Investing in middle managers pays off—literally

New research shows that having more top-performing middle managers leads to much better financial outcomes. Here are five actions that can set managers and their organizations up for success.

Stave Off Attrition with an Internal Talent Marketplace

Is your best talent hiding in plain sight? An internal talent marketplace helps match existing employees to open roles—in novel and sometimes unexpected ways.

Why You Should Apply Analytics to Your People Strategy

Bringing advanced computing power and analytics capabilities to bear on people decisions in an organization is crucial to driving lasting and effective change.

Bryan Hancock, Bill Schaninger

We found through our research […] what drives perceived fairness in the performance-management process. One of the drivers of fairness is that you understand how what you’re working on fits in the bigger picture. […] The second driver of fairness is that there’s an ongoing component. “My manager has an ongoing conversation with me about how I’m doing, so I’m not surprised. I know what … [ Read more ]

The Fairness Factor in Performance Management

Many systems are under stress because employees harbor doubts that the core elements are equitable. A few practical steps can change that.

Boris Ewenstein, Bryan Hancock, Asmus Komm

Experts say three [coaching] practices that appear to deliver results are to change the language of feedback; to provide constant, crowdsourced vignettes of what worked and what didn’t; and to focus performance discussions more on what’s needed for the future than what happened in the past.

Ahead of the Curve: The Future of Performance Management

What happens after companies jettison traditional year-end evaluations?

Boris Ewenstein, Bryan Hancock, Asmus Komm

Since only a few employees are standouts, it makes little sense to risk demotivating the broad majority by linking pay and performance. More and more technology companies, for instance, have done away with performance-related bonuses. Instead, they offer a competitive base salary and peg bonuses (sometimes paid in shares or share options) to the company’s overall performance. Employees are free to focus on doing great … [ Read more ]

Boris Ewenstein, Bryan Hancock, Asmus Komm

Identifying clear overperformers and underperformers is important, but conducting annual ratings rituals based on the bell curve will not develop the workforce overall. Instead, by getting rid of bureaucratic annual-review processes—and the behavior related to them—companies can focus on getting much higher levels of performance out of many more of their employees.

Boris Ewenstein, Bryan Hancock, Asmus Komm

Managers attempt to rate their employees as best they can. The ratings are then calibrated against one another and, if necessary, adjusted by distribution guidelines that are typically bell curves (Gaussian distribution curves). These guidelines assume that the vast majority of employees cluster around the mean and meet expectations, while smaller numbers over- and underperform. […] This logic appeals intuitively (“aren’t the majority of people … [ Read more ]