WD-40 CEO Garry Ridge and best-selling author Ken Blanchard got some eye-opening responses to questions they asked in a recent webinar. They were sharing some of the key points from their book Helping People Win at Work, and as a part of their presentation they conducted a survey with their audience. They wanted to find out how attendees felt about the performance management process in place at their organization and how it was impacting culture and performance.
To get at that, they shared five key questions from WD-40’s annual engagement survey and asked the audience how many of these statements they would personally agree and/or strongly agree with. Here are the questions (and the percentages of positive responses.) See how this stacks up with your experience.
In my organization/company…
- I am treated with dignity and respect. (78% agree/strongly agree)
- Employees work passionately toward the success of the organization. (52% agree/strongly agree)
- I am allowed the freedom to openly discuss an alternative point of view concerning issues at our company/organization with my supervisor. (71% agree/strongly agree)
- My supervisor respects me. (77% agree/strongly agree)
- I know what results are expected of me. (68% agree/strongly agree)
Then Ken Blanchard asked one additional question to highlight the connection between performance management and culture. After the initial results were shared, he asked, “Do you believe that you, as an employee, benefitted from your last review with your supervisor?”
Over 58% of the 500 people in attendance said “no”.
Blanchard and Ridge used this final question as a springboard to share their thoughts on what makes up a successful performance management system for employees. They identified three key components.
- Clear, agreed-upon goals.
- Consistent day-to-day coaching designed to help people succeed.
- No surprises at performance review.
The core of their message was that it’s all about trust and respect. Organizations that treat people as valued team members by taking the time to structure jobs their properly, provide direction and support as needed, and focus more on helping people succeed instead of evaluating them, are the ones that create engaging work cultures that bring out the best in people.
But does it work? That’s where Garry Ridge’s experience at WD-40 really caught my attention. After working at this for the past 10 years, Ridge answers, “absolutely” and he has the numbers to back it up.
Check out these responses from WD-40’s most recent survey on the same questions Ken Blanchard asked the audience.
- At WD-40 Company I am treated with dignity and respect. (98.7% agree/strongly agree)
- Employees at WD-40 Company work passionately towards the success of the organization. (98.6% agree/strongly agree)
- I am allowed the freedom to openly discuss an alternative point of view concerning issues at WD-40 Company with my supervisor. (98.3% agree/strongly agree)
- My supervisor respects me. (98.0% agree/strongly agree)
- I know what results are expected of me. (97.7% agree/strongly agree)
The numbers at WD-40 are at least 20 points higher in all categories and an eye-popping 46-points above the audience survey response when it comes to question number two, “Employees at WD-40 Company work passionately towards the success of the organization.”
Ridge also has the bottom-line impact numbers you’d expect with the company experiencing consistent growth over the time period and record sales for the most recent fiscal year.
How about your organization?
Strong performance management is a basic key to success but its implementation is very uneven in today’s organizations. Some companies have strong processes in place while others leave it up to the discretion of the individual manager.
What’s your company’s approach to performance management? How is it working?
If you could use a more consistent, proven approach, check out the process that Blanchard and Ridge suggest in their book Helping People Win at Work. It can be implemented at any level in an organization. To see the complete presentation Blanchard and Ridge conducted check out the webinar recording posted up at Training Industry by clicking on this link.
Good performance management is a basic to better performance. Don’t let an uneven approach create inconsistent results. Your people deserve better. Conduct a performance review of your performance management system today.