Proactively Addressing Poor Performance
Are you ready to unlock the untapped potential within your team and lead them towards a brighter future? Join us for an enlightening virtual event that will empower you to turn struggling employees into star performers before the struggles even begin. In our discussion, you’ll learn the secrets, tips, and best practices that will drive meaningful change in your organization.
We’re bringing together a panel of seasoned experts, each with a wealth of experience in the art of transforming underperformers into assets. Their practical insights and real-world stories will leave you inspired and equipped with actionable strategies.
In this session, expect to:
- Gain practical insights from seasoned managers.
- Learn to address poor performance proactively
- Learn strategies for managing and improving underperforming team members.
- Network with peers and share your own experiences.
- Leave with a toolkit of actionable steps to apply in your workplace.
We look forward to welcoming you to this insightful chat on transforming your team from strugglers to stars!
Track My Progress
[00:00:00] Michael: I'm really excited to kick this off and get started with everybody here. I would love to hear from our guests in the room where you're tuning in from today.
Let us know. I, I know so far we've had some people from. All different parts of the world, which is really cool to see myself. I am in Campbell River, which is on the which is on Vancouver Island in B. C. Um, and where are our panelists joining from Kara? Where are you right
[00:00:24] Cara: now? Um, I am in South San Francisco, California, U.
[00:00:28] Michael: S. California? Maria, where are you?
[00:00:31] Mariya: Oh, just as I was saying, like, uh, just as I was thinking, I actually saw there's somebody else here from the UK. I'm from London in the UK.
[00:00:37] Michael: Awesome. Yeah, we've got somebody from Bristol in there, people joining from Scotland as well, Serbia. Liz, where are you?
[00:00:47] Liz: I'm in North Central Oregon, so middle of Oregon, just down a little bit, in
[00:00:51] Cara: the U.
[00:00:52] Michael: Right on. And then, uh, Katie, where are you? Also in
[00:00:56] Katie: Oregon in the United States. I'm in Portland,
[00:00:58] Cara: Oregon,[00:01:00]
[00:01:00] Michael: that's amazing. Awesome. Well, we got people joining in people from Vancouver, Galway, Ireland, St. George, Utah, Brooklyn, New York. This is super cool. I love seeing. from all over the place. Um, it really is amazing. Um, today we're talking about proactively addressing poor performance. We'll get more into it later.
We're already talking about where we, where everybody's coming from. It's awesome to see everybody filing in. Um, and while that's happening, we'll get, continue to give people a little bit of time because I'm sure everybody is coming from meetings prior to this and finishing things up. But while that's happening, I would love to, um, Introduce our guests today and get to know who's going to be chatting about poor performance.
Um, and so I could introduce them, but I think that they would each do a better job and give us a little bit more background. So, um, why don't we start with Katie, tell us a little bit about yourself.
[00:01:51] Katie: Sure. Yeah. Happy to be here. Thank you everybody for tuning in. Uh, my name is Katie Zinc and I, for the past few years have [00:02:00] been kinda specializing in diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy.
As well as employee experience and workplace culture. That's really my, my main joy in life, but I also work in the publishing world and the education world, um, sort of as my day job, if you will, um, working with our clients. So I love working with people. I love understanding how workplaces can benefit people.
And for the past few years, I've been helping out people, managing people with um, some, some content of theirs and helping establish what they've got going on here with this community. So thanks for having me.
[00:02:37] Michael: Awesome. Thanks so much, Katie. And we'll go, and we're actually going in the reverse order, uh, from the last one.
So, uh, Liz, you're up next. If you want to say a little, a little bit about yourself.
[00:02:47] Liz: Sure. Hi, my name is Liz Lockhart Lance, and I work as a chief of staff at Performica, which is an HR tech startup where we're changing how you can think about performance management. I also teach [00:03:00] at the University of Portland in the MBA program, and I'm almost done with a doctorate in organizational change and leadership from the University of Southern California.
So I'm a big learning nerd, um, and professionally I've been managing people for over 15 years and I've been contributing to PMP for two years now and I'm so excited to be here. Thanks for having me.
[00:03:18] Michael: Awesome. Thanks so much, Liz. And Maria, you're up next. Hi there,
[00:03:23] Mariya: everybody. So I actually come from a slightly different background, as in, I actually started off in recruitment, uh, many moons ago, uh, almost 10 years actually, and came from recruitment, uh, initially in agency, going all around the world, recruiting people from all over the world, uh, basically from Canada to Togo, as I like to say, and back.
And, um. Since then, I kind of went in house, went more into the P of the overall management of just people strategies, uh, kind of come stemming from my interest and just my curiosity of, yeah, but what comes after we recruit somebody? What comes next? Well, how can we make sure that [00:04:00] everybody's just doing their best work without necessary, without like unnecessary, uh, you know, struggles and issues wherever possible.
And, uh, that's been my main motivator since it's just helping everybody out and why, of course, I really was, I'm really excited about the community that we have here in
[00:04:15] Michael: PMP. Amazing. Thanks so much for it. It's great to hear. And then Kara, last but certainly not least.
[00:04:21] Cara: Hello. Thanks. Thanks, Michael. Um, so my name is Cara Barnes.
I am the founder of Good Karma Consulting. We provide fractional HR services for small nonprofits and startups. Um, in the last 10, 15 years, I've been mentoring various startups, a lot of international companies who are trying to make a foothold in the USA, um, and creating and helping them with their HR foundation.
I would say. I'm trying to change the view of HR of old school HR and what I've been noticing as well with all the different types of companies I've been working with organizations, the ones that [00:05:00] do get funding that get to the next level, who are continually growing hitting their next like KPIs are the ones who focus primarily on their biggest asset, which is their employees.
And which is why I'm so grateful to be part of this community of people managing people, because it is at the heart of any, any successful company. That is like the main point of it. Like if you want to get funding, you want to get raises, like you gotta treat your people well. So yeah, love this community.
Happy to be here. Excited for this topic today.
[00:05:32] Michael: Amazing. Yeah. Thanks so much. I really appreciate that. Awesome. Okay. Well, it looks like we've got a great number of people that have joined us. Um, so I say we're all get ready, ready to go. Um, before we dive in, just a few last notes, um, to hit on, um, few housekeeping things.
So this is being recorded. We will, uh, share the recording afterwards. Um, so that you can all rewatch it and, um, get caught up on it on anything that you missed. Um, what I do ask that actually, I think cameras and Mike are. Okay. So if you [00:06:00] have any questions, Please keep them off until the end, at which point we will have a Q and a for the last last 10 to 20 minutes.
In the meantime, I encourage you to use the chat. I've seen people telling us where they're where they're tuning in from. So everyone's got it there. Um, and continue to use ask questions. We've got our senior editor for the people managing people publication, David Rice, who's in there and is able to help out with anything that comes up.
Um, and as well as asking questions in the chat, please share what you know as well. Um, and I'll say that it's okay if you disagree with anything that's said here. The whole point of this is to have a discussion and talk about... You know, different perspectives and approaches, but by no means is this written in stone.
We're here to have have that discussion. So, yeah, if you've got different approaches that work better, please let us know. And, you know, these are all things that we can take into consideration and talk about today. Awesome. Okay, but first, I want to talk a little bit more about what we're here to do. So the idea [00:07:00] for this event.
Proactively addressing poor performance came up during a conversation that, um, we were the community founders, our panelists today, we're all having, um, and around, sorry, around poor performance, specifically on small teams. And so maybe, uh, you guys are like me and when you think poor performer, the first thing that comes to mind is performance improvement plans.
Which is there's nothing wrong with that if you do that. Um, but the thing about performance improvement plans is that nobody wants to do them. Uh, we don't want to do them. Employees don't want to do them. They're not really an ideal solution. Um, and so the idea we kept coming back to was about maybe the best PIP is actually not doing one at all.
And it's actually addressing this before it becomes an issue and resolving it way ahead of time so that we can mitigate these, these interactions. I know that that sounds like a dream state. Uh, and it's definitely easier said than done. So what we're going to dig into today are some of the topics we've been discussing [00:08:00] in the community lately about how we can proactively address.
For performance, um, by setting people up for success, uh, keeping them happy. And then we will dive into what happens when things go wrong. Um, and a little bit more on performance improvement plans. And then when do we call it after that? And then finally, we'll have some, some Q and a time, as I mentioned.
So without further ado, here we are. We're going to jump into setting people up for success, um, where we're going to talk about starting at the hiring stage, setting expectations, and then onboarding. So our first question, we're going to dive into hiring. Um, and the question we're going to, um, lead off with is what needs to be present during the hiring process in order to set up new employees for success?
Long term and to kick off this discussion. I'll hand it over to Katie. If you'd like to start this one off.
[00:08:52] Katie: Thanks, Michael. Yes. Yes. Great topic specifically here. And how important is it to really think what the [00:09:00] early stages of the interviewing, recruiting, hiring process look like? Because of course, people who are looking for their next role, they really want to show the best sides of themselves.
Employers are always showing the best sides of themselves too. And then, of course, we learn later, later, Oh, here's really what the job is. Here's really what's expected of me. Oh, my manager is a different person now who hired me, who I had that relationship with. And so, um, it really is important though, to make sure that when people are starting, beginning their onboarding process, but even before that.
