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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www.hrreporter.com 21 those acceptable standards of conduct.? So, it's not just what you deliver but how you deliver and how you build relationships with good people." March of Dimes hasn't changed the frequency of its reviews, so there is still an annual review, along with informal check-ins, says Garcia. "At the core of the management system is communication. So, we reinforce regular feedback and coaching as part of the process, so that when the annual performance review takes place, there will be no surprises," she says. "The biggest benefit for us is when you do informal check-ins by giving regular feedback and motivating top performers to get better, it's [ensuring] those performers that are falling short that they're becoming well-informed. Because, when you inform them, their awareness is enhanced. And I'm a firm believer, and we believe as a philosophy at March of Dimes, that when you enhance their awareness, people make better choices." When any leader is hired, there is a mandatory three-day management training program that focuses on performance management, looking at how to give feedback in a more positive way, how to coach people who are not performing and providing case studies with coaching techniques, says Garcia. "It's really a strategic management tool that every supervisor must be able to leverage and take advantage of because that really keeps our employees more engaged and informed in in everything that we do." Managers are also taught practical techniques on how to handle difficult conversations, and how to make sure that they comply with the law because there are legal implications to consider when it comes to mismanagement, she says, as seen with 360-degree reviews. "The challenge for implementing it is what do you want to use it for? If you are evaluating someone based on a 360, what are you going to do with the feedback? Is it for my development? Will that impact my bonus? Will I get fired if you find out 60 per cent of my staff are not happy? So, it has to be clear what it's for. And I'm saying that because there is case law where [employees] have lost their position because of the wrong way of implementing a 360." A few years back, Pratt & Whitney decided to overhaul its performance management process. Previously, the company took a traditional approach, with an annual performance review at the end of the year and the setting of objectives early in the new year — which often got pushed to later and later in the year. As a result, managers and supervisors sort of went through the motions, says Kevin Smith, vice-president of HR at the Longueil, Que.-based company. "It wasn't rich in information; it was information that was looking backwards and not looking forward. It was not axed really on building relationships. We even had situations here where… managers actually locked themselves up for the last two weeks and just did performance reviews... And they'd come out with a great document, but [it meant] a lot of wasted time, a lot of wasted energy that does not have the impact that you want, which is to engage, inspire, motivate, and also talk about the career aspirations of the individuals." In addition, the newer generation entering the workforce is used to social media and having constant, regular, instantaneous feedback, he says. "They're very much looking for feedback, constructive — it doesn't always have to be positive, but they want to learn… and they will value an organization and a manager or a leader that provides them with feedback on their career, on what they can do better." Globalization was also a factor at a company with 14,000 employees worldwide, says Smith. It was important to have one system that assesses talent, and engages and inspires employees to work on aligned strategies., "[This] is what performance management is, at essence — it's about aligning yourself to corporate goals and 'How do I take that piece?' And 'What's my contribution to that business objectives?' So that globalization requires something that was significantly more efficient and more effective," he says. Finally, with advances in technology around performance management, there's an opportunity to not only simplify the process, but enhance it. Previously, the performance review was focused largely on the rating, says Smith. "Individuals, yes, they got prepared, but it was 'What's my rating, am I exceeding performance, am I fully competent, am I progressing?' And, at some point, when I'm exceeding performance for five years in a row… that doesn't motivate me anymore because I'm used to performing at that level. And god forbid that one year I became fully competent, which is a good rating, it means you're doing your job [but], in a lot of cases, it was a lot of drama and emotion, so it wasn't effective." Now, Pratt & Whitney's performance system is all about relationships and moving away from directing and managing to coaching and mentoring, he says. "It provides an opportunity and it provides a framework and a structure for dialogue and discussion, which is one based on more regular feedback." Now, there are "connect" meetings of 15 to 20 minutes that are focused on relationships, checking in on milestones and goals, and how leaders can help, says Smith. There's also talk about development, so what people need to do to reach the next step. "How can the organization and [I] help you develop the skills and the requirements and the skills of the future as well to drive your performance as an individual? So, it's really engaging our employees, ensuring that the goals are appropriate," he says. "At the end of the day, the employee is feeling supported by their manager. The days where we're looking for perfect employees or we're looking for individuals that consistently and regularly meet their deliverables, I think, has been changed towards growth, development, improvement." And with the changes, HR doesn't need to "police" the whole process, he says. "If I'm not doing the performance management piece, if I'm not sitting with my employee and having constructive, quality discussions, then it's going to be reflected in my ability for management and, therefore, I as a manager will not have opportunities as I should to grow within the organization," says Smith. "If I treat my people well and develop my people as a leader, my attrition rate will go down, my top performers will move up in the organization." Kevin Smith Vice-president of human resources at Pratt & Whitney Canada in Longueil, Que. The aerospace manufacturer has 14,000 employees worldwide, with about 6,000 in Canada

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