Why The Annual Performance Review Is Going Extinct

Employees don’t need annual performance reviews to know how they stack up against their peers says Kris Duggan on FC.com. I couldn’t agree more. At Herculean, we believe in three simple things when it comes to building breakthrough teams. They are based on The Orange Revolution:

  • WOW: go for worldclass
  • Open Communication: no surprise
  • Cheer each other to victory

When you practice open communication, everybody knows at all time how they are performing. They not only know it from their boss, but from all their peers. Read the complete article here.

Employer Branding is the new black

Improving your Employer Branding is one of the key benefits of Hercules Trophy. Hercules Trophy is not just another teambuilding. It’s an inter-company team competition. Emotional connection, the first crucial phase to start building a team is only one of the many results of Hercules Trophy.

A strong employer brand = more highly engaged employees = better service to clients = more satisfied clients = more business and more referrals = bigger bottom line.

For the past 14 years I can easily say which companies have a strong employer brand and which haven’t. Just observe the teams at a Hercules Trophy and you’ll know. Some employees are proud to represent their brand, others really don’t want to go the extra mile. By the way, these things can change year after year.

I like the Performance-Happiness Matrix of Charles D. Kerms.

I also bumped into this very interesting blogpost by SocialTalent on the LinkedIn Talent Connect Conference of last month. What’s emerging over the last 12 months (no surprise here, really) is that the employer brand is equally as important to the hiring organisation as their consumer brand. “Employer branding is the new black”, said LinkedIn. When they analysed the goals and marketing spend of 3,028 companies from around the world, the evidence was clearly pointing to a shift in priorities and results-based marketing decisions in branding their companies for hiring, not just selling.

Your performance is only as good as your people. You need to attract the right ones, and then the brand develops from the inside out. Building the company’s reputation as a great place to work serves both your talent acquisition strategy and your client sales strategy.

In Belgium we have closed a partnership with Vacature|Référence to become Title Sponsor. Why? Because they totally get the Employer Branding power of Hercules Trophy. HR Magazine and Federgon are also proud partners. Our customers get it too. That’s why 200 teams subscribed in only 4 days time and we haven’t even started yet. Seen these brand new reference cases of Adecco, Deloitte or DHL?

Individual sport vs team sport

Dubai MarathonMarathons, 20 miles, 10 miles, 1 mile,  Ekiden, mountainbike races, climbing mountains on a bicycle, triathlons, golfevents… I just love it when people participate in sporty challenges for individuals!!!

Going to sportevents, cheering for your teams, inviting customers in business seats: again, great stuff!

I love endorphins. I love people who try to stay healthy. I love people who train for a sport event. I love people who love sports. I love companies who see the value of wellbeing for their employees!

BUT. Sometimes you see fancy marketers trying to sell these events as “team building”. Please guys, give me a break and stop doing that because you are overpromising and under delivering. Team dynamics is much more than a bunch of individuals performing well in sports or watching sports together. Stick to your core business and that is: organising sport events for sporty individuals or for people who are interested in sports. And you are doing a great job by the way.

If you really want to start building a team,  this requires at least 5 people achieve something together.

No, not the 5 best runners of your company you selected and trained to win a race

No, not the 11 people you selected to form a football team for your company

No, not the top notch CxO’s who play golf with customers

…but 5 people who work with each other on a daily basis, all have their strengths and weaknesses, and are in the teambuilding activity together with a chance to win something because they are an awesome team.

Not everybody loves sport in a way all these individual athletes do (the world would be a boring place wouldn’t it?), but sport has the power to unite people in a way that little else does! You feel the important difference? If you really want to organise a sporty teambuilding, EVERYBODY should be able to participate and everybody should be able to win!

You don’t have to believe me, as I’m only in the teamsport industry for 12 years Glimlach.

By the way, I think team building is not the best word for it. Improving team dynamics is probably a better one. I like even more “Improving Wellbeing of Teams”, but for a lot of people that’s still a bit difficult to grasp.

Look at how the famous Six Sigma describes team building, but I think it’s originally coming from Tuckman. Read the text and try to find the individual athlete in there…

There are five typical stages in the team building process. Each team passes through these stages as they start and proceed through the project. The various phases of the team building process are as follows: Forming, Storming,Norming,Performing and Adjourning.

The first stage in the team building process is called the Forming stage. In this stage the team comes together and begins to formulate roles and responsibilities. The team leader is identified and he/she starts directing the team and assigning responsibilities to other team members. Most team members at this stage are generally enthusiastic and motivated by a desire to be accepted within the team. The leader employs a directive style of management which includes – delegating responsibility within the team, providing a structure to the team, and determining processes needed for the smooth functioning of the team. Towards the end of this phase the team achieves a commitment to the project and an acceptance towards a common purpose.

