I failed last week. It was a major failure.
It was the kind of failure that forces you to simply shut down the computer and walk away for a bit just so you can remind yourself to breathe. And while the failure would have been gut-wrenching on its own, it was a very public failure that came at a time when my team needed me the most. While I’ve experienced loss in my career before, this experience felt different. I had two choices. I could either try to forget what happened and hope my colleagues would as well, or I could reframe the situation and try to turn it into something positive.
I chose the latter. I decided to work on becoming more resilient in spite of my emotions.
The pandemic has affected virtually every aspect of our lives in ways we never could have imagined. From mandated closures to lay-offs, furloughs, and remote working, all our strategic plans were turned upside down throughout 2020. Among the many casualties are the time and resources designated for training and development. With budget cuts, office closures, and restricted travel, few organizations have delivered instructor-led coaching or supported their employee’s learning and development needs effectively.
It’s that time of year when the days become shorter and the leaves begin to change colors. And while I love the cool crisp air and pumpkin-spice everything, it is also a sign that something spooky is lurking around the corner. No, not Halloween—it’s annual performance review time. The ghosts and goblins of goal-setting past are ready to remind you what a long and exhausting year it has been.
This is a perfect year to consider an alternative to the annual appraisal. The pandemic flipped 2020 upside down, and the goals you set in January are likely unachievable or simply do not apply to the current business needs. Additionally, most performance appraisals are traditionally tied to bonuses or merit increases. If your business is not in a position to offer bonuses or merit increases this year, continuing with the traditional performance review will be like salt in the wound for high performing employees. It will be considered an exercise with no beneficial outcome. We’ve all had to pivot and identify new ways of working this year, so it’s a great year to toss out the old 5-point rating scale and find a more impactful use of your time.
This month marks an important milestone in our global pandemic experience. We’ve persevered through six months of mask wearing, social distancing, remote working, and lock-downs. Perhaps this is an accomplishment to be celebrated, as we made these choices in an effort to protect the health and well-being of our families, friends, colleagues, and strangers. These acts of kindness and care for one another have not been without consequence. Many small and mid-sized business are struggling to remain open and mental health challenges are mounting. While we should celebrate the impact we’ve made on flattening the curve and working to keep ourselves and others healthy, few people feel like celebrating. This 6-month milestone also feels a bit like a wall.
From our archives: A 256% net return on investment—it’s the holy grail of training outcomes and easier to achieve than you might think. A study conducted by Boston College, Harvard University, and the University of Michigan found that soft skills training does NOT create soft results. The study showed that even minimal time investments in each skill (5-12 hours) boosts productivity and retention 12 percent and those results last up to 9 months.Read More
“Sounds like a great plan. Does anyone disagree?” It’s a question that makes me cringe every time I hear it. The fellow introverts on the call all glance at one another to see if any of them will be brave enough to share their thoughts. And some of the extroverts ponder expressing disagreement, but weigh it against their desire to wrap up the meeting quickly and return to their growing workload. After a few seconds of silence, the leader takes silence as agreement and moves on. Weeks later when the plan falls apart, everyone wonders what happened.