We are proud of a great idea that came from managers who drove and implemented a change in our staff performance feedback model. There was universal firm frustration that the coaching feedback was not as meaningful or timely enough to be effective. This was most pronounced with our new professionals where timely feedback is needed, often, and in terms that are easy to understand and not overwhelming. The previous process was simply too long and exhaustive. As a result, the feedback wasn’t occurring often enough, and the comprehensive approach wasn’t providing the most important feedback at that early and impressionable part of one’s career.
To be proactive, a handful of managers scrapped the old process and created a new one that we now call Real Time Coaching. Real Time Coaching has resulted in providing relevant and focused feedback on a timely basis. After much discussion and review of the most important skills and characteristics found in successful hires, the management team identified four characteristics that are most important in the early stages of their development, including:
- Independent proactiveness
- Engaging interactions
- Attention to detail
Both the reviewer and the employee prepare a one sheet evaluation prior to meeting. It usually takes about an hour for each person to prepare and discuss. In addition, they discuss what is coming up in their schedule for the next two weeks and the areas that need their greatest focus. For our new staff, this is provided every two weeks, generally for the first six months of employment. After that, they come to an agreement as to the frequency of the feedback.
The results have been spectacular. In addition to the more meaningful feedback, there is greater engagement and dialogue, which builds a greater sense of belonging. Our retention has improved. We have expanded this coaching and feedback to our seniors and are looking to implement Real Time Coaching in other parts of the organization as well.