responsibilities from the beginning and provide frequent feedback throughout
the lifespan of a project,” he says. “Because check-ins encourage an ongoing
dialogue between the employee and the project manager each step of the way,
employees are empowered to make changes and adapt in real time, essentially
increasing the e;ciency of projects.”
Adobe says its check-in system, which rolled out companywide in 2012, had
an immediate impact. In an employee survey the following year, 78 percent of
employees said their manager was open to feedback from them—a much higher
number than had been reported in the past, the organization says. Voluntary
attrition—when an employee resigns and the organization doesn’t ;ll the posi-
tion—has dropped 30 percent since check-ins were introduced. ;e company
also continues to save an average of 80,000 hours of managers’ time during the
annual review process, Mr. Vijungco says.
A PATH TO IMPROVEMENT
Adobe is hardly alone. In 2008, Bersin by Deloitte’s research reported that
60 percent of organizations used a performance management approach that
emphasized ongoing coaching and development, compared with 40 percent
that focused explicitly on rating, ranking and comparing employees. By 2011,
the breakdown was 70/30 in favor of the coaching and development approach.
“We’ll revisit the data again in 2016, but I suspect that the current split is
even more lopsided,” says Stacia Garr, vice president of talent and HR research
at Bersin by Deloitte, Oakland, California, USA.
;is shift is helping organizations o;er speci;c, actionable advice to project
managers. Motorola’s performance management system, for instance, recently
replaced a ratings system that assigned labels such as “Valued Performer” or “Needs
Improvement” with one based on dialogue, but no o;cial ratings.
Employees still are required to set business goals and review their performance in twice-yearly meetings, and conduct at least one formal check-in with
supervisors during the year. However, they also are encouraged to initiate additional coaching conversations with their managers. ;ey’re given tools, such as
a set of ;ve basic questions—including “What did I do well this year?” or “What
could I have done better?”—to help springboard a discussion about how they
can improve their performance.
;e ;exibility of the new system is well adapted for project managers, because
their goals are closely aligned to the goals of others on the team, says Iris Isakov,
global talent development and organizational development, Motorola Solutions,
Airport City, Israel. She believes it’s a simpler and more ;uid evaluation method that
encourages all employees to set goals and expectations for a project. Motorola is still
evaluating the impact of the new system and the quality of the feedback through
global employee surveys.
“Project managers have a unique role that requires
them to set clear expectations on each individual’s
responsibilities from the beginning and provide
frequent feedback throughout the lifespan of a project.”
—Jeff Vijungco, Adobe, San Francisco, California, USA
and the culture
easier linkage to
in the business
—Iris Isakov, Motorola Solutions,
Airport City, Israel