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Blog : The benefits of transparency


The benefits of transparency

By Helen Flint - Development Director

You’ve carried out your appraisals, or, as we like to call them, reviews; spending time ensuring they are robust and provide achievable actions. So what do you do with the information obtained? Do you have a system in place that helps you collate and make sense of this? If so, do you share the overall results with your people? And would you share this with the outside world?

These are questions we regularly ask our clients. In fact they are questions we ask ourselves because we use our own talent toolbox ™ system to carry out all of our reviews.

We use, and created talent toolbox, for the reason that is simplifies the appraisal process. Not only does it ensure for a rich one-to-one conversation, it automatically generates various reports to provide us with valuable data which helps us shape our business strategy. And as this information is from our people, we make sure we share the results with all; acting on any feedback provided. We’re also very happy to share our results with you – how many other providers would say this?!

The most valuable information obtained through these reviews is the ‘happy score’. Simply put, this looks at how satisfied / engaged your people are. Individuals rate how happy they are in their job on a scale of one (not happy) to 10 (extremely happy). For people to feel truly engaged we believe that organisations should be aiming for a majority ‘happy score’ score of between eight to 10.

Despite the difficult economic conditions, 91% of our people achieved this score in 2011; up on our 2010 score of 81%. If you look at these figures in comparison to those seen in our ‘Review 2011’ report, where we reveal benchmark figures taken from 32,000 employees, sadly the same standards are not replicated across other organisations. Most score 57%, which, whilst slightly increased last year, has been dropping year on year since 2007 when it was 75%. It’s therefore no surprise that research indicates fewer than one in three employees worldwide are engaged; a disappointing statistic.

We always recommend asking teams and individuals ‘what would make it a 10’ for them. This creates an opportunity for a rich discussion, plus suggestions for any improvements; ensuring you can move your people up the happy scale and have an engaged, motivated and productive workforce.

Another area of particular interest for us is culture and values. People make or break a business, therefore creating the right culture, with values that everyone can believe in, is paramount to business success. This, however, can only be achieved if everyone has a clear vision of what the organisation is about, ‘how things are done around here’ and adopts its core values.

In order to measure ourselves on this front we ask ‘How Purple are you?’ It’s an easy way to calculate engagement, and also reveal whether our people are truly living and breathing our culture and values.

Reviews also provide a great opportunity to obtain feedback from your people as to how they think you’re doing as a business. The results then help check you’re aligned with your overall mission; and gives a chance to acknowledge and celebrate successes. On the flip side, it also uncovers any issues which could be lowering your scores. The important thing to remember is to listen and take action; otherwise next time you ask for their honest opinion they probably won’t bother.

So whilst hearing about ‘improvement’ areas may be difficult, it’s vital for growth and profitability. Embrace your employees opinions; ensuring they feel safe to share this information without any negative recourse. Openly discuss their challenges and how they could be overcome; how to avoid next time. This is your opportunity to learn and grow, making your workplace the best it can be. 64% of our people admitted to facing difficulties in 2011, however we listened and supported; ensuring actions were taken so the challenge wasn’t experienced again.

I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to share this information with your people. They too take the time to provide their feedback, answering honestly and expecting action to be taken to the comments made. Ignoring this contribution and keeping the results within the senior management ‘bubble’ is counter-productive. The benefits for letting your people know the honest situation far outweigh the negatives and include:

  • Creates an open culture and dialogue,
  • Shows you listen to and value your people,
  • Employees recognise their opinion counts,
  • Acknowledging that you are prepared to act on their feedback, adapt and improve things for the benefit of your people and organisation,
  • Given a clear and honest picture of how the business is doing,
  • Demonstrates that the review process isn’t just a tick box exercise.

So whilst you may conduct reviews, can you say you share the results with all of your employees? If not, start now...

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