There's full clarity on really what it means to be a successful, um, addition or community add to the organization. And so we've, we've learned a lot in the past few years of clarity in our job description, structured interview processes, and just asking really, really good questions. questions in the hiring process so that everyone is on board.
Everyone is clear of what they'll be expected to [00:10:00] do. Um, it's hard to know exactly how the job will pan out. Things change in the organization. Um, new products are developed. Clients are always changing. And so change is to be expected, but really at the end of the day, if both parties are fully clear on what matters most while they're being brought into the organization, I think that.
That trust and that interpersonal relationship will behoove everyone if there are issues, if there are behavioral issues or performance issues later on. And so, um, in the question of what needs to be present, I think it's just clarity. I think it's just, even if you can put it in writing, Hey, this is what you're expected to do.
Everyone's on board. And so there's that just very clear communication. No assumptions are made. Um, people are being honest. People, you know, are being clear that they want to be there. They want to be the best performer they can be. Again, that will help later on if there are
[00:10:52] Michael: issues. Yeah. And that's actually a good point that Melissa brought up in the chat as well, but just being clear [00:11:00] and having that clarity right from the get go.
Um, Kara, was there anything that you wanted to add to that discussion?
[00:11:06] Cara: Yeah, no, I mean, Katie like hit it spot on. I would also say, Is that it's really critical to understand your workforce planning strategy as well. I've been finding a lot of people or companies, they're hiring because there's a need, but only thinking of short term not long term of what this role actually means for the company so I would say before you even have a job description or a job post, you really need to look into your organization.
Um, and maybe Liz can kind of talk about this more since she's getting her doctorate on it, but really about like, what is your company mission? What are your company vision? What's your goals? You know, what does this particular position or role What are we going to do? Was a successful person going to be in this particular role?
How does that play into the overall scheme of the company's goals? And I find that that's constantly lacking when we think about, well, why are we even hiring [00:12:00] for this position? What impact is that person going to have on the company as a whole, right? And I think that's very much crucial to setting up for success long term because you have to really think.
What this person's skill sets are going to be not just on this role, but even beyond career pathing. Um, so that's, I'd like to add that piece of it
[00:12:20] Michael: too. And do you think, if you don't mind, I'm just going to throw something else in there, but do you think that that, um, responsibility falls on, on the ops, uh, lead, or would that be coming from leadership in terms of like where that role
[00:12:33] Cara: fits in?
I feel like everything starts from leadership. Like, like if, if I'm unhappy with my team. It's not their fault. Like 99 percent of the time, it's on the ownership of the leadership team to like, decide, well, what are our goals for this next year to five years, 10 years, and having a clear North star, you know, exactly what we're trying to get to, and then breaking it down by each department and then that department into each leadership, [00:13:00] into each supervisor, and then then to individual developmental goals that ties directly to that North star.
And it's something that seems kind of. Should should all companies have this even with small startups, even one person companies, they need to have this clarity before you even start hiring totally.
[00:13:19] Michael: Liz, did you want to build on anything there at all?
[00:13:22] Liz: Yeah. So I, I love the theme around clarity and making sure that the role is strategically aligned to the future of the company.
Um, I'm going to give some tactical tips. So I heard Katie talk about a job description. Don't just pull the one you used to hire the last time you hired this role, actually change it and update it to the current scenario. Is there a specific project? Are there unique, unique technologies that this person you're hopeful for them to bring?
Um, so make sure that. You're actually describing what the role really is in that job description because it's both going to be used to attract candidates. And it's [00:14:00] also the way that candidates and then employees should be considering their performance. Am I hitting the requirements of this job? Um, so Write a good job description.
Good does not mean long, uh, it does not need to have 45 bullet points on what needs to be done, but it should clearly describe what that job entails and what someone that is going to be successful may be able to bring to that table. So that's my first tip. Second one, interviewers need to be trained in how to interview.
This is not just legal stuff. This is asking the right questions and creating an environment where the candidate can feel comfortable to share their stories and really show themselves. Because if you don't do that, you're going to get the very Yes, I know this answer. Let me tell you. So you have to create that inviting environment that someone can really show you what they're about.
Um, and then finally, the, I think the most [00:15:00] underrated part of an interview is the Q& A at the end. So many people say, Oh, no questions. No worries. No, no, you better have questions always. But as an interviewer, this is where you can kind of uncover some of the motivations and what that candidate really cares about and also what's going to bother them.
Um, I think this is in my opinion, the most exciting part of the interview because it's, it's not scripted and you can really get a lot of. Insight into how someone's going to collaborate with you and contribute to your team to
[00:15:35] Michael: clean up a lot. I want to have a one quick one. I'm going to throw it there.
I'll give you 20 seconds on it. What's like, maybe the top question you'd like to hear from a candidate in the Q and a section of an interview. Ooh.
[00:15:50] Cara: I'd love
[00:15:51] Liz: to hear everybody's answer on this, but I really like it. And it's my own question too, which is as I start, what's one thing I can do right now to make [00:16:00] your job better?
[00:16:02] Cara: That's
[00:16:03] Michael: Liz. Thanks. I'll throw that out to anybody else if they want to chime in.
[00:16:08] Mariya: Yeah. Funnily enough, that is the exact question that I ask as well.
It's like, although I ask kind of like three things to make, you know, kind of that will, I will have instant impact that, you know, the most impactful things,
[00:16:20] Cara: um, that I can create. I do like it when they ask what is their management style, because oftentimes, you know, it's like. You don't people don't leave jobs.
They live. They leave their managers. So there needs to be a fit with the management style they have. And so I always say in the beginning, you have to show the good, the bad, the ugly, and be very upfront and clear about like, okay, this particular position will have this kind of manager and this is how they are and being clear about that.
Um, Ooh, I like that. Kristen said, what keeps you working here? Yeah. Oh, I like that. I have something
[00:16:58] Liz: actually to build on [00:17:00] that, Kara. I've actually seen job descriptions now that include details about how often you will meet with your manager. Oh, I like,
[00:17:07] Cara: oh, that's a really good, I'm always looking for ideas on how to like spruce up job posts and job descriptions.
Because then it's like really clear up front, right?
[00:17:15] Liz: It was very clear. It's like, you're going to meet with your manager for 40 minutes once a week. So that gives you just a sense of the kind of the distance and how it's going to go.
[00:17:26] Michael: Yeah, I'm going to take that list and use that as a segue right into our next question, which is on setting expectations.
Um, because we want to talk about this question I have, I have here, which is when, when should we start setting expectations and how can we best communicate them? Um, I think, um, Liz, you threw that one out. So if you'd like to build on it, I'll offer that to you if you want to, if you want to keep going on your point.
[00:17:51] Cara: I, I
[00:17:52] Liz: just, you start setting these expectations as soon as somebody finds your job post and it's, it should be all the way through. Hopefully [00:18:00] they're consistent. Um, but this is, and I'd love for Maria to talk about this because as a recruiter, whenever I talk with a recruiter as a manager, they want to know all about how this is going to go.
And it's, I hope it's part of their playbook to communicate that to a candidate as well. And I want, I want a recruiter to talk about me, tell, tell them, um, if I'm terrible, say that nicely. But also if I'm great, like talk about the contributions I've made to the company, how I lead my team. Um, so I, I love Maria's insight on this and then all else.
[00:18:39] Mariya: think, uh, for sure. I think I, I actually, let me give, maybe give everybody a bit of an example of right now what I'm working on right now. I'm hiring a head of product and rather than going and be like, okay, what do you need? Do we need people like this? People like. That I went and just listened and I sat down as the COO and the CEO were talking about this role, and I just sat down and listened there and I kind of just threw in some [00:19:00] questions here and there, just kind of like, you know, trying to elicit a lot more detail on what is just on the job description, because my role as a recruiter is to go beyond job description and look at, as I'm telling people, as giving information to people about what the role and the role those expectations are.
gauging people's reactions to it. Are they seeing like, Oh my God, this is great. It's a bit of chaos. Love it. I'm here to organize the chaos. Or they immediately asking like, well, how much of a chaos is it? Cause you know, I'm in a startup world right now. So everything is accepted to be a bit of a chaos.
And I basically have the way I kind of speak to the headers of product is I say, like, here are three things that I have identified that are specific. to this role in this specific company that you won't probably see as a combination anywhere else in any other role. And I speak to them about those three things that I have identified and therefore being those three things are the expectations that we have of them.
In the unique situation that our company finds [00:20:00] itself in, and kind of, that's why I think bringing the expectations to life in light of the context, the challenges that you have, I think is really important. And that has to be all the way that this is kind of where recruitment sets the expectation. And it has to be a common thread all the way through to the like interview process.
Like what questions you're asking the person, they have to make sense. Right? Through the, for the, for the challenge that you're setting up for them. Similar to later on, you know, the, uh, onboarding that you're creating for them. Kind of making the, making it clear, not just what is expected of them, but how you expect it to get there.
All of these things are quite important. The what and the how are equally important in
[00:20:41] Cara: my opinion. I want to take an example of how that's done wrong, because I've seen it, how it's, um, for an example, there was a position, it was a customer success position, and the hiring manager was looking for somebody that was [00:21:00] more technical, technologically like inclined, right?
