For many companies, position changes often take effect in the first quarter of the year after the end-of-year review process. Unfortunately, the transition from individual contributor to people manager can sometimes be a difficult one for many new managers. Employees are often thrust into these roles – congratulations, now go be a manager! – without formal training or a playbook to guide their behavior.

In reality, it takes a completely different mindset to successfully move into a management position. Think “me” becomes “we” and everyone’s favorite saying, “there’s no ‘I’ in team.” New managers must be mindful of three considerations that aren’t necessarily part of the job description:

  • the role they play in their employees’ careers
  • their team’s success
  • their impact on the organizational culture

Below we dive into each of these as well as share some practical tips for new managers.

Here are three ways an employee’s role changes once they become a manager, along with tips for new managers.

 

1.  MOVING FROM A SUPPORTING TO A LEADING ROLE IN THE CAREERS OF OTHERS.

Individual contributors are concerned with their own work and development, and rightfully so. Once an employee becomes a people manager, they earn a new title: coach. Instead of focusing only on how they can grow and advance their own career, they are responsible for the development of their team. For those who have never been in a mentoring role, it can be difficult to establish that type of relationship.

Tips for new managers:

  • Discuss career goals early and often. Use regular check ins to focus on development and discuss potential career paths. Your performance management platform should incorporate some sample questions to guide this conversation.
  • Be an active listener. Great mentors are great listeners. All employees want to be heard, not told what to do. Be mindful of the ratio of listening vs. speaking when meeting with individuals.
  • Be an advocate. New managers can earn the trust of their employees by being an advocate for them to others in the organization. Employees need to know that their manager will always be their career champion.

2.  BEING EVALUATED ON YOUR TEAM’S ABILITY TO MEET THEIR GOALS VS. YOUR OWN.

This is another big mindset switch for new managers. Individual contributors set goals for themselves and work through a series of tasks until they reach them. This is not the case for managers. They need to look carefully at the broader business objectives to set team goals, and then help their direct reports set individual goals that align to those. Then, it’s all about helping them adjust their goals along the way to move the needle on those business objectives as best they can.

Tips for new managers:

  • Be proactive. If necessary, ask for clarity around business objectives to ensure you fully understand them. Your employees’ success relies on your interpretation being right.
  • Understand the bigger picture. Take the time upfront to think through ways your team can best impact the company’s goals. Give employees direction on how they can stand out and make their work count. Don’t let them set goals in a silo.
  • Speak up. While it may be uncomfortable at first, help employees modify goals if they’re focusing on the wrong areas or not reaching high enough. At the end of the day, it will only hurt your employees and your team if you’re too afraid to speak up.

3.  ACTIVELY DRIVE TEAM CULTURAL BEHAVIOR AND CHANGE.

When you go from being part of a team to leading a team, you become in charge of the work environment you create for employees. This is something that can blindside new managers, who are used to being a part of the team culture, not controlling it.

Tips for new managers:

  • Set the example. Want your team to gossip less or cut the all-day chatter? Don’t take part in it. Want to create a more positive environment? Think about how often you yourself complain.
  • Lead with reason, not emotion. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, but managers must remain objective when possible. It may take practice to find the right balance between being supportive and staying professional.
  • Focus on solutions. When cultural issues arise, between team members or otherwise, it’s important to avoid dwelling on the problem and instead work towards a solution.

While employee retention will always be a high priority for HR leaders, it seems today’s trends are moving it to the top of the list. Consider this: 66% of Millennials expect to leave their organization by 2020, according to Glassdoor. Why? Well, a study by Millennial Branding found that 27% of Millennials left their job because their career goals weren’t aligned with their company, and 13% saw a lack of career opportunities.

Does your employee development program need attention? We’re here with a solution.

If you’re looking to learn about an employee development strategy that is truly cutting edge, you won’t want to miss our webinar next week, DROP Everything: Pariveda’s Proven Method for Setting Goals And Accelerating Career Development.

We’re excited to share the (virtual) stage with two HR executives from Pariveda, a consulting firm specializing in technology. What makes Pariveda unique is that its focus on development stems straight from its company mission: to help everyone from employees to clients to partners achieve their fullest potential.

