AGILE PERFORMANCE DEVELOPMENT: Putting People at the Heart of Performance Management

In photo above, a member of the Cable & Wireless Flow team talks about some of the company’s new services at a recent event held at the Hilton Barbados.

Q&A Interview: Kerry Scott, Chief People Officer and a Senior Vice President of Liberty Latin America

1. What does ‘Performance Management’ mean to Liberty Latin America?

Performance management at Liberty Latin America, quite simply, is helping people to perform at their very best.

Kerry Scott

Our new approach is aligned with our culture, we are putting employees at the heart of their personal development and growth. This means that each employee is responsible for owning their own performance and career, but it also means we need to equip our managers and leaders to facilitate and support the process.

Instead of the dreaded annual performance rating, we’re introducing a more fluid, real-time, whole person approach to Performance and Development.

This means more frequent touchpoints throughout the year between employees and managers with an aim to have impactful conversations around objective setting, performance, and career development. We are training our managers to think not only about the what, but also the how. So, instead of “what have you achieved over the last year?”, we are moving towards, “how did we get to where we are today, and what are we going to do to build on this?

We believe having these robust performance discussions on a regular basis will lead to better development and results throughout the year.

2. Why has LLA changed its approach to Performance Management?

We’ve decided to change the way we view performance management and replace a traditional system with something more innovative that removes annual performance ratings. Our lives and work is much more complex than a single grade at the end of the year.

This sweeping U.S. transformation to performance management is finally getting its long-awaited overhaul in the Caribbean and Latin American region. We believe it will be a profound positive change for our employees and it is the right time to modernize our approach.

3. What are the key elements of Agile Performance Development?

The premise of our new approach at Liberty Latin America is that more frequent touchpoints with your manager throughout the year to receive regular feedback and coaching is far more effective and motivating for people than one or two conversations per year. Our approach is based on principles that foster development and promote accountability whereby employees take ownership for their careers.

4. Has the Agile Performance Development approach been trialled in any of LLA’s other markets?

We recently launched our Agile Performance Development approach and believe we are one of the first few companies in the Caribbean and Latin America to implement such an effort. This is a unique development for the region and for the telecom industry more broadly.

5. How does the company expect to benefit from the new Agile Performance Development approach?

By eliminating performance ratings, we expect to benefit from more regular performance conversations and actionable feedback. This will lead to further development of our people and encouraging them to bring their best to work every day. Also, it boosts recognition and motivation by making it easy for employees and management to acknowledge team members on a regular basis.

6. How will employees benefit from the new Agile Performance Development approach?

Our employees will benefit from the following:

  • More frequent goal setting and identifying top priorities
  • Continuous feedback and regular check-ins allowing the employee to adjust and stay on track
  • Focus on building their capability and skills throughout the year
  • Social recognition to help increase their motivation and inspire them to perform even better
  • Real-time learning that promotes putting learning into action

7. Are there any supplemental resources to help employees and managers better understand LLA’s new Agile Performance Development approach?

Yes, we have developed toolkits and guidelines to support this approach and we’ve also rolled out training sessions where managers can hone their skills in terms of how they share feedback, offer constructive dialogue and have impactful career conversations.

8. How many ‘touchpoints’ are employees and managers expected to have during the year?

There will be four official touchpoints throughout the year that will be tracked through a software solution available to employees and managers, but we are encouraging continuous coaching and feedback outside of these four sessions.

9. How can other companies benefit from adopting an Agile Performance Development approach of their own?

Having an approach to performance management that aligns to the culture you want to create is important. Employees should be engaged and motivated to perform at their best and companies must continue to drive strong cultures in this respect. What we shouldn’t lose sight of is the ‘management’ in Performance Management. Instead of handing out grades, let’s build a more agile system. One that puts employees at the heart of their own development and holds them accountable for their performance. One that equips managers to have impactful conversations and provide robust, real time feedback and coaching. One that take lessons from the past to help shape the future.

About the Author: Kerry Scott is the Chief People Officer and a Senior Vice President of Liberty Latin America. She is responsible for oversight of Liberty Latin America’s Human Resources and Communications functions including: strategy, leadership development and training; talent management, rewards and benefits; culture and employee engagement; and management for all internal and external communications. Kerry joined Liberty Global in 2015 based in the Netherlands as the Vice President, Global Talent, Leadership and Development. Prior to joining Liberty Global, Kerry held a number of senior roles in HR across Europe and the Middle East for Vodafone, most recently as the Head of Talent for the European Region.


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