Are you dreading the performance review cycle? Do you feel like that conversation is mainly focusing on your weaknesses? And that getting feedback once a year is not really helping you further your career? If you nodded yes to all the above, keep on reading.
7 years ago I started working at Keyrus as a junior consultant. In the first years of working there, I only met with someone from Keyrus once a year for my annual appraisal. This meeting was done by HR and discussed the following topics:
- client feedback (focusing on the weaknesses, if there were any mentioned)
- where I saw myself in one year
- setting new (static) yearly objectives to work on in the future
They advised me on the best learning methods, gave me the necessary tools to develop, and put me into contact with the right people inside the organisation. Even though they put all this effort in the yearly appraisal, I had the feeling HR couldn't fully identify with me. We didn't discuss the content of my work in depth, and I was truly missing some kind of career coaching by someone who had already walked in my shoes.
The shift to… ‘continuous check-ins’
It soon became clear to me, and my other colleagues, that we needed a closer follow-up between manager and employee. But how would HR and our managers know what we really wanted? Well, Keyrus gathered feedback from employee satisfaction surveys and in response to the results, they decided to implement continuous check-in conversations. You might think continuous what?!? Well, I was with you on that one. Continuous check-ins was something I had never heard of, but it soon changed my career for the better.
The most important change Keyrus has implemented are the check-in cycles. We got rid of the yearly appraisals, and we now have regular check-in conversations whenever we want. These conversations are not as long as a yearly appraisal and they are also not obligated. They are completely optional. When you feel like you need to discuss something, you can just request a check-in with your teamleader/coach.
How does a check-in work?
First of all, a check-in is no longer done by HR, but a pre-assigned team leader or coach. For me personally, it’s my manager. He used to work in the same domain as I'm in today, so he can perfectly relate to my job.
Then, how do we request a check-in? HR introduced an easy to use tool called intuo. In the tool, you can directly plan a check-in with your manager. You can choose questions from the library or you can insert your own personal questions. Your coach/manager then receives an email invite and voilà. Super easy! It also works the other way around. A manager can request a check-in with their teams in the same way.
Where and when do we have check-ins? As I already mentioned, a check-in is never an obligation at Keyrus. It usually depends on where you are outsourced and how many check-ins you would like as a consultant. If you are working at an organisation for a longer period it’s possible that things change more slowly, so fewer check-ins are needed. But the opposite is also true. If you’re experiencing some issues or having doubts about your next career move, regular chats with your coach can already help you a lot. Personally, I try to see my coach every quarter and this seems to work out well for both of us. And where do we meet? Well, that's also totally up to us… If we prefer a bar or lunch in a restaurant rather than the office, that's perfectly possible!
Other things we do in the tool:
- Give and request feedback
- Give praises for a job well done
- Anonymous engagement survey every two weeks
- Objective setting (even managers and CEO)
What has positively changed for me as a consultant?
Since I talk with a “real” coach now, I get a lot more guidance, which is helping me in my day to day job. My coach has experienced similar issues in the past or asked himself the same questions, so all his tips are more than welcome!
I also like the way objectives are handled. Now that objectives are editable, they are more realistic and we actively work on reaching them.
In general, I feel like there's a much better follow-up between consultants and their manager because of the check-ins and engagement pulses. Potential issues can be detected sooner and observation is done much more closely. There are also a lot more action points in both ways. Before, it was only me receiving feedback, but now we also discuss things we could do better as an organisation.
The changes that have been implemented in the last year make me feel more part of Keyrus.
And I’m not the only one with this opinion…
A few months ago, I saw that SD Worx (the leading European player in payroll and HR) decided to partner with intuo to offer a digital alternative to the traditional evaluation cycle and engagement surveys. I felt very proud that my organisation has introduced such a tool to support us. I can only confirm the positive changes this has brought us.
Originally written by Ilke S and posted on her LinkedIn profile