Like somebody, because the customer success, you know, the role is they're doing demos on technology, but they also have to be like account managers and they kind of have to be people person. Like it's this really crazy. Yeah. Have to be everything type of person. And you're looking for a unicorn out there sometimes.
And so the high range is looking for somebody who is more tech savvy. And then the CEO is looking for somebody that's more sales account, executive savvy, and they both have, they didn't realign and there needs to be like a. You know, like an understanding and a kickoff call before you even start interviews and doing assessments, because what ended up happening is we wasted time and other people's time going through, you know, tons of interviews, not being aligned, not setting the right expectations, getting to the final stages and then realizing we had two various different types of candidates and You know, couldn't agree on who to hire.
And then when we did hire, there was like lack of [00:22:00] clarity on, well, actually, you should have, they should have had more tech. This person needs to be more tech and that expectation wasn't clear to the person that was hired that was more salesy, you know, so that's setting up for failure, right? Like that's not setting up for success and not having clear expectations.
And this happens often, to be honest, I see quite often.
[00:22:20] Michael: My follow up question to that would be when and how do you approach that conversation? Like when you notice that there's no alignment here and that people are looking for different things, like how do you bring up that conversation? What's what's said there?
[00:22:32] Cara: Oh, right away. Let's not waste anybody's time like right away within the first like week of somebody starting because otherwise it's painful for the candidate. It's painful for the new employee. It's painful for the hiring manager. It's painful for the company. It's not a fit, you know, um, and unfortunately some, some of these things can definitely be, uh, addressed like, okay, maybe we just put this person in more training, right?
There's like investment that goes into it. [00:23:00] Um, maybe the lack of technology is something that we could. Over the oversee because their sales skills is like phenomenal. Right? There's there but addressing these strengths and weaknesses and addressing it full on like we're all adults. Let's just be very clear, um, on some of the things that we're missing here, you know, and it doesn't it doesn't like it's almost like nobody wants to talk about it.
It's like this, like, which I see all the time to, um, these comments here in the chat side note, Michael, but I'd love to get all these chats because The audience has a lot of, um, great tips to do always trying to steal what other people are doing. So
[00:23:39] Michael: yeah, of course, we'll make the transcript available afterwards as well, along with the recording and Katie.
I'll, I'll either let you, um, build off of this question or, um, I would like, I really liked the question that Cecilia asked in the chat, which was, um, yeah, creating alignment is so important. So how do you, how do you create it? How do you go about that? So I'll, I'll give you the option Katie of [00:24:00] going with either that question or the one on the screen.
[00:24:06] Katie: Yeah, how do we create alignment? Well, of course, because and I love cars example so much because I am a customer success managers. I feel this every day. Um, and so if we want to continue with that kind of very specific story, I can speak probably a little better to that. Um, but of course, you know, when should we start setting expectations?
Of course, early and often, how can we best communicate them? That's a great I mean, that's a big question, too. So,
[00:24:33] Cara: um,
[00:24:34] Katie: how do we create alignment? Well, it's, it's obvious that, you know, to me, being a customer success manager, it's somewhat newer role in the last 10 years in the world of tech and the world of even in education where I am now.
And there are a lot of newer roles like this now, right? Especially with new technology always coming out, there is, there are going to be continued Newer roles that need to be able to evolve,
[00:24:57] Cara: need to be able to adopt new
[00:24:58] Katie: skills, and [00:25:00] will have a lot of variety of expectations placed on on these roles. So me personally, I am expected to have that business acumen, that sales personality.
Also, you know, very comfortable troubleshooting technology, very comfortable teaching people who are not tech savvy. And, and all the things, VR, you know, detail organization, the ability to train well, speak well, all of that. Um, and so how do we create alignment? Well, I don't know if even these roles are clear to all the people who already are in the organization.
So, you know, I hear all the time people speaking about my role differently. So there just isn't alignment. Um, so how do we create it? I mean, I think taking the time to really help everybody understand each other's. I'm in a remote environment right now, um, full time, it's even more important. I think that gets so missed.
Like I wish I knew and better understood everyone's role [00:26:00] at the organization. And I've been there two years. That would just help me so much with my interpersonal relationships, who to go to for help, how not to bother people if it's not really their job, what Maybe that's it. Maybe it's just spending a little more time being intentional, parsing out everyone's role, what they're really responsible for, what their priorities are in the organization, and then having a very clear place where you can find that, and that, and that's a whole job too, right?
Maintaining all that information that's up publicly, and that stuff changes all the time too, so it's not easy, um, but I think it is getting missed right now. We're not really spending enough time helping everyone understand What we're all here to do specifically. So, um, you know, that's going to change over time too.
Right. So when should we start spending, setting expectations for new hires? Absolutely. In the job description phase and the interview phase onboarding phase. Um, and then forever, really, we should never stop making sure that [00:27:00] expectations aren't fully clear for both parties, all parties involved. How can we best communicate them?
Me personally, um, I really. I really, um, learn best when I have a trusted advisor, a trusted mentor, yes, a good manager, who I trust, but really more up here sometimes. Um, so when we have like peer mentor, um, teams throughout the organization, I think as far as communication goes, that can really help too. I was assigned a mentor when I, when I began at my, my employer now.
Two years ago, and just to have that person who really gets it really gets what it's like to be new, really has the historical context of the organization and the nitty gritty of the job too. Um, so communication, I think best comes from just somebody who you feel psychologically safe with somebody who has good empathy skills.
And, you know, um, it was mentioned earlier, like Really pay attention to people's [00:28:00] reactions and responses when you're communicating expectations. Do they look uncomfortable? Do they look like they're not really getting it? That's so important. Glossing over that, you know, missing that human piece, um, will probably, you know, blow up in your face
[00:28:13] Cara: later.
[00:28:16] Michael: Amazing. Um, that was really well said. Um, and I'm going to, you mentioned a while back about like how we need to continue setting those expectations through, through onboarding. And so we're going to jump into the next one, which is, um. So how can we approach onboarding in a way that, that keeps, um, these people, employees engaged, because we want to get back to that, um, you know, addressing that poor performance.
And so how do we keep them engaged beyond just their, their onboarding session, whether it's a 30, 60, 90, or another approach that you take. And I'm going to throw this one, uh, to Liz to start us off.
[00:28:49] Liz: I love onboarding programs. I led learning at a software company for a while and during pandemic time where we pivoted everything from in person to online and had [00:29:00] to work really hard to keep it engaging because at first everybody was excited and then not so much.
So beyond onboarding, uh, to keep people engaged beyond the 30, 60, 90, there's three things that I think about here. It's learning programs, mentorship, and development plans. When I talk about learning programs, I'm not talking about a, like, click through, checkbox, complete, wahoo, compliance type learning program.
I'm talking about something that's really engaging and is fit for that group. So, um, whether that's leadership development programs, cohort style programs. Or things that are really targeted to specific groups as a learning leader, or as an HR person partnering with a learning leader, you need to do some form of an assessment.
And we started doing a recurring every like eight to 12 months learning assessment to figure out what people wanted to learn. And because I was in a [00:30:00] technology company, there was a lot of tech topics that people were absolutely hungry for training on. That's not my area, but I was able to partner with a vendor or.
Um, actually, we were able to negotiate some stuff with what we already had, uh, to get that technical learning. And so, a lot of times, people either aren't asking for training or asking their manager and their manager's asking their manager for budget for something. But if you can cool all of those needs, you can get something for the entire organization that serves the needs and also helps people grow, not just do their job.
So that's the first part about learning programs. Second is mentorship. As you start a new job, imagine the immense value and support of having someone in your corner from day one who's been there, done that, and who's genuinely invested in your success. You would hope that maybe your manager would do this, but they don't always.
Um, they just, they just don't. But a good mentor does those things. And they're not just a guide, they're a sounding board, a source of [00:31:00] wisdom. And sometimes they're the nudge that you need to get out of your comfort zone. And this type of relationship really keeps employees engaged and they feel supported and valued.
I love being a mentor. Uh, and I say bring me all your weird questions or the things you're not sure about, it's like trivia. Um, I love a good work trivia. Um, so mentorship, that's the second part, super important. And the last one that I want to talk about is a development plan. And these aren't punitive.
And they aren't just fancy documents that you write out and put on a shelf. They're living, breathing plans that should involve, evolve with the employee. And they are driven and owned by the employee. Very important. And in my experience, the most successful employees are the ones that set really clear, achievable goals and milestones that are aligned both with their career and aspirations and the company strategy.
And it's that roadmap for growth and success and that [00:32:00] tool to then track and measure that growth over time that can help keep people really engaged and motivated. And so when we combine learning programs, mentorship, and development plans, we're not just onboarding employees, we're empowering them, and we're showing them that their growth and success are paramount, and that's how we keep them engaged and growing, both aligned with their career aspirations and what we need to do as a company.
[00:32:28] Michael: That was super insightful. There's so much we can unpack. I feel like that's a whole ton of talk on its own, but I want to open that up to, um, to Katie or Cara, if you want to either build on it on that or throw any other, uh, anything else you want to add on to that discussion.
[00:32:43] Cara: Um, I would say, yeah, I definitely want to like spend some time with Liz and just pick her brain for, for hours on end.
