Breakfast Roundtable notes: People Ops & Goal Setting

Breakfast discussion

Learnitect and Ignite recently hosted a breakfast roundtable with People Ops representatives from over 30 fast growth tech companies including Treatwell, Google, Box, Lovecrafts, iwoca, Makers Academy and many more. We’ve written up our notes below for anyone that didn’t make it, and if you’d like to come to the next one, please email us.

// GOAL SETTING

  • There should be transparency across organization on organization, team and individual-level goals
  • Important that everyone in the business has a shared understanding of not only what the goals are, but also how the goal setting process works and expectations around them.
  • Good goal setting processes:
    • Team offsites are a great way to come up with team goals that support the organization goals
    • Process should iterate down the organisation (e.g. C-suite first, then each department)
    • Process should be short (2 weeks end to end at Lovecrafts), with the focus on doing
    • Use quarterly organization-wide meetings for each team to share progress on goals with each other
    • Link major team initiatives (and subsequent updates) to OKRs
  • Lots of companies are using OKRs, but there are a few caveats
    • These should be major points of alignment, not an attempt to cover everything
    • They should be understood as a framework for setting expectations
    • More suited to transactional roles (e.g. product), less suited to business as usual  (e.g. payroll)
    • In larger organisations (e.g. Box has >1000 people) then it can be difficult to link individual performance to company OKRs
  • Platforms for sharing goals:

// PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

  • Perks for your superstar performers:
    • Increased development support from managers (e.g., biweekly 1-1s)
    • Coaching with external coach (e.g., discussion of individual’s strengths and weaknesses)
    • Rigorous development plan with stretch assignments
  • Manage underperformers with an objective of improving their workplace experience.  If this is not possible within the organization, provide support (e.g., career coaching, networking and introductions) to help the underperformer find the right role outside of your organization

// VALUES

  • Expected behaviour is more important than “values” per se
  • Values can be tacit as long as expected behaviour is clear
  • There should be boundaries (e.g. respect / diversity), but also a range within those boundaries
  • “Micro interactions” make culture work – constant reinforcement of what everyone expects
  • “Moments of truth” such as hiring and promotion form the backbone of culture, and are most important to get right

// ABOUT US

Learnitect

We develop outstanding leadership at the world’s fastest growing digital businesses. We organise programmes that pull together high potential team leads from different companies and teach them the skills they need to be excellent managers, as well as provide them with a network of peers for continued development. We make rising stars more productive, more professional and feel more valued. More information on our website.

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