Are you Perpetuating Gender Bias with your Performance Review Process?

Working toward gender equality is a slow grind. Gender Bias is systemic; for change to truly happen, discussions need to be front and center in business every day. Businesses need to look deep into existing processes to see where gender bias is institutionalized. Performance reviews and processes are one of those areas where the status quo of inequity becomes perpetuated.

Performance Reviews and Gender Bias

We can start to address gender bias by looking at normal business practices. Harvard Business Review published an illuminating article that identifies clear patterns of gender bias in annual performance reviews. Its author, Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio, reached a number of important conclusions about the current state of annual reviews:

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Calling All CEOs: A Case Study in Transparency

Posted on the walls of their Dubai offices, the consulting and training firm Biz Group, hangs decorative signs that say, “Supporting People’s Personal Growth,” “Believe in Your Dreams,” and “Then Make It Happen.” With interactive art spaces and an open-minded culture of transparency and curiosity, employees are vigorously encouraged to dream, think big, support each other’s visions, and celebrate the successes in their personal lives.

When I visited their offices last month, I was enchanted by their culture and their workplace. Biz Group calls their people “Bizzers,” and the central open area and meeting rooms are colorful, inquisitive spaces that looks more like a kids’ playground than a corporate office. The atmosphere of play reflects The Biz Groups’ style of using game-based strategies to help businesses grow and thrive.

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ReBoot the 360

Managing people is a complex endeavor. Given the right combination of people, interpersonal skills, cultural dynamics and motivation, a company can create a happy, productive, engaged workforce. That kind of success doesn’t happen by accident. It takes the right executed approach.

The “360” performance review concept, when first introduced, opened up a new, fresh approach to managing. By polling an employee’s direct reports, peers and even customers, gathering diverse opinions from different perspectives, a company could gain new insight into its people.

After years in practice, though, the 360 review has revealed its flaws. People providing feedback often don’t know enough about an employee’s day-to-day work, challenges and responsibilities. As a result, comments can tend to be personality-based, as opposed to a valuable additional perspective. This feedback can even be damaging and misguided

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Calling All CEO’s

I’d like to address my fellow CEOs, and issue a Call to Action: examine your core values and engage your workforce. This is important stuff. Your company values matter in a new and exciting way: they’ve become a key component of your company’s capital. It’s an opportunity to expand awareness of what your organization stands for. Especially now, core values are essential to who you are and what you do. Your identity in the marketplace takes on new meaning.

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Part 2: Ignite your Culture – How to Create a People Centered Business

Part 2: Ignite your Culture – How to Create a People Centered Business

A happy workforce is good for business. That translates to an environment where employees are inspired – where people WANT to make a difference. In this people-centered paradigm, strategists are looking beyond questions like “how can we be profitable?” Instead, they’re asking questions like “how can we be a great place to work?”

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Part 1: Can you afford “not” to have a people centered approach to Business?

Part 1: Can you afford “not” to have a people centered approach to Business?

Are we looking at business backward? Success is driven and measured in financial terms, but people are the heart of business. People matter most, and paradigms are changing to reflect that. New business traditions are emerging that value human factors side-by-side with financial ones. Employee satisfaction is as important as profitability.

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Cloning your key staff

Cloning your key staff

Every entrepreneur has at some point wished they could ‘clone’ their best team members. Faced with mounting challenges, they’ve muttered to themselves something along the lines of: “If only I could find someone else like Jane - she just gets it.”

Not literally clone Jane, but mirroring her performance and approach. The ‘chosen few’ are often just that - few. Owners prize employees who are fully engaged with the culture, committed to the mission, delivering against their goals and sharing the journey. Replicating that approach is key to scaling the business.

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A failure of culture and of courage

A failure of culture and of courage

Fresh on the heels of harassment claims at Uber, come revelations about widespread sharing and lewd discussion of photos of servicewomen in the US Marines. Different organizations, with similar institutional failings of respect and systemic bias. The Marines have a clear mission, established processes, discipline, levels of transparency unimaginable in the commercial sector, and yet tens of thousands of its staff appear to be engaged in illicit and destructive behavior.

But why?

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Become an HR Rebel with a Cause at HR West 2017

Become an HR Rebel with a Cause at HR West 2017

Let’s be clear - the stories we read about institutionalized discrimination and harassment at high profile companies like Uber, are not just a failing of management, but of HR.

Most of us don’t enter the HR field to protect institutions, post-rationalize actions, or build legal cases. We enter it to help people reach their potential. Sometimes we need to speak truth to power. When the time comes, how will you respond when careers, well-being, livelihoods and reputations are on the line?

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