Making Appraisals Work at Hilton Worldwide
The new chief HR officer at Hilton worldwide found he had to develope a performance management system from scratch when he arrived. Performance appraisals varied greatly, if they existed at all. In many companies (including Hilton), these processes are needlessly complex, are not connected to business goals, and are hated by managers and employees alike.
The fundamentals of performance management should be simple, reflected Matt Schuyler, the new CHRO at Hilton. Employees agree to goals at the start of the year, supervisors assess their progress at the end of the cycle, a good conversation takes place on how the employee is doing, and rewards are based on how the employee is doing, and rewards are based on whether the goals were met. Fixing the overly complex process involves going back to the basics.
At Hilton, managers and employees now set objectives at the beginning of the year and check mid-way to see how things are going. The system documents individual accomplishments so that there are no surprises during the evaluation. The “mid-year check in” is designed to encourage continuous feedback during the rating period. The idea of keeping things simple, focusing on the conversation, and emphasizing two-way communication has been positive; in an employee survey, satisfaction with the process increased by 37%. “The goal of performance management is to give you feedback so you can get better, not to damage you or make you feel bad, “says Schuyler.
The use of goal setting and feedback has been beneficial at Hilton Worldwide. Answer the following questions about performance appraisals.
Q. How would you evaluate Hilton’s use of mid-year assessment of goal accomplishments? Do you think it should be done more frequently or less frequently?
Q. How could an HR department help coordinate periodic goal setting and assessments of employee job performance?