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Posts tagged ‘Harvard Business Review’


Changing Ideas of Performance Assessment in the Workplace

This week I was reading an article by Tammy Erickson, an author of books such as Retire Retirement, Plugged In, and What’s Next, Gen X? She is the author or co-author of five Harvard Business Review articles and the book Workforce Crisis.

The article explained the changing environment of organizational performance assessment.  Currently in many organizations, performance assessment has been based on an individual’s performance on their individual tasks, leading to a silo effect that left people scurrying to their desks and keeping their heads down, avoiding conflict at all costs.  This form of assessment takes place one to two times per year.

This led to an understanding that it was the individual’s responsibility to do a “good job”.

Is a “good job” all that we want to ask of ourselves and the people we work with?  Is not collaboration, and sometimes conflict,

Working in teams increases ownership and collaboration

more rewarding than individual “good” work?  It is in those frustrated group discussions that true genius arises.  We are far more successful with the pooled talents of all, than with the “good” work of the individual.

In terms of assessment, peer feedback can help employees receive the feedback they need to help themselves grow, and understand how important their role is in the overall success of the organization.  Ownership and responsibility are excellent motivators!  An on-going or day-to-day assessment by team-members can lead to increased accountability and ownership.

Erickson explained that “the optimum approach for performance management in an environment that depends on extended collaboration requires that team members have significant input into the determination of contribution. There are two primary options:

1) Team-based, but with the ability of the team to choose members or throw non-performing members “off the bus,” (employed by Whole Foods) or

2) Individual-based, but with the ability of peers to assess the individual’s contribution to the success of the mission (employed by IDEO).”

No longer can employees simply work in their own little silos, keeping their heads down and dodge conflict. It’s about collaboration!

It is also understood that sometimes an individual’s work, or lack thereof can be overlooked during team collaboration. Therefore, it is important to have group feedback on individual performance.

Perhaps the most successful strategy is the adoption of a performance management approach based on peer feedback and the most likely to create significant cultural change.

Does your organization employ a specific assessment program?  How has it worked for you?


Social Media Mavens – How Women are Dominating the Social Media Scene

Not only is it imperative that companies identify their social media influencers, it is also important that they understand them.  How do the people that affect the life of a company’s campaign make decisions, and interact with others?  What are they looking for from companies?

Women are Social Media Mavens, and are crucial to the success of every campaign.

 What are social media influencers?

{The 20% of your customers who actually bring 80% of the responders to every marketing program!}

Influencers are a part of everyday life, including your social media marketing campaigns – it’s your choice to identify & engage them…or not…

Women have become the most prolific of these social media influencers, and represent 85% of all consumer purchases.  Key social

network membership is comprised of 63% women, while women pass on an average of 83 word of mouth conversations about brands/products each week.

How Women Work

Sorry men, women are still from Venus, while you are still resolutely claiming your stake in Mars, which means the genders are still very different – but this doesn’t stop us from observing patterns of behavior and letting the numbers speak for themselves!

Women are also greatly influenced by word of mouth in purchase decisions more profoundly than men (53% vs. 45%).   Think about it.  Women create close ties with other women, building social bonds that last through high school, university, marriage, child rearing, and retirement.

Relationships are extremely important to women, as they try to connect with their peers throughout the stages of life.  Weekly coffee sessions, or children’s soccer practice provides the arena for women to share their lives with others.

Marketers must realize that word-of-mouth, both in-person, and through social media, increases conversions in any campaign.  Just last night I found an online email opt-in campaign for a free sample of a hand and body cream, which is shipped straight to my front door. When I meet my friends tonight, I will definitely be telling them over lattes what sweet-smelling cream I’ll soon be

Women are Key Social Media Influencers (Mavens) to Many Campaigns.

sampling, and where they can sign-up for it as well – before it’s too late!

Through this simple share I will most likely increase social lift on the marketer’s campaign, because I am bringing in additional attendees – for FREE!  There was no media spend that enticed my friends to opt-in to the sampling campaign – oh the power of word-of-mouth!

In essence “…globally, women control nearly $12 trillion of the overall $184 trillion in consumer spending. By 2014, women will control $15 trillion.”   Marketers are just beginning to understand the significance of women in social media marketing campaigns.  They’ll be there, influencing the outcome of your campaign, its up to you whether or not you identify and channel that influence effectively.