I feel like each of these questions could be its own panel, to be honest, and we could spend a lot of time on it, but on like a tactical on onboarding, I would say, um, Something simple [00:33:00] that you could do, because I know a lot of times with small companies and startups, we're all really busy. And so we're just like, we just need to fill this role.
And we've been back, we need to backfill this position from like six months ago. And so it's kind of like this rushness to like, get somebody in and get them started right away. But try to like, Take the time to slow down. I would say it's more of a mindset. Slow down and take a breather because even though you need this person six months ago, this person just started and there's a lot of bit of there's a bit of a ramp time.
And we have to remind everybody that. And even like small details of That I found were really helpful during onboarding that seems kind of miniscule, went a long way. And when I did surveys after onboarding, some of the things that they said that they really liked was as simple as like a picture of where the office was.
Like one of my clients had an office, I was like, just a simple black door. No, no writing on it. And it was in between an optometrist and a chicken. Restaurant. So you could not find it. It was [00:34:00] always hard to find. So like this simply showing where to find, uh, the office or where to park, what lunch spots is nearby your first day schedule, like, Hey, when you walk in, you're going to be greeted by this person.
And, you know, um, this is all the meetings you're going to have this week. Like that actual visual and clarity in the onboarding process. Those are simple things that anybody can do. You don't have to create the strategic process and it's an easy, quick win, honestly. Um, so I'd start with those efforts.
Those were like a big wins there. Another big win was having their favorite snack ready and available for them on their first day. So during the hiring process, we would ask like, Oh, what, you know, what do you like to use a snack? And if they weren't in the office, we would actually mail it to their place.
Um, so their first day, they had their. The root beer or they're like chocolate, chocolate covered almonds. That's a popular one for some reason. Um, so these [00:35:00] little like tips on onboarding goes a long way, um, because they can tell right away from the first day if they're going to stay with the company for more than six months.
Right. So, um, I would say, yeah. That's one of my
[00:35:12] Michael: tips. What was the, what was the weirdest snack that you sent somebody?
[00:35:16] Cara: It was like, uh,
[00:35:17] Liz: this Australian specific licorice.
[00:35:19] Cara: And, um, my Aussies out there, my husband's Aussie, they have like this, uh, particular licorice that you can't find. You have to go to like a world market or, you know, an international store because In the U.
S. we only have like the red licorice. This particular shit is like a really soft licorice and I remember having the hardest time trying to find it. It was really frustrating but we we figured it out. It wasn't quite available for them for their first day but their first month we did get it
[00:35:46] Michael: for them. I wonder if they were just throwing a curveball your way because they they wanted to be tricky.
[00:35:52] Cara: Right. Those are the most fun people anyway so I don't mind that.
[00:35:56] Michael: Um, and we're going to close up the onboarding [00:36:00] and, uh, kind of setting expectations section. Um, Katie, if you wanted to throw in any last points about, about onboarding.
[00:36:07] Katie: Yeah, sounds great. I love everything that's been shared. The last kind of sentiment I'd like to offer is just whatever you can do to help your new hire feel confident, right?
We all know what it's like to start new jobs. It's very stressful. Even the best performers are stressed and insecure. And some of the smartest people I've, I've onboarded and mentored just really, they don't last very long at the organization because they don't feel confident and it's in its internal issue.
It's not the issue with the new hire, um, in my experience. So whatever you can do to help them feel confident, I love the personal touches, like the snacks and just showing them respect and just helping them really feel welcome. And that, you know, they're really going to contribute, that they're really wanted there.
Um, just really, really helped you in the long
[00:36:53] Cara: run. They want to feel special, you know, like they want to start a job and feel like I [00:37:00] was selected and this is a really special moment. It should be. Which is true.
[00:37:05] Michael: I agree. Katie, has there been anything unique like that that you've seen implemented in any companies you've worked for or anything that you've worked on in the past that has made somebody kind of feel unique in that sense, whether it's Office Snacks or something different?
[00:37:19] Mariya: I,
[00:37:21] Katie: what I've seen is, um, we called them onboarding buddies, which I thought was pretty, pretty cool. It's somebody who is not your direct manager, not on your team, just somebody else on a different team. Different tenure level, um, who just you, you get to know, you can ask all those questions too. You get to, you go, you know, you could go to lunch with them if you're in the same place or you, you hop on, you know, calls throughout the week just to, you know, be humans together and get to know one another.
And it's an onboarding buddy, because yeah, when you're new at an organization, you've it's just you're drinking from that fire hose. You're [00:38:00] trying to learn, trying to get up to speed as fast as you can. But excuse me, the onboarding buddy knows that that will take time and they have, you know, they want to be there.
They want to make sure that you're ready to go, feeling confident, feeling supported. And, um, that onboarding buddy can direct, you know, yeah. Oh, you have a question about finance. You have a question about, you know, sales, whatever, whatever that onboarding for new onboarding, um, new hire needs the onboarding buddy, it's just that safe space for them.
[00:38:28] Michael: That's awesome. Um, and then. Eris, I hope I pronounced that properly. Oh, oh, sorry. No, I misread it. It was always Maria's comment there about checking if they have a hobby and then seeing how they contribute to that is another great example, and I'm sure many great examples we could share, but I'm going to move this on to the next section, which is going to be about keeping people happy.
So, uh, the 4 points we're going to hit in here are engaging people, Um, we, we kind of, we're going to build off of the last section of onboarding there and then talk about, um, building trust, powering [00:39:00] and celebrating success. So we'll start off with, um, engagement and ask, does engagement need to look the same for each employee?
We just had that comment, Maria, about, um, the hobbies. And so I'll throw that right to you if you want to talk about, um, engaging with people.
[00:39:15] Mariya: So there is, uh, one element of it that I like to kind of talk about that is a bit more of like, Culture, you know, kind of the identity of the company. So that part certainly, you know, can look very similar, but there is a certain element of it that you need to invest time and understand each person.
So as part of the onboarding actually plan, and then of course, continuous and ongoing performance, the thing that I work most with the hiring managers and eventual line managers for people is that. That those initial sort of one on ones, they need to not necessarily like they need to be the furthest possible from, you know, kind of operational catch ups as like, this is the time to invest in, like, you know, really getting to [00:40:00] understand, you know.
What are the modes of working? What are the expectations? Like, how do, how do I best, you know, keep you as a manager in a loop? How do you best keep me, like, appraised of everything? Like, what are the decisions going on? Things like that. So there's a lot of these sorts of, you're, you're hiring a brand new person who has a lot of, you know, Great experience, maybe somewhere else.
Sometimes they've been baggage alongside as well from like, you know, previous companies where they maybe picked up some bad habits alongside with their amazing experience that they might be bringing. So it's really good to again, kind of align. One example again, because I always like to like lead with examples as well.
Um, Again, same company that I'm working with right now. The expectations here are, is that, you know, you kind of start very problem first. So every initiative, the expectation is that I kind of make a little bit of a skeleton and I kind of run it past the, the wisdom of the crowd. of the team. And this has been the first time [00:41:00] I've actually come across something like this, where previously there hasn't really been a lot of, in some companies where I've been, there hasn't been a lot of engagement with people related strategies altogether.
They're just like, Maria, just do like best practice on this, best practice on that. I'm like, cool. All right. Awesome. I am, I have like total freedom to do whatever I want. And initially my instinct was like, Oh my God, I'm getting so many like comments. on everything that I'm creating. And I just thought of it as more like negative feedback.
And I was thinking like, Oh my God, am I screwing up all the time? But no, this was just part of the process. And it took me a while to actually proactively go and ask my manager, like, Hey, is this normal? Is everybody else getting this? What is happening? And if that is your mode of working, like every company has something that is specific to them about the mode of working.
And the important thing is that you need to realize what might be different to what you're doing versus anyone else. Even if you think about it as like, Oh, but everybody else is doing this. I can guarantee you they're not. Even if in your last five companies, you've been doing exactly the same thing. I can guarantee you in the [00:42:00] sixth company that you're going to go to, it's not going to be that way.
So these are the kinds of things in the first sort of management, kind of one on one meetings that you have with a person to engage with them. You really have to understand what, what they're coming from, what is their working style and what do, what do they need from you to kind of. Align with what is, what is compatible here for working behavior.
We're not talking about personalities. We're not talking about anything like that. It's more about working behavior and then be enthusiastic about it. You know, just be like, Hey, I really want to talk to, I really want to help you out with like, you know, just as Katie mentioned, feeling confident about these things, right?
You know, let your passion show through because that is really infectious.
[00:42:43] Michael: That's wonderful. Amazing, amazing points through there. And, um, yeah, does anybody else want to build on anything that Maria brought up in that spot?
[00:42:53] Liz: My yeah, I was writing in the chat, but I'll just help. So, um, as Marielle was talking about setting [00:43:00] those expectations, something a really specific experience came to mind.
And I, I took on a new employee who was a senior manager coming from a humongous organization and. All of a sudden, like I, I like to see unfinished work. I want to be asked for feedback. I want people to ask questions. I want people to feel like anybody can approach anybody in the company. If they need help with something or want feedback, et cetera.
This person did not feel that way because their prior organizational culture, uh, required people to like submit things for approval. Rather than to get feedback and to talk to your manager to talk to their manager to talk like no, we're not doing that and it took a long time to break some of those habits and Maria's talked about have old habits a lot as well.
