How to Become a Performance Culture, Even in a Remote World: A Client’s Perspective

Company Culture Performance Management Process

At Performance Culture, we are truly passionate about what we do every day. Our cloud-based performance management system helps leaders build better teams for better results.  We do this by giving managers, HR, and leaders an easy to use tool that helps increase focus, team chemistry, and accountability.  We have a mission to embolden each of our customers to create performance cultures in their own organizations.

But what does this practically look like in the day-to-day setting?

Self Esteem Brands is the parent company of Anytime Fitness, Basecamp Fitness, The Bar Method,  Waxing the City, and Stronger U. They are also one of our cherished clients and advocates of the Performance Culture System. Jess Schneider is their rockstar Director of Organization Development, as well as the main facilitator and implementer of our software at the Self Esteem Brands headquarters. 

Even amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the Self Esteem Brands team has maintained high levels of employee engagement, consistent, one-on-one coaching, and even experienced a successful performance review process with 87% review completion, all while working remotely. How have they pulled this off?

Jess shared with us a few best practices in utilizing the Performance Culture System to achieve this level of success. We thought you may be interested in these best practices, too!

 

Staying Connected in a Remote World

Through Check-Ins

 

We have all felt it this past year. Disconnected, low on energy, and not fully ourselves. We have given our very best efforts in maintaining some sort of normal through Zoom calls, Microsoft Teams chats, countless emails, and more. Unfortunately, there are only so many ways to foster genuine, organic conversations during a time like this, especially between manager and employee. 

The Self Esteem (SE) Brands team implemented our Check-In feature about 8 months ago, right in the middle of the Covid outbreak. Their impetus for doing so was to ensure they had a practice in place for all employees to meet with their managers on a consistent basis, giving them the space to align with one another and for employees to receive the coaching and development they so desperately needed during this time.  

After 8 months of this process, the reviews are in. Jess shared the amount of meaningful conversations between manager and employee has increased. Her employees have shared they appreciate the opportunity to prepare for their one-on-one meetings, and also reflect on their work weeks and communicate what support they need from their managers. Additionally, there are many new leaders at SE Brands. Check-Ins have given these green managers a solid structure for how to facilitate productive and efficient conversations with their direct reports. 

Several leaders have commented that, because of the nature of the Check-Ins being employee-initiated, they have actually learned far more about their employees and don’t feel forced to awkwardly ask, “How are you doing?” over and over again. Instead, the employees are willingly sharing this information in a consistent and documented way.

Well done, Self Esteem Brands.

 

Tracking and Developing Talent 

 

The majority of Performance Culture’s clients have come to us with complaints of their “old and outdated review process.” Oftentimes, that process is still on paper or facilitated through other manual methods. Paper is difficult to track on its own as files get lost, or shoved inside a desk drawer somewhere, crinkled and crumpled, never to be seen again. 

Self Esteem Brands was in the same boat when they joined the Performance Culture family. They had paper scorecards that got lost all of the time. The worst part is there was no real way to track who had received a documented review and who didn’t.

When Jess and her team transitioned to Performance Culture’s digital performance review platform, they immediately had an easy and tangible way to document reviews, track progress over time, and audit the process itself, all in one place. To make things even simpler, the reviews follow the employee, not the manager. Therefore, in the event an employee receives a different manager, all of their performance records are visible to their new leader, setting both leader and employee up for success at every turn. 

What we are best known for, in the industry, is our Performance Values Matrix. Our core philosophy, rooted in research, is that performance and cultural fit (core values match) are two independent constructs that should be measured separately, yet equally. You can indeed have a high performer who is a low cultural fit for your organization. The same is true in reverse.  True star employees are ones that not only exceed performance expectations, but also are great team players and exemplify the organization’s core values.  These employees drive your organization forward, helping to reach new heights, but they must be cared for.  Healthy people are attracted to healthy cultures.  Those same healthy people will leave an unhealthy culture.  Unhealthy people will thrive in an unhealthy culture.  It is where they are most comfortable.

Our performance review process provides two separate scores for performance and values. At the end of the review cycle, individuals are plotted on the Matrix based on how they were rated. The product is a visual representation of how your employees are performing in their actual objectives and/or goals, as well as how they are displaying the organization’s core values. 

For Jess at SE Brands, this Matrix revealed several areas where training for both managers and employees was evident. Having one simple, visual aid for the overall performance of the company gave insight into practical and strategic next steps. The Matrix also served as a baseline for conversations. The Self Esteem Brands group now has an easy-to-use tool to reference in conversations around talent that are based on actual data, not ambiguous and ever-changing opinion. 

 

Recognizing Positive Workplace Behaviors

 

Our Recognition feature is open to all, for all, by all. The ability to recognize colleagues is not limited by department or location. Anyone at any level in the organization can recognize any individual in the entire company for a job well done. 

Fun fact: our Recognition feature includes colorful party confetti that comes down on the screen every time you recognize someone! Cool, right? We know. 

Our Recognition feature is focused on recognizing workplace behaviors. These are the behaviors (or core values) that define what it means to be a team member at the organization. Behaviors are what you value internally, and they align to the company mission and vision. Performance Culture’s values, for example, are Accountability, Candor, Grit, Heart, and Inclusiveness. 

The team at Self Esteem Brands are pros at recognition. It has been 8 months since implementing this feature, yet Jess says she still sees 2 to 3 recognitions come through the software every day. And here’s the best part–it is not just employees recognizing their direct team members. These are cross departmental and between people who do not work together on a regular basis. As Jess reminds us, Gallup’s Q12 makes it clear that performance management is directly linked to employee engagement. What better way to increase engagement than by recognizing one another for displaying company behaviors?

We are eternally grateful that we get the opportunity to partner with phenomenal organizations like Self Esteem Brands every day. A huge thank you to Jess Schneider, specifically, for sharing her wisdom, experience, and best practices for cultivating a true performance culture.

Are you interested in providing your team with effective performance management tools that will set them up for success? Request your free demo of the Performance Culture people management software and get started today.

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