What happens when a company that is passionate about enabling potential takes on employee development? In the case of Pariveda, the HR team creates a sophisticated framework and brought it to life with HighGround.

Pariveda’s award-winning method for development is called DROP, which stands for Deliberate Reflective Ongoing Practice. DROP relies on neuroscientific research on how we build habits and deepen learning. It then combines that with the art of staying on what’s called the learning edge – that is, an individual’s comfort level in between being competent in a task and feeling overwhelmed by it.

Webinar attendees will:

  • Discover Pariveda’s DROP method for turning goals into actionable plans
  • Learn what makes a DROP successful and how to create one for yourself
  • Model success stories from employee development and performance management experts

We’ve partnered with HCI for this webinar, so you can also earn one credit for the SHRM-CP℠ or SHRM-SCP℠ for attending the live online event. Register for the webinar today.

Haven’t yet settled on the perfect new year’s professional resolution? We’re here to help. Instead of one BIG resolution, we’ve rounded up six little changes that can have a serious impact on your experience at work this year. Try taking on a new one every other month, until you’re working on all of them. Your future self will thank you.

1. January – February: Take your goals seriously. Make 2019 the year that you don’t just set them and forget them. Put together a list of both performance and development goals that will help you make your next career move. Tell your manager, mentor and peers about them so they can help keep you accountable and encourage you along the way.

2. March – April: Be an active part of your company’s culture. Make this the year you make an impact. We’re all busy with our lives outside of work, but we should take every opportunity we can to make our professional experience more meaningful. Something as simple as eating lunch with others in the cafeteria or inviting a co-worker to coffee once a month can go a long way.

3. May – June: Give better feedback. It doesn’t matter if you’re an intern or the CEO, or if you have many direct reports or  none. We all have the power (and responsibility) to help our co-workers get better. By being more intentional and solution-minded in our feedback, we can make the experience better for everyone and encourage others to do the same.

[Related reading: The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback]

4. July – August: Say thank you. Thank your teammates when they make your job easier. Tell your boss when their advice is helpful. Let your IT person know that you appreciate when they help you reset your password (again). Simply communicating appreciation goes a long way, and it can also be contagious.

5. September – October: Find a mentor. It doesn’t matter if it’s your manager, another leader at your organization or someone at a different company altogether. A mentor can guide you through different situations you will face during your career and help you expand your professional network to someday land your dream job.

6. November – December: Cheer for your peers. Do you ever find yourself not congratulating someone on their big achievement or promotion? It happens to the best of us when we’re feeling bad about our own work or if we keep missing our goals. Recognition is critical to every employee’s experience. Make it a point to be positive this year, and you’ll see more of your peers encouraging you as well.

It’s a new year, and everywhere you turn a new expert is declaring the best ways to move your HR program forward in 2019.

There’s definitely something to gain from each of them. After all, thought leaders like Bersin by Deloitte, Forrester and others have a unique bird’s eye view of how best-in-class businesses operate. Their analysts spend countless hours with successful CHROs and other top HR leaders learning about their performance management practices, and then share those details with their members.

While valuable, it can be overwhelming to make sense of it all.

We get it. And we’re here with a better way to take it all in (and save you some time). We’ve read all the articles and blog posts. We’ve downloaded all the research reports, webinars and presentations. We’ve seen the stats deciphered the graphs and summed up the findings in our newest guide, 5 Best Practices for Engaging Employees in 2019.

What we uncovered is five best practices that can’t be ignored this year. Not trends or strategies or tactics, but best practices. And they’ve earned this distinction because they are proven to make a big impact on your employee’s performance, development and happiness at work. This year – right now – when it matters most.

Inside our guide we share not only each of the five best practices, but how to take advantage of them in your own organization. We’ve done this because we understand that knowing what to do is half the battle.

For example, it’s great to know that learning and development programs need to be more strategic, and what organizations gain from making changes. But how should you adjust your own program? Is it the format that isn’t working, or is it what you’re teaching employees? We answer that and more.