And so just being explicit about that, saying, like, hey, I'm not here to grade your work that the team is an extension of me. We work on this together. Always ask me put everything in a shared file. [00:44:00] I want to see it all. And it's not because I'm grading it. It's because I want you to be successful. Um, so just working through those things and clarifying to people, sometimes people don't realize that that stuff needs to be said.
But if it's feeling like the formality is off, um, against what is expected in that company. address it immediately. It will make your life better. Wonderful.
[00:44:26] Michael: Awesome. Thank you. Yeah. Thanks so much for adding that in. We're going to throw, uh, sorry, run right into the next section, which is going to be on building trust.
So, uh, what are some of the most effective ways? To build trust among your people, and I'm going to throw this one to Katie to start us off. Awesome. Yeah, I think
[00:44:45] Katie: we can kind of even continue on this conversation of giving effective feedback. I really trust people who, first of all, show that they really care, they really want me there, and they believe in me.
And if they can give thoughtful feedback [00:45:00] that shows they have been paying attention to my performance, they're not just trying to check a box, and clearly they're answering to another higher up elsewhere. Um, but when you're really looking to build trust, I mean, yes, that starts early on in the interview process.
But it can, it's a, it's an ongoing process too. So, um, I would, I really just want to kind of hearken on that giving effective feedback thing. Um, I know maybe we're going to talk a little deeper on performance plans and performance reviews perhaps. Um, but I really just think our, our ability to give thoughtful feedback is kind of suffering, um, as a society.
People are afraid to give honest feedback. They don't really know how to do it. And so if that's. There are people in the room here who are just feedback experts. Um, I think that's always a good thing. We can always practice. Um, and it does take practice, right? You have to be kind of doing it regularly. If you only do it once a year, it shows.
So I think it's, it's a really important skill, um, to build
[00:45:53] Michael: trust. Yeah. Yeah. And I like how you brought up like, um, you know, the importance of doing it before the [00:46:00] performance improvement plan. Like, we don't want that to be a time where we're starting to, to get feedback. Um, absolutely. It's very
[00:46:07] Katie: frustrating for the employee when that happens.
[00:46:09] Michael: Yeah. Um, and then, um, Marie, I'll throw that to you next if you wanted to build on any, on anything, um, beyond what Katie brought up there.
[00:46:19] Mariya: Yeah, no, absolutely. And outside of the feedback, you know, once you've invested that time, kind of like continuing on from my previous point, once you've invested that time to build the trust, understand this person that is in front of you, you can, it kind of like the path forward shows you like how to most effectively give them feedback because you're kind of pulling on three different levels, basically like appraisal.
Challenge and reward, like those kinds of things. Appraisal can be, of course, positive or negative. Challenge is kind of like how to progress them forward and kind of get them out of the comfort zone. And reward, you're kind of like pulling on those three levels. And in order for you to really understand how to do it, you have to show the person like, Hey, listen, I've listened to you.
I've understood who you are. [00:47:00] And now I want to kind of, you know, work with you on all these three levels to work on these things. And the other thing that I also want to mention to people is The, the most, probably the three most sort of effective things that I have seen kind of in terms of, uh, people trusting me that I kind of have their back, like Katie said, effective feedback.
They know that I'm going to say to them like, Hey, listen, I'm watching out for you, but also being vulnerable. Sometimes like I used to, I used to have these clinics on a Friday morning. Like I used to call them like clinics basically, where it would just be anything. And sometimes I would come in and say, Hey, Everyone, I really didn't do well this week.
This week was not it for me. And here's what's happening. And here's a mistake that I made. And let's kind of run, like run a retro together. And I would love to hear, I would love to seek dissent on what the decisions I've made, right? So actually showing the vulnerability and not just being like, Oh, I don't have time, or I don't have this, just being kind of a bit, a [00:48:00] lot more vulnerable, uh, in specifics with your team is really important, in my opinion.
Secondly, is Helping people understand the decisions that have been made, especially when it comes to like, you know, we have now decided, let's say that the expectations of you are X. Y are they X, Y, are they this, what, what has this been setting? Helping them understand any of the decisions can help to bring them on board a lot more and help them feel like that, sort of like the empowerment, like I've understood what's going on.
I am not keep it kept in the dark on the company. And sometimes I kind of like break down some of my decisions, like I made this decision because of X, Y, and Z. And then I kind of, and it also like really helps people develop. in their own decision making skills down the line as well is how I developed that.
And then, yeah, the last one being is exactly that sort of open communication, letting people know that they can speak to you about anything and everything. And just sometimes acknowledging, Hey, I might not be human. I may not be able to action off everything you tell me, but I would rather [00:49:00] know.
Especially seeking dissent, you know, and rewarding dissent. I used to tell, tell, like literally send like little delivery gift cards and things like that to be like, thank you so much for watching and having my six and watching my back there. Like, I really appreciated that you told me like, Maria, I disagree with you, you know, like little small bits and pieces like that, that shows that you truly appreciate when you're being challenged as well as a
[00:49:22] Michael: leader.
That's amazing. There's again, there's a ton to unpack there. And I think those are all amazing points. Um, for the sake of time, I wanted to move us along. And there's some also great, great questions and comments coming up in the chat as well. And to Matt's question there, we will have a Q& A section at the end, and we'll bring that over there.
So we'll come back to that one. And we're going to move into empowerment. So. I feel like this is a bit of a buzzword, and if I'm, I'll bring in my personal opinion on it, is I don't love the word, but what I'd love to hear is, um, you know, is it really effective, and what does that look like right now, um, in 2023 in our current day?
So Cara, if you want to take us [00:50:00] into empowerment. Yeah,
[00:50:01] Cara: I was actually struggling with that word too, Michael, so I'm happy you said it. Um, because I never want to say like I'm empowering someone that I have, I'm giving them power. So it's like a really linguistics, right? Like it's, it's really interesting how words nowadays, like we have to be careful.
Um, and like, just more thoughtful about what that actually means. But, um, but I would say that I actually spoke with my team about this, you know, like how, what can I do to make you feel more like you have agency and a lot of things that we talked about was. Thanks. You know, delegating responsibility and decision making stands, you know, allowing them to like an opportunity to be creative, innovative and, um, allowing them to make mistakes, you know, like, um, which can encourage empowerment and give them agency.
Um, a second strategy would be to [00:51:00] also. You know, invest in their, their individual education and training. So that's like another way that we would be able to help empower them. Transparent communication. It kind of goes ties back to the trust. Like even simply not dismissing one on ones, you know, sometimes often when we get really busy and other priorities may take over.
You're one of ones with your direct reports can get pushed, right? Well, we'll do that later, but treating those meetings as very sacred and sticking to them is a way to build trust and to like empower them that like, Hey, this meeting is just as important than a potential investor meeting or a potential client meeting, right?
This one on one is, um, that, that important that I will have to stick to it. You know, it doesn't get pushed. Often. And I think that's a lot of times where we lose engagement and where people feel like they don't matter and they don't feel like they have any power agency is because [00:52:00] they're easily kind of dismissed.
Right. I'm too busy for you right now. So we're going to push this one on one to like another two more weeks. Sorry. Right. So I think that's. That's, these simple actions make a big difference. Um, also slowing down and being present. Too many times I, I'm guilty of this where I have Slack open and I have my phone and I'm, I'm on my one on one and I'm easily distracted.
Oh, an email came in, you know, like, so I'm doing a better chance, um, effort to like shut everything else down and just be here in the present moment with the, with the people I'm speaking with.
[00:52:37] Michael: That's fantastic. Yeah, I've, I've heard, I've spoken with one other, um, manager who uses the idea of like safety nets and just making sure that she's very aware of the safety net of each one of her, uh, team members.
And so she'll kind of have those set up ahead of time, so as she sees somebody starting to slip, she knows when, when it's time to kind of come in and, and take over and, and, [00:53:00] uh, cool. Yeah, it's an interesting approach to it. And I also love the way that Phil uses the word champion as well instead of empowerment.
Well, we'll continue to refine that agency empowerment champion. Um, yeah, we'll, uh, we'll find one that works and sits well with us, but in the meantime, I'll take us over to celebrating success. And I think this is obviously very tied into empowerment, but, um, what kind of successes are we celebrating? And what does that look like in a real world world setting?
Um, you know, because the successes I mean, can be very vague and kind of ambiguous, but maybe we can get into some real, real examples. Um, Liz, if you want to take us into successes. Sure.
[00:53:40] Liz: Um, of course, we love to talk about successes. Most fun. Um. So, maybe I'll talk about how we celebrate success and then, um, what successes we're celebrating.
So, when we celebrate success, this is all about personalization. This is not a one size fits all approach. You will have [00:54:00] people on your team where if you drag them up in front of others in an all staff, that is the most mortifying moment in their day. Oh my gosh, that is not what they want. They do not feel celebrated.
That was awful. But there are also some people that love that. So... In celebrating, you really need to understand how your team wants, how individuals wish to be celebrated. Um, and it, there's so many different options. And when we talk about what we're celebrating, It's not just about hitting targets. I'm really, really careful to recognize and celebrate the behaviors that contribute to a healthy and sustainable work environment.
