How Fitness Australia’s performance reviews help drive the organization’s culture.
“You can’t say something drives the success of the whole enterprise unless you can tell me how it shows up in your workplace,” says Jamie Notter, management consultant and coauthor of Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World.
With that in mind, Notter and Robert Barnes, former general manager of operations at Fitness Australia, overhauled the organization’s performance reviews to clearly describe and define the desired behavioral qualities of its “Team Cool” culture. “The hardest part was actually writing the language,” Barnes says.
Here are two examples of how Fitness Australia’s performance describes high- and low-performance behavior:
Low-Performance Behaviors: Overemphasizes hierarchical or central control, either by holding on too tightly or by abdicating responsibility. Blocks others who want to exercise ownership behavior.
High-Performance Behaviors: Always seeking new ways to embrace decentralization and extend to colleagues the opportunity to speak, decide, and act in the best interests of the organization.
Low-Performance Behaviors: Overly focused on blame (or avoiding it), unwilling or unable to work through difficult conversations. Frequently reverts to what is already known or existing areas of comfort.
High-Performance Behaviors: Disciplined about having conversations that generate deep learning and not afraid to change as a result. Embraces the learning opportunities in failure.