Download our newest guide today to learn about the five best practices that can make a difference in your organization in 2019.

Everywhere you turn, a different expert is declaring the best ways to move your HR program forward in 2019.

There’s definitely something to gain from each of them. After all, thought leaders like Bersin by Deloitte, Forrester, and others have a unique bird’s eye view of how best-in-class businesses operate. Their analysts spend countless hours with successful CHROs and other top HR leaders learning about their performance management practices, and then share those details with their members.

While valuable, it can be overwhelming to make sense of it all.

We get it. And we’re here with a better way to take it all in (and save you some time). We’ve read all the articles and blog posts. We’ve downloaded all the research reports, webinars, and presentations. We’ve seen the stats, deciphered the graphs, and summed up the findings in our newest guide, 5 Best Practices for Engaging Employees in 2019.

What we uncovered is five best practices that can’t be ignored this year. Not trends or strategies or tactics, but best practices. And they’ve earned this distinction because they are proven to make a big impact on your employee’s performance, development, and happiness at work. This year – right now – when it matters most.

Inside our guide we share not only each of the five best practices, but how to take advantage of them in your own organization. We’ve done this because we understand that knowing what to do is half the battle.

For example, it’s great to know that learning and development programs need to be more strategic, and what organizations gain from making changes. But how should you adjust your own program? Is it the format that isn’t working, or is it what you’re teaching employees? We answer that and more.

Download our guide today to learn about the five best practices that can make a difference in your organization.

Earlier this month we counted down the top five blog posts of the year. This week, we’re doing the same with our resource library.

From case studies and webinars to tip sheets and reports, the Kazoo resource library is constantly updated with new content that helps HR leaders launch and optimize great performance management and recognition programs.

Here’s a look at the top five most-downloaded HR resources from 2018.

5. Four Factors to Drive High-Impact Performance Management [webinar]

It doesn’t get any better than Bersin by Deloitte when it comes to cutting edge research. On this webinar two Bersin experts unveil the first-of-its-kind performance management maturity model, and the practices that lead to big results.

4. State of Meaningful Work [study]

To understand how performance management initiatives contribute to more meaningful work experiences for employees, look no further the 2018 Kazoo Meaningful Work Study. This report is full of stats that help HR leaders demonstrate the value of engaged employees, and how that translates to the bottom line.

3. Jumpstart Your Performance Management Program [webinar]

In this webinar, we deliver tips straight from the source – HR leaders from Amy’s Kitchen and Spanx. They cover everything from how designed their programs and secured executive buy in to their change management secrets for getting it off the ground.

2. A Culture of Recognition Takes off at United Airlines [webinar]

With a geographically dispersed employee base, United Airlines struggled to unify its thousands of employees and create a common culture. In this webinar, United’s Marlon Crawford shares how the launch of a social and mobile recognition program, using Kazoo, helped the company achieve this, and more.

1. 2019 Buyer Questions: Performance Management Technology [guide]

Choosing a performance management technology provider is no easy feat. To help HR leaders make sense of it all, we published a guide to evaluating vendors across three areas: company, technology and performance management capabilities. The guide also includes sample questions to ask prospective vendors in each of these important areas.

This week’s TLNT article, 3 Forces That Are Shaping the Future of Work, painted a clear picture of just how much the state of work has changed. The authors point to a new future shaped by the gig economy and technological advances and, in this except, the implications of each:

“The result of these trends is an even tighter labor market with new demands for developing and retaining top talent. The companies that embrace and proactively respond to this emerging reality will have the competitive advantage as they execute on strategies that will enable them to win the talent war, enhance employee productivity and elevate brand equity.”

The article goes on to share what it will take to stay competitive in the war for talent in 2019 – an HR strategy centered on meaningful work, development opportunities and a collaborative environment. We wholeheartedly agree. In this post, we want to offer our take on how a modern performance management approach can address all three of these must-have’s for today’s employee.

How modern performance management addresses three must-have’s for today’s employee:

1.) Creating meaningful work

To understand how performance management initiatives contribute to more meaningful work experiences for employees, look no further the Kazoo Meaningful Work Study 2018.