We avoid glorifying overwork is very. Very common that overwork glorified. Oh, they pulled the all nighters. They did the stop. Um, these behaviors That is not the culture. We want to create instead. We should be focusing on [00:55:00] teamwork creativity Problem solving and celebrate the heck out of that by Uplifting this like burnout causing behavior.
You're saying that's the type of thing. We want to see more of stop and So, coming back to like, how do we celebrate? I have found really great successes in writing thank you notes and giving small mementos. Um, when I was a project manager, I like to give out little trophies, some of them very handmade, uh, that connected to what it was that we did and has a little special touch.
And these thoughtful gestures really resonate with people and they help them feel valued. Um, I once ran a huge project that involved a ton of people and I was able to give out little disco ball trophies and you'd see them sit on a desk and the light would hit them and they did this. It was so cute. Um, so it's, it's the little stuff, um, more than anything, but please stop celebrating over work.
[00:55:58] Cara: still happens, Liz, [00:56:00] like all the time. I mean, just one of my other clients, she gave an award for somebody who decided to skip a vacation and stay extra. I mean, it was a horrified look at my face. It's not great for culture at all. And you know, it's like part of the whole reason why we're here is, is addressing poor performance, and oftentimes we realize if you're not celebrating success or you're, you're celebrating the wrong kind of success, encouraging the wrong type of behavior.
Other people's performance actually start to dwindle, because why, why would I continue to, you know, to work hard, if it's not encouraged right like if it's not even addressed. Where. Somebody who might be like a more of a shark and hitting all the sales goals, but you don't see the behind the scenes of like how conflicting they are with other members of the, of the staff, like, and [00:57:00] they're getting the awards and being celebrated.
It's so demoralizing. Um,
[00:57:07] Liz: like that sales example. You don't know how terrible that salesperson has been to a legal team trying to get red lines and stuff done. You don't know how hard they've been pushing other people and, and that the push from that person is making it harder for them to hit their goals as well.
And this is unplanned work. Like, that's a perfect example.
[00:57:26] Cara: Right. Yeah. And it happens often. We're encouraging this. So like celebrate successes. I'm always like, I'm going to the negative. Sorry about this, Michael, but like, there's like, these are great ideas on how to celebrate success. But I was like, there are ways you could mess this up.
You know, there are ways when you're celebrating the wrong kind of success and encouraging bad behavior and encouraging people to work late into the night and work into the weekend. And we disguise it as passion. Like you're passionate. You know, with your job. That's we don't want to encourage that. Well,
[00:57:56] Michael: I'm glad you brought it up.
And that was kind of what I was getting at with the types of successes we're [00:58:00] celebrating there. And I love the example that Katie added, which is, um, she was celebrated for taking all of her PTO for the year, which is, you know, awesome. I think like using that to build up the right, the right kind of success because you're, you know, everyone's right when they say that there are wrong ways to do it for sure.
Um, and it can actually lead to poor performance if we're celebrating success just in the wrong way. Um, so that's where, you know, it's important to keep that in mind. Um, and we're going to take us on to, okay, so speaking of some of the negative things, Kara, we're going to get into. Okay, things have gone wrong with an employee.
So now what do we do here? And we'll, we'll talk a little bit Oh yeah. Performance improvement plans, where they go wrong and, and some, uh, coaching we can do. So we'll start off with, you know, that question, where do pits go wrong? And um, and how can we do them right? And um, yeah. I'm actually this one too, to Maria to kick us off.
[00:58:53] Mariya: Yeah, no, absolutely. So I think, um, first thing is. [00:59:00] If you're seeing the PIP as a one more, like a box to tick to on, on the way to exit somebody. If that is kind of your mindset already. That's already like, you know, setting, setting up, setting up the person and yourself as the person's potential leader or manager up for failure.
It should not be, um, something that, You know, comes out as a, as a complete sort of like out of nowhere, you know, like, Oh my gosh, where is this guy? Where, where is this coming from? It should be the last resort to really make sure that you understand, the person understands like, Hey, listen, I've given you so many chances.
You should be able to look at them and point to the amount of feedback you've given them. The clear feedback that you've given them, like, Hey, this isn't going well. What is happening? You should, when you sit down with them to have a pip, you should already have these things. To be able to point back towards and then be like.
We're going to go into through this and [01:00:00] we're going to, you and I are going to get out of this together and you will be a successful turnaround. You're not going to, like, I don't want you to exit. Like you need to have that sort of mentality and bring that across to the person so that they truly also understand that you are on their side.
And it's not just like, Oh, well, we need to take a legal box because so and so like, you know, like there's a legal requirement for us to make a PIP or something like that, depending on your jurisdiction. Right. So that's the first, I think that the first hurdle to
[01:00:30] Cara: overcome there. Yeah, I would agree with you, Maria.
I felt where PIPs go wrong is if the employee is surprised they're getting the PIP. That is the most, and for somebody who's in HR, um, so I, I have to walk this kind of fine line between of. you know, what is compliance and protecting the company, right? Versus, you know, protecting employees. And, um, one of my [01:01:00] HR associates, Brianna, she, she said, when we protect the employees, you're essentially protecting the company.
Like that's, that's the route. So we always put people first. And If the PIP is, is like the first result that you're, you're thinking of due to lack of performance, poor performance, and you're doing it wrong, it's already setting off the red flag because there needs to be conversations you're having already throughout like the year, maybe during your one on ones, if somebody is not hitting their performance, and then a thorough investigation as to why.
One of my biggest things is, let's say somebody had been hitting it for months, and then all of a sudden you're seeing a really kind of a dip in their performance. Why is that? We need to do a digger deep and dive into what's going on personally. What's, what's happening? Did the job, did the job change?
Did the job description change? You know, is there a different like, uh, commission structure? Is there a different, uh, management styles? Did the manager styles [01:02:00] change? Is there something happening in the marketplace? You know, did COVID happen? You know, all these, these external factors could play a part into why somebody is not performing well.
And I think we're too quick into going into the PIP. So I actually, I'm popular opinion and love performance improvement plans when it's done correct. Um, and it's, it's because We're having the conversation, but to the point where it's like six months down the line, and if there's a PIP in front of you, the, the employee knows it's coming and they understand, and they're all on the same page.
So I would say where it goes wrong is if you're not talking about it months before you even push it out. Um,
[01:02:42] Liz: I completely agree. Thanks, Liz. Yeah, I completely agree. Um, a PIP should never be a surprise. And I think it's, it, and Kara was going into this, it's a reflection on the manager if it is a surprise.
Like, what has that manager not done? Uh. And if, you know, [01:03:00] I've not been in the seat as HR giving the PIP, I've always been the manager, but if it was a surprise, um, I would expect HR to call me and say, yo, what have you been doing? How is this a surprise? You have not been giving enough feedback. Um, so it would never be a surprise.
Transparency is super critical. The next one is clarity, and we've talked about clarity a lot, but that plan should be clear and actionable with well defined objectives and deadlines. Don't say, You're not doing what you should be doing, but I'm not going to clarify what you should be doing. That's that just sucks.
Right? Uh, and then are the other thing I'm, I'm really passionate about is our role as managers during the PIP or a manager's role during a PIP. I've seen a lot of people like, give a PIP and say, you're on your own. Go for it. But why would you pull support away from somebody that you're hopefully genuinely trying to get to improve?
Um, so, [01:04:00] managers need to be actively involved, offering support and guidance through this process. And, because it's their responsibility to help them be successful. Um, I almost feel like managers, they're not going to become responsible for it. But they need to understand the... Uh, the business impact of having to hire for a new person, or getting this person to meet the requirements of the role.
Right. Uh, completely. So, like, PIP, doing a PIP, it's not just a formality, and like, my brain... is tickled by this. It's like, well, for some managers, they're like, yeah, I want to do this and off we go. But that shouldn't be the case that there's, there's something else wrong. Um, it should be a genuine effort to help an employee grow and succeed.
And I have seen them be successful. I'd be interested to see a poll where we've seen them be successful, but I have, and they can. Like when a person realizes like, Oh shoot, this is a big problem. My job is on the line. Um, some people don't fully internalize feedback [01:05:00] along the way, but when they see like, Hey, this is a problem, but when they get the support to make it better, you can often end up with a much better, more engaged employee because they know what's expected of them.
[01:05:12] Mariya: Right. And just a quick note as well that when you are setting these targets, make them attainable and meaningful. Don't make it so that it's like, okay, well, you haven't been able to reach like 300k in a quarter. Well, now I want you in the next four weeks as part of your PIP to reach 400k in just four weeks.
Like at that point, you might as well just let them go. I'm sorry. I'm sorry if I'm doing spoiler alert or something like that. But if you are a hiring manager, if you're a line manager with me, you know, I'm going to be knocking down on your door being like, excuse me, what's happening
[01:05:47] Katie: here?
[01:05:48] Cara: I think it's, it's, uh, I feel like we're all humans.
Right. And so, Um, and, um, managers often are doing the best that they can, right? Which is why I love this community of people managing people. We're all [01:06:00] just trying to give us best practices and like share what we do. Um, so in the event that we didn't do everything that we've talked about today, like we didn't do a steady hiring and the good commissioning, you know, vision and mission goals.
