Introducing REAL TALKS to improve employee performance!

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REAL TALKS quarterly conversations complement annual reviews.

Annual reviews just ain’t enough. Time to get REAL.

We ask a lot of our annual employee reviews. We measure employee productivity. We assess employee development. We gauge progress on state goals and set new ones. We also use them to compare one employee to another. Unfortunately, they don’t accomplish the most important things they should.

That’s why we developed REAL TALKS.

REAL TALKs by ReviewCloud offer organizations the perfect complement to the annual performance review. R.E.A.L. stands for:

  • Recognition
  • Engagement
  • Action
  • Learning


“Who on your team deserves some Recognition and why?”

Recognition is powerful. When given by peers and colleagues, it’s been found to be more valuable that money to those who receive it.

When employees recognize each other, we accomplish three objectives.

  1. We encourage each employee to identify those behaviors and outcomes worthy of recognition.
  2. By recording employee descriptions, we educate managers and leaders about the same.
  3. Lastly, we provide a non-monetary reward to those who most deserve it.

There are too many employees for each of them to receive appropriate recognition for their contributions. If we focus only on “top performers”, we’ll necessarily skip the majority. But since the majority of employees are responsible for most of the work, top-down recognition methods become quickly perceived as unfair.

Asking employees to recognize each other is pure. Employee identification removes the insidious political bias that so often pollutes recognition efforts and ultimately renders them pointless. It’s not “Who do you think the bosses should recognize?”, it’s who do you think should be recognized?

In the last three months, what have been your most Engaging challenges and success?

Think about the last time you were most engaged. With your work. With a workout. It probably wasn’t a time when everything was Springtime and butterflies. In fact, it was probably just the opposite. People are most engaged during times of their greatest challenge. Challenges engage us because it is only when faced with a challenge that we have the opportunity for success.

Asking about challenges and success during one-on-ones accomplishes three great thing for you and your workforce:

  1. It alerts management to challenges faced by members of the team. Granted, good managers should already know. But, it’s not uncommon for level-up managers to be in the dark.
  2. In the REAL TALK context, it puts challenging events into focus for managers and employees. They can learn from it and prepare for next time.
  3. It give employees an opportunity to communicate important operational information. Too often employees hold on to valuable information because they don’t want to “complain”. In the REAL TALK methodology, they’re expected to!. Now, they have no reasons to fear how they’ll be perceived once they report it.

What Actions are you taking to achieve your goals?

Want to direct employee action? Set goals. They’re motivating. They’re energizing. They focus individual and team effort. They’re necessary for progress.
Unfortunately, worthy goals are often displaced by hum-drum, daily tasks. If you’re not careful, your goals get pushed further down the “to-do” list until they can barely be seen beneath the clutter on your desk.
Most experts agree ensuring accountability is vital to goal achievement. Here’s REAL TALK’S solution for remaining accountable to goal achievement.

  1. They ensure that employee and manager have full visibility to and agree on what needs to be accomplished by when. This level of transparency is a prerequisite for strategy execution.
  2. REAL TALKS provide a forum for feedback. Employees and managers can discuss progress, what stands in the way of of progress and they can adjust goals if needed.
  3. Leadership can keep tabs on the overall progress of goals across the company. Rather than rely on perceptions in an engagement survey, they can see with clarity the degree to which their strategy is being executed throughout the organization.

Where can we Learn to make your job easier?

Talking is good. What deserves recognition? What is most engaging? What actions lead to success? Understanding the answers to these questions are necessary for people to enjoy their work, to become better managers and to effectively lead organizations.

That’s why REAL TALKS enable organizational learning.

  1. Individual employees learn from the “conversation record” between themselves and their managers. Quarterly conversations give employees a chance to practice effective communication.
  2. Managers ensure that expectations remain clear and effectively identify where additional attention to individual employees is required.
  3. The organization learns by comparing employees’ responses across departments. This highlights difference in goal aachievement and helps to pinpoint sources of challenge as wel as success.

When’s our next follow-up?

The critical component to the REAL TALK methodology is follow-up. Without it, everything else is is essentially meaningless.

Regular follow-up creates an institution of feedback. It becomes something each person expects, and recognizes as a necessary piece of their cultural contribution.

Luckily, ReviewCloud’s REAL TALK platform makes it easy. Not only does it support integrated calendar widgets, but it also automates scheduling and reminders.

Plus, follow-up is not limited to managers. It has become a team responsibility to ensure that each member of the team is on the path to accomplishing his or her goals. Follow-up makes the world go ’round.


So, what’s best practice?

Follow-up is necessary. So is accountability. And, there’s something to be said for annual evaluation.

Less about development, and more about measurement – the annual review has a place in the REAL TALK methodology.

Quarterly conversations recognize, engage, tailor goals and encourage organizational learning. Annual reviews provide human resources and other leadership with the formal evaluation and documentation they need to properly manage risk, make workforce planning decisions and ultimately evaluate talent. The good news is that, with a quarterly rhythm of REAL TALKS, when it comes time for the annual review – neither manager of employee or in for any surprises.

REAL TALKs Recognize, Engage and turn Action into Organizational Learning
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