole performance coaching, template and rhythm is anchored in: 'What do you want? Not we the company; what do you want? What are you here for? What do you want out of this job? Why is it meaningful to you?'" she says. "If it's anchored in what that person is trying to get out of it, then the manager knows how the current job fits and how they can help them be successful." The "performance through performance" or PTP document is meant to be evergreen, so it's not necessarily completed every year, and it can track how things are going, says Fullerton. "We recommend that people bring it out whenever they have a one-on-one just to keep them grounded in that. At minimum, we ask them to look at it formally once a year." As for ratings, that's only one input, and this is a multi-faceted decision, she says. "[A rating of ] two in and of itself means zero; it's a great employee who provides great value. The person already knows that — they don't need a two to tell them that when they're sitting down to say, 'Where are they to peers, where are they to range? Do I really value them? Would I be really in trouble if they left? Where are they going next?' All of the things we tell them to think we give them guidelines; we just don't make them label people in advance." H R L E A D E R S TA L K PERFECTING PERFORMANCE Cheryl Fullerton Executive vice-president of people and communications at Corus Entertainment in Toronto The entertainment company has 3,500 employees, largely in Canada With so much disruption in the workplace, employers are struggling to keep up. And that includes performance management. But in talking to four HR leaders, Sarah Dobson finds that there's a lot of innovation in this space that's setting employees up for success

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