Almost all employees (95%) who find their work to be “very meaningful” know their organizations’ missions and values. Goal setting is an important way to reinforce this. Empowering employees to set goals that align to broader company objectives creates a stronger bond between them and their employer. That bond, of course, leads to a more meaningful work experience.

Just over half of employees say that they are trusting of their managers. While this number isn’t terrible, the flipside is that almost half of employees don’t trust their boss. Employee-driven check-ins and requests for feedback are one way to build trust through the employee-manager relationship. Empowering employees to seek out feedback often and initiate interactions with their manager leads to trust, which then leads to finding more meaning in their work. Download our webinar recording for even more ways that an agile performance management strategy can help create meaningful work experiences.

2.) Doubling down on development

Development doesn’t happen in a silo. It all starts with an employee who makes development a priority, and sets goals that allow them to grow into their next role. To accomplish those goals, they need peers willing to provide honest, constructive feedback along the way, and a manager who’s willing to coach them on how to improve.

An agile performance management approach should facilitate this process fairly intuitively for everyone involved. Set-it-and-forget-it goals do more harm than good. Transparent goals create a sense of accountability for employees and a starting point to talk about career growth and a plan for advancement.

3.) Fostering a collaborative culture

A lot has been said about the important of office design in creating a way for employees to interact and collaborate more freely. But today, with many businesses utilizing remote employees or having multiples offices across geographies, it takes more than switching out cubicles for open tables.

That’s where your performance management process can help. By taking goals, feedback and recognition online and making them real time, transparent and social, employees can connect and collaborate in meaningful ways. A culture that encourages peers to offer feedback and congratulate each other on their accomplishments promotes positive collaboration across the organization.

The world of HR moves fast. While workforce trends come and go, it doesn’t change the fact that today’s highly competitive business environment means that employee performance is more important than ever. HR leaders must do everything in their power to create environments where employees can thrive and perform at high levels.

That’s where Kazoo comes in. Through our blog, we strive to make sense of industry news and trends, tackle the biggest challenges faced by our customers and offer best practices to keep your performance management program fresh.

We ran the numbers, and today we’re sharing our five most-read posts of 2018, ranging from very strategic, high level topics to more straightforward how-to’s.

5.  Performance Management System False Positives: 3 Ways Your Data Could Be Lying

In a dynamic business environment, it can be easy to track the wrong metrics for your specific program objectives – or interpret the results the wrong way. In this post we take a look at three common goals of a performance management system, and how the numbers you use to measure success against those goals might actually be lying to you.

 4. Four Ways to Manage Your Employee Experience Like Customers

When it comes to customers, happy = loyal. HR leaders are betting that employees feel the same way. This post shares how to translate four customer experience tactics into strategies that will increase employee happiness – and retention.

 3. Change Management Must-Haves: 15 Ways to Start Your New HR Program on the Right Foot

The implementation process of a new performance management program is just as important as the new system or tool itself. In this post we zero in on the three most critical components to change management – communication, marketing and training – and 15 ways our customers have knocked it out of the park.

2.  Real-Time Feedback Works – And 9 Stats to Prove It

In this post we tackle the way real-time feedback helps organizations address three big trends disrupting performance management. Nine stats help prove that feedback can be a master multi-tasker in helping HR leaders address multiple trends at once.

1.  Five Ways Your Company’s Core Values Impact Employee Success

The common denominator of successful performance management programs is a close connection to the business’s core values. This blog post shares five core value statements, and dives into how they influence key performance management components.

Each organization designs a performance management process that is uniquely suited to their employees. From goal setting and feedback to performance conversations and annual reviews, no two processes look exactly the same from one company to the next.

Yet, there is a common denominator for organizations with high-performing teams – technology.

HR technology is one of the most innovative categories of tech today. There’s a growing emphasis on the employee experience, as more and more companies battle job hoppers and a lack of available talent to take their places.

Performance management software enables a best-in-class employee experience. It creates transparency around both individual and company goals, tracks critical feedback conversations and compiles employee data to drive better downstream decisions around compensation and more. The result? Better retention and engagement, and as a result, a strong employer brand that attracts top talent.