We didn't do the one on ones and like the ongoing performance or the engagement throughout.
with an employee that just isn't cutting it and, um, isn't hitting expectations. And you've done the right process with talking to them and doing feedback. And you've done the PIP that is like actually attainable, like Maria is saying, and that, um, is more of a coaching plan. I love the comments here with Kristen and, um, and, uh, Deborah where it's.
Like having those conversations and yet still at the end of the day. They're just not cutting it. It's now it's time to start talking about succession and and helping them coaching them out. And I would say as somebody who has been through this process. [01:07:00] Thank goodness, I was coached out of this industry and I'm so thankful I was, we went through the entire process I thought it was fair at the end of the day, we both realized myself and my old employer, that it wasn't a right position for me.
Okay. And it was time to leave. And I'm glad I did. And it's never fun. It's never an easy conversation, but having the right training for each of the supervisors, having making sure your managers are trained to have these discussions. And later on, like they will be thankful to that they're also out of this.
Uh, this position because nobody likes going to work, failing, nobody likes going to work, doing all that they can, trying every possible thing. I remember beating myself up for like 12 hours a day, trying to be successful in this role and just not cutting it and realizing I was in the wrong, I was in the wrong role in the first place.
Right. So I personally like pips because as a personal being kind of coached out, so happy I did so happy I got out of that, [01:08:00] that position.
[01:08:01] Michael: Yeah, I really appreciate sharing that story. And I think that you're completely right. I mean, if they're done properly, and I think that point that we keep coming back to is what we want to talk about kind of next, which is, you know, uh, coaching out.
Um, and I think we we've really addressed this and talked about it, um, in a little bit of detail already. So I'm actually going to move us to the next section, which is when we call it, which is kind of what we're leading into anyway. On cars last year. So sorry, I got ahead of us. It's totally fine. I mean, that's part of the conversation.
How I guess gets into the next section. And this is meant to be a journey of one employee going through it. So, um,
[01:08:40] Cara: so I love this part. So this is what I do when situations call. So when there is a poor performer, we've tried everything. The first thing we do is look into a really getting a one on one individual development plan and saying, Hey, What is it about this role that is like areas that we're missing?
We've had conversations about [01:09:00] possible lack of training or any skill gaps there is. And you know, what is your dream goal look like? What is your dream like position look like within this company or outside of this company? And start talking about that. And the employee themselves will start to realize.
as well, that this is not my dream job. This is not where I want to be. And so having an honest adult conversation about, are you even happy here? That is, that's the first step I would say in terms of cutting ties, right? Like having a direct conversation, uh, which is. It's for some reason so hard for some a lot of managers to have like such a honest conversation or like dancing around this topic.
But why can't we just be like straightforward with it? And also, um, I would say is really taking care of this employee, right? So it's hard to find a new job, especially in this economy. So depending on I know some small companies don't have access [01:10:00] or ability to provide this, but having a really substantial Um, Um, like plan to like, say, like, Hey, you know, not just like you're done this week, but really think about like, okay, since we're, we're going to be kind of like branching, you're pushing you out or coaching you out.
Like when is, when do you foresee your last day? What would the last day look like, you know, actually have those conversations talking about that, which is not a popular thing here at HR, to be honest with you, I get pushed back a lot of my other HR people. Because they, to be a cleaner company, they terminate them, give them two weeks, and then sometimes they don't give a separation agreement.
So, um, but I would say just be honest from the start. We're all humans. We're human first.
[01:10:45] Michael: Amazing. Yeah, just, um, there was a lot there. I feel like we touched on a lot of points again, but, um, Marie, was there anything you wanted to add on to this, um, section about cutting ties?
[01:10:57] Mariya: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, uh, I'm probably just going to sound like the [01:11:00] absolute meanie of the group, but, uh, I do also want to address where sometimes you do have bad actors, uh, and how to kind of recognize the signals of bad actors.
Again, we always want to assume that people, you know, always do their best, always do their best. But. Um, I have, you know, I do have quite a few situations where, you know, we've kind of put somebody in a pit, we've really kind of, I've coached, I've worked with their line manager, you know, they received consistent feedback.
And the way you kind of see that very often, and again, this is just some symptoms, some symptoms, sorry. Um, it's not always like telling, but. If you tell them, listen, we're going to need to put you on a coaching plan and we want to make sure that you succeed, but let's work together. If they start poking, trying to poke holes in every single expectation.
Yeah, but why is my, this, why is this like that? I don't think that this is fair. Uh, I don't think that that is fair. Like, you know, Oh, this other person is not on a pip or something like that. When you're starting to see these [01:12:00] sorts of, uh, really combative behaviors. At this point, then that person is probably not engaging on, you know, kind of.
You know, best of terms, like, you know, it's not really giving it a really good go and they're, they're basically behaving a little bit like a bad actor without necessarily, you know, doing, you know, exactly like telling everybody to, you know, sod off or something like that. So the other thing that I also note is very often is that if they start talking about, uh, you know.
Oh, now, now that, you know, now that the PIP has come up, now they start having feedback about process, about their manager, about the team, about everything, like everything just comes out all at once that just has, we had never heard about before. Those are the kinds of things that very often is a defensive behavior of just, you know, somebody being quite explosive.
So if you're seeing signals like this, perhaps again, it is like Kara said, it's just maybe sometimes sometimes just to be like, Sit, like, don't, don't respect, don't, [01:13:00] don't engage, don't react to it, just be like, tell, like. Um, tell me, like, let's have a very honest conversation. These are the expectations that we have in the coaching plan.
You know, there may be kind of more entry level expectations, whatever they may be. And are you going to engage with them on, on, on good faith, basically? Because what might happen is that this person might also start bringing other people down with them. People kind of feel it. Like the team can feel it when somebody is.
You know, being kind of very external about their displeasure and things like that. So sometimes, unfortunately, you have to kind of watch for behaviors like this because people, again, coaching plans, pips, whatever we want to call them, sometimes people feel that it's a bit unfair and they may grumble, but other times they are straight up bad act.
And at that point, I actually called it halfway through a PIP, uh, one time they were on a four week PIP. I could see like zero improvement, zero engagement of it. I'm like, why are we even doing this? Yeah. Again, why are we here to tick a box? [01:14:00]
[01:14:01] Cara: Yeah. Cut it, cut it. Yeah, I agree.
[01:14:04] Michael: That's, that's, that's how long it takes.
Yeah. As soon as you see that, they're just disconnected like that. If
[01:14:08] Cara: they're disengaged, they're not trying, why even continue? Yeah.
[01:14:13] Michael: Yeah. I'm sorry.
[01:14:15] Liz: There was something that Maria said about the team and the team feeling this as well. Um, and I know that we started this conversation talking about poor performance on small teams.
Every time I've had a small team and had poor performance on the small team, the whole team knows. And one courageous person, um, if I know about it, hopefully I do, but sometimes they come and say, Hey, this is a problem that's impacting us. What are you doing about this? And. If you've been thinking about like, uh, especially if somebody's new and it's just not working like, well, they're new.
I'm trying to support them in these ways. And the team's like, no, this is not working. This is dragging us all down. This has to change. [01:15:00] That's a exceptionally strong signal. Um, like, I think about it sometimes as like, if you have an organ transplant, the body rejects the new organ. Right. Why would you want the success and the operational effectiveness of your entire team with someone that like, because sometimes we really try and make it work.
Like we, we spent so much time hiring this person, we're really trying to make it work. And there's something that someone said to me long ago, which is hire slow and fire fast. And, uh, I loved Katie mentioned today that clarity is kind, like if you combine those things and value the team's input, because the team always knows, um, that, that you can work down these paths and as everyone has mentioned, it is not a one size fits all timeline.
But I really loved Cara's explanation of, like, talking to somebody about it. It shouldn't be a surprise, but what if you were to say, [01:16:00] like, Hey, we're going down this road, but let's talk about how this can be done well together. It is very unpopular. Some people are like, no, don't do it now. Um, we lost Maria.
But, um, it should never come as a surprise. And if you can be collaborative about it, um, absolutely. So I just, I wanted to mention that the team probably already knows, uh, it's not a surprise to them. In fact, you may relieve them. Um, when it does, but also you can't tell them before that happens. Like keep that.
Um, but if the team comes to you and says, no, this isn't it, listen to them.
[01:16:37] Michael: Right. Yeah, that's a very good point. Thank Yeah, thanks for adding that at the end. Um, and we do have a couple more questions, but um, I think for the sake of time, there have been so many great q and a questions. I just wanna jump to, um, some of the questions that we have that come in.
Um, people have been asking in the chat, make sure that we address some of those. Um, I'll say now before we head into this that, um, we won't be able to get to all the questions in the Q& A, [01:17:00] um, but the great thing about this experience is that this, um, we have a community at People Managing People, so if you'd love to, um, continue the discussion.
Um, and and ask these questions. Um, we can always have that conversation in our slack channel. Um, everyone's welcome to come check us out afterwards. So let's jump into the first one that came up in the Q and A. Um, so this one here. Um, do you have any advice on how to help a new staffer understand they need to stay within their PD role and not have it seem like a power play?
And I'll open this up to anybody who wants to jump on this one.
