We started Crewmojo in 2016 with a vision to reimagine people management.
Work should be a place where people forge amazing relationships and get to experience the joy of being on a team with purpose. A place of growth and development, where decisions are consistent with values and the business grows through the success of employees.
Because when you get the employee experience right, the customer experience follows.
To us, this way of working just makes sense and we thought that by building a modern tech platform it would be easy for businesses to come onboard and successfully transform their people management approach.
The Hard Part
We’ve enjoyed great success in the first part - attracting an ever increasing number of customers driven by global trends in the humanization of work, increasingly flexible work arrangements, and the consumerization of workplace tech.
However, the second part which is equally important to us as a brand (successfully transforming an organizations’s approach to people management) turns out to be a lot harder than we thought.
In the last 12 months it has really become apparent that the enormous benefits of continuous performance are not enough on their own to drive organizational change.
We have discovered in most organizations there are complex dynamics and cultural ‘lock-ins’ that work to prevent change to the status quo.
These lock-ins can show up as internal contradictions, for example expressing trust as a company value but enforcing excessively controlling policies, or encouraging employees to be adaptable while locking them into annual KPIs.
I’ll come back to how we’re addressing this challenge in a moment.
What COVID Really Taught Us
We anticipated that December 2019 was going to be a quiet month for us and an opportunity to develop a Continuous Performance Transformation Program, but December turned out to be our busiest month ever which put the brakes on this initiative.
When lock down hit in March, it gave us the quiet period we didn’t get at Xmas and we got to work on a bunch of initiatives that we just hadn’t been able to find time for previously.
We’re now reaping the benefits of these projects with less stress on our team, we’re being more effective AND we have a brand new approach for guiding our customers to achieve success in their people management transformations.
In fact this forced lock down has turned into one of our greatest learnings out of COVID and something we are looking to repeat on a smaller scale each year.
By placing new engagements on-hold for a period of time we will invest focused time on projects that will make our lives easier and allow us to serve our customers better.
How We’re Helping Our Customers?
We asked ourselves a question.
Why are the benefits of continuous performance not enough on their own to drive organizational change?
When we thought about change we recognized there are two types:
- Incremental, where an existing process is iterated and improved
- Transformational, where the old process is no longer delivering the desired outcomes
With performance management, we got caught in the thinking that this is an incremental improvement to a process that already exists. On the surface it may appear as simply adding more frequent feedback conversations to the traditional annual approach - this is often what we get asked by customers when they first come to us.
However, the shift to continuous performance is a transformational change. It’s a paradigm shift from managing by ‘control and assessment’ to coaching through ‘growth and development’.
Imagine for a moment the transformation of petrol vehicles to electric vehicles - you can’t just swap out the petrol motor for an electric one. There are other vital components in the overall system such as charging stations and battery technology skills that are required for the new system to work. But to be clear, you don’t have to swap the whole system in one step. It’s possible to run experiments - like adding an electric motor to a petrol car, a hybrid.
With continuous performance we need to consider the whole system. How do we equip managers to become coaches, how will employees react to taking ownership of their performance, what will be the impact of more agile goals, how are values integrated with everyday behaviours, what’s the impact on annual reviews.
During the lockdown period we’ve developed an exciting new framework to ensure a successful transformation from annual to continuous performance.
Help Us Test
Speak to us about our new Continuous Performance Transformation Framework that brings a research-backed, systems thinking approach.
We want to put our new framework through it’s paces with businesses that might be traditionally conservative, slow to change or where there is a fear of project failure due to organization culture.
We’re looking for HR leaders that might already understand the benefits of continuous performance and have been thinking about a transformation, or may have struggled in the past to get the project off the ground.
The framework is not a magic wand and it may identify lock-ins that give such stability to the current situation, that the transformation would be blocked if not undone first. However, you will have clarity and confidence over your next steps.
Reach out to me and ask for Mark in our Contact Page - It’ll be fun!