The second phase in the team building process is called the Storming stage. As suggested by the name itself, in this stage conflicts start to arise within the team. It is responsibility of the team leader to coach and conciliate the team. Team members often struggle over responsibilities and control within the project. The leader employs a coaching style of management which is reflected through facilitating change, managing conflict, and mediating understanding between different parties. Towards the end of this phase, team members learn to voice disagreement openly and constructively while staying focused on common objectives and areas of agreement.

The third stage in the team building process is called the Norming Stage. In this stage, relationships gel and the team develops a unified commitment towards the project goal. The team leader promotes the team and participates actively in the team activities. Team members look up to the leader to clarify their understanding as some leadership roles begin to shift within the lower rungs of the group. The leader employs a participatory style of management through facilitating change, working to build consensus, and overseeing quality control. Towards the end of this phase, team members accept individual responsibilities and work out agreements about team procedures.

The next stage in the team building process is called the Performing stage. In this stage, team members manage complex tasks and work toward the common goals of the project. The team leader supervises and lets the team lead the project on more or less an automated mode. This is the most productive stage for the project team. The leader employs a supervisory style of management through overseeing progress, rewarding achievement, and supervising process. When the project has been successfully completed or when the end is in sight, the team moves into the final stage.

The last stage of team building is called the Adjourning stage. In this stage, the project is winding down and the goals are within reach. The team leader provides feedback to the team. During this stage, team members are dealing with their impending separation from the team. The leader employs a supportive style of management by giving feedback, celebrating accomplishments, and providing closure.

You will notice that each stage of team, the team leader needs to adopt a different style of leadership. It is therefore important for a leader to understand these stages and identify the current stage that a team is undergoing. The success of the team depends on how well the leader can guide them through these phases.

I wish you all a Herculean Day!

Focus: Be great, Be Powerful Beyond Measure

“Dream, focus on the process of realising that dream, have an awesome team, build outstanding networks”. That’s my daily mantra. I was lucky to be able to make a business out of this mantra through Hercules Trophy. People dream about winning a trophy, focus on 12 different challenges, need an awesome team and great networks during the day to succeed.

Focus is easier said than done. I see many people struggle in that area. Never before were people confronted with so much communication, information, priorities and opportunities. It’s pure chaos out there if you’re not careful.

Focus!Devoured the book of Leo Babauta and I think it contains good tips to learn how to really focus. His main statements are:

1. Less is more: for many people in this hyper consumption society this is a huge hurdle. Do you really need all that stuff? Let’s hope that the new trend of collaborative consumption and co-creation will change the mindset of many of us. You need to understand what’s essential and have to lose all the rest. This requires a lot of courage if you are used to “more is better”. A lot!

2. The art of restriction: people believe that when they have everything they will be happy. In fact, when they have everything they will have a natural tendency to destroy that (ex Tiger Woods and many others). Restriction is a good thing. People become happy when they can look forward to something they can’t have yet, when they have boundaries, when they are restricted.

3.Get back to the essence and simplify: that’s another tough one. Questions that might help you: What are my values? What are my goals? What do I really love? What’s important to me? What has the biggest happiness-effect on me? What works best in the long run? Is something a need or a want? Re-ask the questions continuously. When you decide on what’s essential you can start simplifying by eliminating what’s not essential. Do it!

4. Simple focus: only spend time on the essence and become more effective. Focus on the process, always look at the positive side, concentrate, bundle your energy, do singletasking, live in the here and now, you won’t fail, really, keep practising!

5. Start new habits: by doing that, you’ll make sure that your new insights actually become part of your life. You’ll be amazed how fast you can change. Talk about your new habits to people, be inspired by others, find soulmates, report on progress, celebrate the fact that you actually learned a new habit, be proud and inspire others!

6. Start small: especially for the first new habits. Achieving small goals is easier, more sustainable, you’ll feel good about yourself. Once you get the hang of it, it’ll become easier to learn new habits faster and become the person you actually are.

These principles can be applied on anything: losing weight, doing more sports, a huge project, a new venture, eating healthy, improving the relationship with kids/partner/family,…

When I look back, I went through all these steps when I had my eye-opening experience back in 2009. It was a confronting period that I’ll never forget. It’s about PAIN!

Motivation is crucial in this whole process. I’m convinced that achievable goals will be achieved as long as you keep on motivating yourself. Focus and have patience. Many personal experiences can back these statements.

There will be many many many moments where you want to give up. Don’t ever ever ever do that. If you really want something (= essence) it’ shouldn’t be too hard to motivate yourself day after day after day. Setback after setback. Mister Babauta gives some great tips at the end of his book to keep on motivating yourself. As always: read the book to know more.

The whole process in fact feels a lot like this video: