3 Tips for Maintaining Equitable and Compliant Talent and Performance Management

HR leaders must be proactive in inspecting and auditing equitable talent and performance management practices. WorkDove shares its best practices for both.

Leading organizations identify, coach, and reward high-performing, potential, and value-fit employees. These same organizations coach the employees in the middle, while managing out consistently low-performing, potential, and value-fit employees.  Companies that use ad -hoc processes and don’t maintain a system of records fail to eliminate bias and put the organization at risk. Thus, HR leaders must be proactive in inspecting and auditing equitable talent and performance management practices.

WorkDove has developed best practices to help organizations achieve an equitable talent and performance management process, while helping retain great employees. Companies create a competitive advantage by implementing these best practices, including identifying, evaluating, and coaching employees across performance and value-fit. With a sound process and a powerful system, WorkDove helps to eliminate bias and maintain compliance. 

Listed below are common challenges many organizations face when trying to maintain a high-performing organization alongside equitable and compliant personnel decisions. We also share our corresponding best practices. 

Challenge #1 

Lack of a Common Scorecard for Evaluating Employees on Performance and Value-Fit

If you are not currently documenting employee performance or core value displays of behavior in a single repository/source of truth, potential biases may be creeping in. Without clearly defined performance expectations, performance review scores may be a reflection of the manager and employee’s relationship rather than the results the employee achieved. 

The elephant in the room is that everyone has personal biases, so a complete removal of bias is not realistic. However, there are proactive ways to mitigate biases from affecting performance management practices. For example, cascading goals, well-defined objectives, and operationalized core values are great proactive steps.  A lack or absence of these three components creates room for ambiguity, and in the absence of information, unnecessary assumptions about employee performance and behaviors without standardization open the door to personal biases.

WorkDove Best Practice

To reduce bias, leading organizations use a common scorecard with cascading goals, objectives, and well-defined core values

Cascading goals in the WorkDove platform align across three tiers of goals (Company, Department, and Individual). Working with employees to create their own professional/personal goals not only gives them ownership of their growth but also gives managers insight into individual contributions, development potential, and work ethic. Tracking individual goals in relation to department and company goals creates alignment and a fuller picture of what the employee contributes.

Clearly defined performance objectives for each employee reduce any confusion around performance expectations. These objectives may be general enough to fit employees in any job role, or they may be specific to each position. Either way, clear definitions set the employee up for success and give managers a foundation to coach and develop their team members effectively.

Standardized core values for the entire team set a precedent for behaviors that are/are not accepted. Operationalizing value-fit by recognizing aligned behaviors in the moment and quickly addressing misaligned behaviors shows employees what the organization truly values and upholds. The Performance-Values Matrix is a WorkDove tool that offers a visual for data that enables a high-performance culture and reveals both performance and core value fit. This allows managers to visualize where the employee stands on both aspects and coach around what is needed. 

Performance-Values Matrix

Challenge #2 

Lack of Documented Feedback and Coaching Conversations

Another practice that may be putting your organization at risk of potential bias is undocumented, inconsistent, feedback. When formal feedback is not recorded in a reliable system, managers are forced to rely upon personal experience alone to determine an employee’s overall performance. The same is true when the manager is the only person providing feedback on that employee. Including feedback from multiple people allows varying perspectives to be heard.  

WorkDove Best Practice

A historical, accurate repository of feedback and coaching

Multi-rater/360-degree feedback, performance appraisals that include a self-assessment, and public recognition are all examples of feedback that is transparent because each form allows for several perspectives on the same individual. One-on-ones, or Check-Ins, that are documented between manager and employee at a consistent frequency help to decrease internal bias by encouraging both parties to write or type out responses. 

One of WorkDove’s leading coaching solutions is the Individual Development Plan Plus, or IDP+. When individuals have a clearly communicated path toward career growth and coaching is provided around weaknesses and risks, the manager and employee create a relationship built on positive, action-driven feedback that elevates the employee’s skills and proves to them they are worth the investment. This type of feedback is invaluable because the employee journey is crucially important to their engagement. 

Housing all of these feedback channels in one, trustworthy source creates access to data that can be used to compare and contrast trends, track the employee’s holistic journey, and make well-informed training and development decisions. WorkDove’s filtering capabilities give the option for a side-by-side comparison of information between managers, departments, tenured hires, new hires, etc. to investigate potential biases. Tools like this aid in preventing personal perceptions alone from being the ultimate truth.

Challenge #3 

Ad-Hoc Process for Promotions and Leadership Succession Planning

While leadership succession planning is not a new business continuity concept, the methods that have historically been used in all industries have been all over the map. When viable data and a standard process are not present for identifying and developing potential leaders, promotions become more closely linked to tenure and general likability. America specifically has a corporate culture in which people leaders are assigned due to years of experience in the organization as opposed to obvious leadership skills and comptencies that have been recorded over a period of time. The consequence of ill-informed succession processes is promoting those individuals wholook great on paper based on past performance but show little to no potential for inspiring and leading others. The opposite is true when we promote those who are charismatic and motivating by nature, but ability to perform is lackluster.  

Interested in learning about performance review phrases

WorkDove Best Practice

Equitable promotion and leadership succession planning 

Your organization can more accurately and fairly identify its top performers and potential leaders using the 9-box leadership succession planning tool. This tool plots future leaders on a matrix based on the two most important factors: performance and potential. It is designed so that the performance aspect is clear when tracked alongside other apps, like cascading Goals and the Performance Review. The potential category of the matrix is designed to be a candid conversation among multiple leaders who can provide their personal assessment of the individual, discuss with others, and gain additional perspectives before finalizing the individual’s placement. WorkDove also offers a leadership succession planning report including comprehensive information on individual employees’ performance scores, next desired position, and more. 

If compliance and equitable practices are a priority for your organization, WorkDove is your go-to partner. Our solution is compliant and equitable on its own merit, but paired with your WorkDove Onboarding Consultant beginning on day one, you can rest assured that all of your processes will be strategic and intentional for the long-term!

Schedule a quick 15-minute assessment to learn more!