Voted a “Fortune 100 Best Company to Work For” three consecutive years, Clarity’s client is an industry leader in the real estate financial and services industry, based in California.
Need / Challenge
Being a “best company to work for” requires attentiveness to employee development and fulfillment. When employees wanted to change the company’s traditional annual performance review process to a new approach of ongoing feedback and coaching between managers and employees, the corporate human resources team responded: A new HR management system was added, and a first-rate specialist was sought to develop a fresh, contemporary approach to training managers and employees in the new performance management model.
This training had to engage multiple learning styles, using practical examples from the company’s various operations groups, while embracing the cultural sensibilities of the modern, diverse workplace.
Solution: What Clarity Did
Clarity’s consultant brought with her many years of corporate training and instructional design experience. She began by identifying the key stakeholders, and establishing a schedule of weekly reviews with them. This proved essential, as no official corporate style guide for use of imagery and vocabulary was available; the frequent, regular reviews assisted the consultant in developing courses consistent with the client’s intrinsic culture.
The new ongoing feedback process meant that no longer would feedback flow just from managers to employees. Now employees would provide feedback to one another and to managers. Not everyone is comfortable or knows how to give feedback. Soliciting input from across the various operational groups, Clarity’s consultant designed the training to address these concerns, including:
- asking for feedback
- receiving feedback
- providing feedback
- how the new ongoing feedback process would occur during the entire year
- how the new process would replace the current annual performance process
Further, Clarity’s consultant narrowed the traditional “SMART” goals used as part of their employee performance evaluation (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relatable, Timely) down to three, expressed in more practical terms: Goals must be realistic, measurable, and have a specific deadline for completion. This was embodied in the training, using real examples from the various business groups in the Operations side of the business, and expressed in practical language to which the employees and managers taking the course could easily relate.
Results: The Outcomes
With any dramatic process change in an established organization, there is often resistance or uncertainty regarding the new approach. This requires some trial and error, drafting a model and putting it out for review and feedback from the across the company, building acceptance through inclusion. Clarity’s consultant brought professional maturity, flexibility, and patience to this challenge, working collaboratively with the Client through three major design changes, developing and refining the training to assist the Client in continuing as a “Best Company to Work For.”
Clarity’s client expressed their gratitude: “Thank you so much for the great work on all the pieces of this project. You have been great about going back and forth in meeting our requirements and needs,” and satisfaction: “…it went longer than we all expected – and that was due to some of our mid-course decisions on the approach we wanted to take…Thank you for being able to extend the dates and stay the course with us. We appreciate the fact that you met your due date each week and delivered the product when you said you would so we could review (and provide our feedback) along the way. [We] enjoyed working with you.”
Quotes from Consultant
“The things that make a really great consultant are the abilities to be patient, flexible and to take feedback for what it is and smile.”
“When starting any new project, make sure you establish a common language between you. For example, the word “contemporary” can mean many things. Make sure you understand what it means to the client.”