[01:17:36] Cara: PDB professional development
[01:17:39] Michael: professional development role is what I'm going to guess. Um, if any, if the asker question asker would like to clarify, then I will let them do that. But we can assume professional development and Maria says to let her
[01:17:53] Cara: back in.
[01:17:53] Michael: Sorry.
[01:17:55] Cara: Position description. Oh, that makes sense. They stay within their [01:18:00] position.
Oh, I'm challenging this question. I'm
[01:18:07] Liz: interested in cars.
[01:18:09] Cara: I was going to say, this happens so often where, um, you hire somebody for something, but they're really interested in a different role. And so they keep them, they keep on taking other jobs or different things. That's actually not what they were hired to do.
Um, and I would say, you know, to the person who asked this question, don't see it as a power play. I think that's maybe, could be assumption that's in your, in your mind, um, but a way to like, provide them feedback, right? And just do clarity, right? Into like, hey, this, the position requires you to do these set of goals.
I am so, I'm excited. You're passionate about this other area into our industry and business. But this specific is what I need from you right now. And we could talk about like long term career pathway and growth into like, maybe that is a position you want to be in, in the future. As of now, this is a position that you've been hired to do.
[01:19:00] And just Um, play continue to bring that up in your feedbacks and your one on one calls every two weeks. That's my advice. This hop. This, this is a really great question because it happens so often. And this is one of the people, right, Liz. Yeah, we should have this.
[01:19:15] Liz: Yeah, I've been this person. Play leaf in this person.
So there's a couple things like Am I achieving the goals of the role that I'm there to do? Yes. Am I passionate, experienced, or interested in helping with other things? Yes. Does that piss those people off that own those other things? Absolutely. Um, oh yeah. So I think I would talk about like focusing on delivering that role.
And if that person, uh, is interested in, uh, using some of their talents, To contribute positively in other areas as an extra, then maybe that's a, like, a conversation with the person that owns that of, hey, I have somebody that's experienced in this [01:20:00] area, do you need any help? Because maybe they have the capacity to do that, right?
People, hopefully, people that are doing these behaviors have more capacity. So clearly, there's not enough for them to do in their current scope. So they're diving into other things, which might be upsetting other people. But find a way to, like, channel that energy, excitement, and engagement in a positive way.
And even it might require you to frame it with the people that might be hesitant to accept that.
[01:20:30] Cara: And was saying, she did say that it was viewed as micromanaging. And I would say, like, let's take a look at, uh, how we're communi our communication styles. And , maybe practice how the how you're presenting that to another fellow supervisor, or even put it on Slack of like, hey, this is like the messaging that I want to say.
To this particular employee, how do you read this? And then we could probably provide comments before your next one or one as well. And like the people managing people, because sometimes it's [01:21:00] how they receive your feedback and it has nothing to do with you . That could be every way of like how they, they actually take in communication, right?
Like the noise in between. So sometimes it's just a matter of chat GPT and changing the language and how we, we, uh, present that,
[01:21:19] Michael: you know, Thanks for building on that, Kara. We can, uh, when we jump to the next one here, um, and this one came in from Phil, which the question is, uh, when quantitative expectations aren't hit, it's very clear on how to diagnose and provide feedback.
How do you address qualitative expectations? So teamwork, clear communication, et cetera, and track those behaviors to see if things are improving or declining. And I'll throw this one out to whoever would like to jump on that one. First, I know it's a big one.
[01:21:50] Mariya: It's interesting because, again, we were talking so much about clarity and all of these things together, right?
And, you know, I completely agree that qualitatives [01:22:00] perhaps are a little bit more difficult to track, but I don't think they're necessarily impossible. So I think they require probably a little bit more of pattern, like following a bit of a pattern. That's at least my personal approach to it is that I try to look for patterns.
If let's say one, let's say for example, clear communication, and there's been one situation where somebody hasn't just been super clear with their comms, like maybe they sent an email that just wasn't very clear or something like that. I'm not going to immediately jump on. it and be like, Oh my God, what are you doing here?
It's a trap. I'm going to comment on it, be like, Hey, just a bit clear here. But if I'm seeing constant consistent patterns, at that point is when I kind of start coming in to be like, Hey, listen, we've noticed, I've noticed this pattern last kind of three emails. Everybody was left a lot more confused than when they came in.
Uh, right there, there was like a lot more back and forth than there was needed because again, whilst the qualitative expectations, the effect of the fact that then these are not being met. Right? Is very tangible. It's [01:23:00] there. Right. If they're not doing enough team, if they're not kind of doing the whole teamwork piece and all of that stuff, then there's going to be situations where either projects are not going to get delivered or, uh, things are not going to work out.
Something is going to come up or people are going to have really negative feedback towards. And that's kind of where I think it's really important for the whole team to know that you are indeed open to feedback among like people can come and talk to you about anything, including sometimes if they have some feedback around or.
are seeking advice on how to approach somebody about something. Right. So these are the kinds of things while it's qualitative, it's, you're looking for the outcomes of what is lacking. And then you're trying to kind of work backwards. Like, okay, this wasn't delivered and let's look backwards. Maybe there were lack of clear communication.
Maybe it's teamwork. Maybe it's both at the same time. And then you're noting these and then you look backwards on how to track that behavior as well. It's like, are things improving in terms of Things getting delivered on time with fewer [01:24:00] emails back and forth and all of these things, right? So you're looking for the, for the actual eventual outcomes that are being impacted.
Like the Maria, cause I,
[01:24:11] Cara: I felt this question was very difficult. Cause like, it could be dangerous to track somebody's qualitative, like teamwork communication. Cause that could be different for each person, right? We do a lot of different trainings on, I hate emotional intelligence training, so it's a different topic, but you know, like somebody who gives direct eye contact or smiles all the time is considered somebody who's like engaged or involved or part of the culture, but that doesn't, we Complete dismiss like neurodiversity and, you know, things like that.
So Phil, it's a really great question. And honestly, I don't really have a clear answer for how to track it. There's one of the things that we do is we do more quarterly performance reviews and performance reviews and. Some of the, the way that you structure performance reviews will also put [01:25:00] include like how somebody fits the values of the company.
So it's not just like, Hey, did you hit your KPI metrics and expectations, but like other areas that you're involved in the company that that elicits the values. Right. So there's one that's like an inclusion value that I have for one of my clients. How did you portray that you are inclusive to others?
Right. Um, and that could be an area where you could track it. And so it's not just like an annual review, but every three months, that's part of the questions you're asking. But yeah, tough. I don't know. I'd love to hear other other answers on that.
[01:25:35] Liz: Yeah, I've managed teams that have, like, they're not achieving metrics, it's mostly qualitative, um, project managers, trainers, those types of folks, and I found success in doing stakeholder evaluations, and this is different from a 360, this isn't, this isn't like Okay.
What are they great at? What do, what could they, what do they need to [01:26:00] improve? This is asking questions about both that individual and the team as a whole, right? It's the, you'll never know someone's general perception of you, but you always want to know. Um, so collecting feedback on these things, and I would collect qualitative feedback on qualitative experience.
Expectations also, and ask for specific examples because then as a manager, if you're receiving that amount of specific feedback, you can coach to that. And often, sometimes actually, but often you'll get one that just one that's like scathing, Oh my gosh, this person, um, talk to that person that gave that feedback first, find out what's going on and what hasn't been hit.
And, um, Try to avoid, but like, also you want to say, like, why are you telling me about this now? Why didn't you tell me about this when it started? Um, because when you start collecting that feedback, you open that door. And especially if you're a manager of someone where the people that you manage are [01:27:00] working out in the, in the company and other places, and you aren't seeing their work directly all the time.
That can be a really helpful tool to. Know what's going on and how people are contributing to the collective outcomes of the company while getting specific feedback that you can use as an input to other check ins or performance development items. Yeah,
[01:27:21] Michael: yeah. I'm, I really unfortunately have to cut it off here I there's so much great discussion and honestly there's so many more questions that are coming in and I really want to address them.
But unfortunately we've taken so much of everyone's time today so. We're going to wrap it up here. I want to thank all of our panelists again, all of our attendees again for, for coming today and spending some time with us. Um, I do want to mention, um, that we can continue this chat. We can continue. I'll bring a lot of these.
I will be sharing the recording again. I'll share the transcript. Um, And if what we can do is we can continue this, some of the discussions we're having, I'll make sure to bring those Q& A questions into the community, um, where we can continue those [01:28:00] discussions and afterwards I will also, um, share a link to the community where everyone can find us, um, and some of the things that come along with that membership, um, is discussing with experts like the four panelists we have on here today, um, as well as a few template samples and ebooks that we have available as well.
Thank you. Um, so thank you again, our panelists for being here for speaking to your expertise for sharing all this knowledge. There's so much information in here. Um, and I think that people, hopefully people really, uh, took away a lot. And we also learned a lot from some of the comments that came up in the chat.
So. Really appreciate everybody showing up and sharing. Um, and with that, I will, uh, let us all get back to the rest of our day. Um, I know some of us like Maria are probably getting ready to go have dinner if you're in a more advanced time zone than, uh, I am here on the west coast of Canada, um, but everybody else, um, enjoy the rest of your day.
And thanks again for joining us. I really appreciate it. Thank you everyone. Awesome. [01:29:00] Thank you.