There are five distinct advantages to a technology-enabled performance management strategy that cannot be replicated with a manual process.

1. Access to real-time information.

In the fast-moving world of employee management, time makes all the difference. Whether it’s addressing negative feedback before it affects customers or recognizing employees who achieve a big goal, access to real-time data helps managers react quickly to employee performance.

2. Easily identifiable performance trends and anomalies.

For HR leaders, a data-driven process allows them to shine a spotlight on the areas of performance they need to see most. Giving them back the time previously spent on tracking down trends or anomalies means they’re better able to address issues or adjust processes.

3. Development of more complete performance profiles.

Technology keeps everyone aligned and on the same page when it comes to performance. Manual processes leave too much to chance, interpretation or subjectivity. Seeing goal progress and achievement, all peer and manager feedback and review data in one place with the click of a button equals 100% transparency around performance. (And, consequently, why an employee is or isn’t getting that bonus, raise or promotion.)

4. An accurate measurement of usage.

Is your performance management process working? If no one is using it, the answer is no. With a manual process, it’s impossible to track which individuals and teams are setting and tracking goals, giving or receiving feedback or having performance conversations. Technology can give HR leaders a snapshot of usage, allowing them to determine which processes need to be tweaked or when a training or refresher course might be necessary.

5. Audit trail access.

Keeping digital performance records leaves nothing to chance if an employee feels unfairly assessed or wrongfully terminated and chooses to take legal action. Having this information at the ready can save HR and business owners from a giant, expensive headache down the road.

When performance goal setting and achievement happens in the dark – that is, between an employee and his or her manager only – it’s a missed opportunity to make goals a main motivator for better performance across the organization.

Today we’re talking about how to make performance goals count. And if you want to put an end to set-it-and-forget-it forever, just add an extra set of eyes. Or an entire company’s eyes.

Here’s three reasons why making performance goals visible, social and part of the everyday conversation can benefit your organization.

1.) We don’t want our actions to go unnoticed.

When we get a haircut or buy a new car, we want our friends to notice. The same goes for the work we put in at the office. When we accomplish a goal, we want people to notice. As employees, we crave acknowledgement of our hard work from our manager as well as those around us.
Having our accomplishments out in the open levels the playing field for employees. Making goal progress transparent leads to a fair, unbiased approach to promotions and role changes. Companies then rely less on managerial discretion alone, which can be inconsistent.
Peer-to-peer recognition of our goal progress also strengthens organizational culture. It rallies employees together around positive performance and helps to create awareness around individual contributions to a company’s success.

2.) We tend to do better when people are watching.

When we put our goals out into the universe for all to see, it creates a sense of accountability. It’s why the buddy system works well when it comes to actually going to the gym that takes a good chunk out of your paycheck. Or why we try a little harder in group classes than in online ones we take from the comfort of our own homes.
At work, it can be easy to blend in and not give it our all when we feel like no one is watching. When goals – and progress we make towards them – are transparent, it makes us accountable to them, and to each other. It’s often easier to let ourselves down than to let down our managers and peers.

3.) Great work breeds great work.

It’s the holiday season, so we’re feeling jolly. They said it best in the Will Farrell classic, Elf: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loudly for all to hear.” Just like we want others to join in on our caroling, we also want our peers at work to contribute to the broader team’s goals.
High individual performance can be a catalyst for others to up their own game, especially when employees are competing for the same promotions. When goal progress is transparent, it sets the bar for how others in the same positions should be performing.
With the right mindset and process, achieving performance goals can have the same effect as recognition or rewards.

Ask yourself these questions to determine if you’re getting the most out of performance goals.

As it relates to employee mindset…

  • Are employees motivated by goal achievement?
  • Do they see it as a reward for their hard work?
  • Does reaching their goals make them feel a sense of accomplishment? Are they celebrated for it?

As it relates to your process…

  • Does your performance management technology allow an employee’s performance goals to be visible to others in the organization?
  • Can peers congratulate each other on goal achievement?
  • Is the process interactive and social?

Adding transparency to your employee goal process can make all the difference when it comes to performance across the entire organization.