For sixteen years, we at Klick have been obsessed with collecting data. Not just the “hard stuff” that every other company captures and crunches, but also the “soft stuff” that provides insights into the experiences of the individuals who work here. We are determined to use it to better personalize our processes and training. For example, if someone is doing something for the first time, we want to know this so we can assign them a mentor or a buddy. We might want to schedule a training intervention too, timed to precisely the most teachable moment.
Dan Pink, the NY Times best-selling author of Drive and To Sell is Human, believes that most people have a timeless desire for purpose, mastery, and autonomy. We completely agree with him—but we also know that what our talent feels every day is perhaps even more basic. Everybody longs to have a manager who is on their side—who provides constructive feedback and offers support.
Thanks to Genome, that dream is coming true.
Down with the annual review
Most companies have annual reviews—a cumbersome, time-consuming production that’s burdensome to managers and not very constructive for their reports, who mostly just want to know what their raise is going to be.
Up with the weekly conversation
Klick’s Weekly Review began when we realized that our data-driven systems could do a lot to improve the conversations between our people and their managers. Once a week, each team member is prompted to complete a short self-review. Upon completion, the system asks the manager to lead a one-on-one conversation, in which both parties are given an opportunity to reflect on their performance and current needs. These reviews are then distributed to additional supervisors and other relevant team members.
Why do we do this? Our goal is to continuously improve our teams. Every time we have a major learning, we want to socialize it. Every time we receive a major battle scar, we want to do all that we can to prevent the same thing from happening again without introducing the burden of extensive process. We’ve also learnt that certain behaviors are crucial for success and that it’s critical that people continue to develop every week. The benefits flow both ways—we’re not just looking to hold our employees to the highest standards, but to make sure that our managers are doing all that they can as well.
Make every manager as good as the best manager
How do we make every manager as good as our best manager? We use data-driven technology, of course, but Genome is intelligent. Instead of addressing each of the thousands of data-driven insights it is able to collect, we set thresholds that can be dialed up or down for each person, so only the most pertinent insights are triggered. The system is personalized; it knows the context for each question and when it was last asked.
Genome as coach
So how does it actually work? First, the previous week’s commitments are reviewed. Is everything up to date? Next, the employee answers questions about their personal development—their goals, their pride in their work, the obstacles they are facing, and so on.
They then they loop through each project they are involved in. Data is dynamically displayed based on what Genome thinks would be useful; feedback from other teams is shared. If a deadline has been missed, or if there is a complaint from another department, Genome flags it. Then they loop through previously-identified opportunities and threats, updating anything necessary or deferring questions to specific dates, ensuring that they won’t be forgotten.
The most critical question an employee is asked is “What is the one thing you expect your manager to help you with in order to move forward this week?” This question is not pro forma; our managers lead by example and create an environment in which employees can access all the tools they need to learn and grow.
Feedback on the feedback system
While we have built a robust and intelligent system, we recognize that it may have some blind spots. The final step in the process asks the employee and the manager to evaluate the system’s feedback on a scale of 1-10.
Between the self-assessment and the co-review, answers are provided to 50 data points covering financials, productivity, personal development, and foreseeable obstacles. The process helps eliminate politics—our talent knows exactly where they stand every week. It’s fair, it’s objective, and it’s stress-free since it’s not directly attached to compensation like a traditional annual performance review. The predictive intelligence that it makes possible reduces surprises.
At Klick, we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions and arbitrary annual timelines. We believe that our evidence-based approach to leadership increases engagement and performance.
Most businesses use data to influence consumers. We use it to improve our processes—and to invest in our talent and culture.
Before Napoléon promoted his generals, the story goes, he asked them a question: “Are you feeling lucky?” At Klick, we don’t rely on luck- we rely on data. We don’t need to ask our employees if they are ready for a promotion. We already know.
As you get to better understand Klick’s philosophy and practices, we hope that you too will begin to adopt data driven practices in your own businesses.
Are you interested in meeting some of Klick’s employee’s who have reaped the benefits of Genome? We want to know what you are doing and how we can help. Our long-term plan is to build a community centered on these topics. We are here to support you and grow with you.
We invite you to reach out today and start the conversation.