How To Eliminate Performance Reviews In Your Organisation

Performance reviews don’t work. They are disliked by managers and employees alike. They are usually poorly written and disappear as soon as they are completed. Everyone knows this but most are not going to admit it.

Primarily, it’s because everyone agrees that employee feedback is important, but HR departments don’t always trust this exchange to happen without forcing everyone through a formal process. So they spend three months a year chasing up everyone in the organisation in a system that is often measured by quantity over quality. Some HR professionals even lose part of their bonuses if 100 percent of them are not completed in their business unit. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor‘s insight:

One area frequently missed during performance feedback meetings is a discussion of the employee’s future. From an engagement perspective, discussing the future is more important than discussing the past and should be wrapped into your regular feedback discussions with your employees.

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Today, Just Be Average

Your perfectionism is blocking your progress.

Have you ever obsessed over a report when your boss said it was already plenty good enough? Have you ever lost an object of little importance but just had to keep looking for it? Do colleagues often tell you, “Just let it go”?

Overachievers have such high expectations of themselves that their “average” might be another person’s “really good.” So instead of pushing yourself to give 100% (or 110%, whatever that means) you can go for giving 75% or 50% of what you usually might offer.

Aiming for “perfect” instead of “good enough” can seriously backfire.

Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor‘s insight:

Unlike other obsessions and addictions, perfectionism is something a lot of people celebrate, believing it’s an asset. But true perfectionism can actually get in the way of productivity and happiness.

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What Job Does HR Really Do?

What if you could reimagine your HR department not as a function of what needs to get done but as a means to achieve your company’s strategic plan?

Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor‘s insight:

With just one exception, every department in your organization has a razor-sharp focus: Sales sells stuff. Marketing finds and keeps customers. Finance makes money. Operations achieves efficiencies. And human resources . . . . . . What does HR do, exactly? Scout and hire talent? Not always. Recruiting often falls to the managers who best understand the shifting needs of their teams.

How about training and development? Nah. Serious organisations bring in a dedicated team for that. 

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10 Tips for an Awesome Coffee Meeting

If the concept of a coffee meeting is foreign to you, you only have to remember one guiding principle: never, ever waste the other person’s time. They are providing their time, their most precious resource. The good news is that the bar for coffee meetings is pretty low. Most creatives can likely tell you of meetings that started with “lets grab coffee” and ended in an unproductive conversation.

However, you’re better than that, dear reader. Here’s how to be the best coffee meeting participant around.

Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor‘s insight:

Coffee meetings are the staple of building a great network. But first, know a few of the basics like don’t be late, follow up, and always respect the other person’s time.

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How To Nail Your Next Phone Interview

As a stellar would-be employee, you want to sail through the interview process. But before you think that all you need is a knockout résumé and a killer outfit, think again. Nowadays, there’s a step before the in-person interview: the phone interview.

“The global economy means more and more cross-border hiring, where an initial phone interview becomes even more important,” says Sanjeev Agrawal, founder of Collegefeed, a career marketplace for college students.

Employers are increasingly opting for phone interviews to screen potential new hires. By doing so, companies can sort through candidates without committing to the expense and time required for on-site meetings.

A survey conducted by OfficeTeam, a staffing agency based in Menlo Park, California, polled 515 human resources managers, the majority (57%) of whom reported that phone interviews happen “very often.”

Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor‘s insight:

Many companies start the job search with a call. You probably want to dig that landline out of the closet now.

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How to Pick Your Battles at Work

You hate that people consistently show up to meetings late. You find your company’s maternity policy woefully inadequate. You think the company’s IT system is out of date. It’s normal to be bothered by work issues like these, but when do you move from complaining to taking action? How do you decide which battles to fight?

What the Experts Say

One thing is certain — you can’t take on every problem at work. Each person has a finite amount of political capital. “If you make a huge fuss over something silly, you may not be able to get your way when it’s something really important,” says Dorie Clark, a strategy consultant and author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future. Even if you’re certain that the issues you want to tackle are critical, your reputation may suffer if you take them all on at once. “There’s a line you cross from being seen as an observant problem-solver to a being Debbie Downer,” says Karen Dillon, author of HBR Guide to Office Politics and co-author of How Will You Measure Your Life?. It’s important to figure out where that line is. Lois Kelly, co-author with Carmen Medina (see case study #1) of the upcoming book, Rebels at Work: Befriending the Bureaucratic Black Belts and Leading Change from Within, says the smartest people carefully calculate what’s worth their time and energy. Whether the issue is minor or fundamental, here are five principles to help you decide whether to take on a challenge or leave it alone.

Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor‘s insight:

You can’t — and shouldn’t — wage every war. Here’s how to choose the ones that matter.

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Overcoming Nervous Nelly – Exploring the Harmful Effects of Anxiety on Performance

A colleague is out sick, and suddenly it’s fallen on you to deliver a crucial client presentation. The saliva dries up in your mouth, your heart races. You briefly consider heading home sick yourself, before moving into the conference room to discover your boss has decided to sit in. If you were in danger of failing before, now your anxiety has made failure a foregone conclusion.

We’ve all experienced the crippling effects of job performance anxiety. But far from being uniquely relegated to nightmare scenarios like the one outlined above, anxiety is a pervasive aspect of office life, says Harvard Business School Assistant Professor Alison Wood Brooks.

Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor‘s insight:

In situations from business negotiations to karaoke, Alison Wood Brooks explores the harmful effects of anxiety on performance—and how to combat them.

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