As part of this iconic organisation’s business transformation agenda, the Executive Leadership Team identified a critical need to improve performance culture and drive accountability across the organisation, with a specific focus on better aligning KPIs & strategic execution, injecting more rigour, transparency and consistency in KPI setting, consistent & effective performance conversations between managers and staff, and better alignment between performance and reward. The solution was the phased implementation of a new enterprise-wide performance management process.
Curve Group played a key role in the design and implementation of the new enterprise-wide performance management framework. We set up a project team of individuals across the national people & culture network who would help to execute the implementation of this new framework, and we provided ongoing support across five key streams of work – Capability, System, Process, Governance & Change Management, & Communications.
We partnered with L&D to design and roll out a program of capability building activities to up-skill the P&C community (both centralised & embedded), business leaders & managers to effectively implement the new performance management process. This encouraged business ownership & ensured the initiative was manager-led.
We led the design of a communications plan & developed ongoing communications materials to ensure the business received timely and appropriate messaging around the initiative.
We selected a group of change champions (typically embedded P&C representatives & selected Business Leaders) who would help to ensure the successful integration of the performance management process within specific business units. In particular, we partnered with Senior Leaders to ensure that implementation, integration & messaging around the initiative was consistent across the business.
We played a lead design & coordination & implementation support role with respect to key activities, such as goal setting & goal cascade sessions, timely & effective completion of performance scorecards, mid & end of year performance reviews & performance calibration sessions.
Several performance cycles down the track, the organisation has seen significant improvements in the areas they were trying to shift. The performance management process is more robust, there is a high level of process acceptance and adherence and it is owned by business leaders. There has been a significant increase in performance conversations, with more than 75% of people having more than 4 performance conversations a year. The goal setting and cascade process is improving, performance calibration is centered around achievement of goals and behavioural evidence, and performance is more closely aligned with reward.
While this initiative was always intended to mark the beginning of a development journey, not an end in and of itself, the following outcomes have already been achieved:
- Enhanced mid-year review conversations given the rich learning needs analysis data that could be incorporated into these discussions.
- Increased talent mobility, including two acting Head of HR roles that were filled internally, informed in part by the strong Development Centre results the successful candidates achieved.
- Improved talent retention. For example, the loss of a talented HR Business Partner in an impacted role was avoided.
In addition, participant and sponsor feedback highlight the following benefits:
- Greater role clarity, including the things that HR Business Partners need to do ‘more of’ / ‘less of’ to better support the business during change.
- Enhanced sense of community with participants feeling more connected and comfortable reaching out to one another for support and assistance.
- Deeper appreciation of the challenges facing other business areas prompting a better balance of local and enterprise priorities.
- Greater willingness to challenge through realisation that there is always more than one way to do things and potentially a better way than how it has always been done it in the past.
- Stronger relationships with senior leaders through having the Heads of HR participate as Development Coaches and senior business leaders contributing as panel guests.
- Deeper insights, with participants particularly valuing the opportunity to reflect on their role and career more broadly with an impartial third party in their one-on-one debrief.
- Improved visibility and understanding of the depth of the HR Business Partner talent pool, through personal observations of participants ‘in action’ and Capability Heatmap data.
- Guidance on where to target group-based development initiatives through deeper understanding of the collective developmental needs of the HR Business Partner cohort
- Opportunity for self-reflection on their own capability and approach to developing others through their role as Development Coaches, with many members of the HR SLT embracing this initiative as an opportunity to enhance their own visibility and profile within the HR community.