Developing Effective Performance Reviews for a Hybrid Workforce – Key Event Takeaways


Strivin and HiBob have joined forces once again to bring you a series of insightful events to help you tackle the current climate and keep your team thriving. 

To kick things off, we’re talking all things performance reviews and how having them is vital to providing job security, career growth and giving your employees a clear vision of their future. HiBob’s most recent research report, Growing Pains, revealed that only 49% of HR professionals say their organisation has a formal review process in place.

Led by Vice President (APJ) at HiBob, Damien Andreasen, we sat down with Elise Ward, Chief People Officer at Prospa, Caley Zingerle, People & Culture Manager at LOD and Charlotte Stofberg, Head of People & Culture at HeadBox, to discuss how having rules and reviews can actually be a good thing.

Holistic help in hybrid workforces

What comes to mind when we say the words “performance review”? The dread of wondering whether you’ve been doing enough and crossing your fingers and toes that there might be a little pay increase or bonus waiting for you. For managers, they’re those meetings you find yourself scrambling to put together days before to make sure you tick all the necessary boxes … but things have changed.

As Carly pointed out, performance reviews are no longer just a tick box exercise, but rather a real and holistic people management approach. 

The catalyst for this change? The pandemic, as pointed out by Elise.

“COVID saw us dial up care big time and start to have mental health conversations and wellbeing conversations.”

A shifting economic landscape has also seen an increased focus on boosting productivity and an increased pressure on performance – so how do we strike that balance between care and accountability?

On top of that, Elise notes the new challenges of navigating all of this in this new hybrid workforce. 

“How do you make sure you stay connected? How do you make sure you’ve got visibility, that you’re aligned with your team?”

Coping with changing cycles

As Damien highlighted, “if you flashback 20 years ago, wellbeing would not have [even] been said in the same sentence as performance.”

“It [was] more about output and productivity and the efficiency scores of our workforce. Now we’re measuring it in engagement and wellbeing.”

With these changes in mind, what have workplaces been doing to adapt themselves?

For Charlotte, the focus has been on learning and development.

“Making sure that our managers were well equipped and had the resources to manage those conversations with their employees effectively.”

Tackling new territory with tech

Now that we’re thinking about our employees, their performance and their wellbeing 12 months out of the year instead of for a few hours every six months, how do we actually manage that? 

The running theme here is about combining tech and people.

As Carly notes, just having the right things won’t make a difference, it’s all about how you use them. “The tech in and of itself won’t change your culture, nor will just having conversations with your managers. But, if you believe in both of those things combining to make one incredible sphere, then you’re really going to see some huge impact.

“The tech in and of itself is an extension almost to the conversations that you’re having to empower your leaders.”

Damien says it’s also about ensuring people understand why.

“Everything I do, I always try and give context as to the why. I think it’s such a big component of getting people to buy in. Tooling won’t do everything for you, it’ll amplify what you’re doing … if you’re looking to a tool to create your culture, you’re not doing it right.”

For Charlotte, working in a sales-focused company, it’s been about shifting focus on where to measure results.

“In the last couple of years, we’ve seen a really great shift from measuring employee’s work based on hours spent in the office to focusing on outcomes and results … it allows employees to manage their time more autonomously, be more efficient, take more ownership and be accountable for their results.”

Training & trialing

Lastly, how do you ensure your leadership knows how to nail the art of giving effective feedback?

The key is visibility and alignment of goals.

As Elise noted, “if people can see how their contribution counts to their department, to their organisation, that sense of purpose is just accelerated.” 

Prospa have also been trailing a new method around the idea of visibility to hopefully help boost culture and clarity within their organisation.

“[We] have a high priority goal for every single employee to say, what is my absolute number one [thing that I want to achieve this year]?

“We think this will hopefully help people with clarity, but also help people prioritise when things are getting a little tight.”

Elise also highlighted that, amongst all this, leader feedback is still key.

“We’ve spent a bit of time on coaching our managers on some great feedback models. How can you have the right conversations at the right time, making sure that it’s not feedback that’s saved up, that it’s actually delivered just in time with a real coaching mindset and mentality?

“We’ve also got an anytime feedback tool that we can use via CultureAmp. You can either give constructive or recognition feedback to someone and that is then stored up for their manager to see, or for them to see, as part of their development conversation or performance conversation.”

Want to catch up on the full conversation? Click here to watch the full webinar.

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