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The Pursuit of quality

One of the main challenges for small businesses facing rapid growth is maintaining the culture that helped them achieve success in the first place, and one key aspect of this is how to manage performance.  When the whole company fitted into one office, it was easier to manage performance, share ideas and give feedback.  As the company grew, systems were needed to support this process, without inhibiting their innovative and collaborative culture.

Maximo decided some kind of formal process was needed, but wanted to maintain an informal and accessible approach to managing performance.  They introduced performance review software that looked and felt like a computer game – colourful, intuitive and user-friendly.  It enabled managers to review employees in the same way they worked, as a team.  Objectives are set by senior management and all employees are then asked to set a goal for themselves, including a set of measurable objectives to help them achieve it.

All employees have regular contact with their managers to review progress and any support requirements throughout the year, and at an annual review, the whole team receives a rating on a 5 point scale (needs improvement to amazing).  Crucially this is not just based on the manager’s opinion; Maximo use a 360 degree feedback system to ensure every employee receives feedback from peers, managers and more junior colleagues to help them improve.  Pay discussions happen 2 months after these reviews so financial concerns don’t get in the way of improving performance.

Unit 6 Managing the employment relationship

Within the culture of collaboration and trust, all employees are encouraged to show leadership in their own area.  This is a key part of their success, leading to innovation and has resulted in a relaxed approach to employee relations.  Each employee has their own needs and expectations to enable them to give their best, and these requirements are agreed individually with line managers.  Two-way communication continues to be a central part of the culture.

Employees are able to email questions to senior managers, and the most commonly asked are addressed at monthly huddles, that the whole company attends (either in person, or remotely).  These huddles are also used to share information about what’s happening in the business, so employees can see where they fit in.

Journal Entry

For your Unit 5 and 6 Journal Entry you should reflect on what kind of choices Maximo have made about the employment relationship.  How could this affect organisational performance?

Your Journal Entry should be submitted to the Journal Tool with the relevant unit title. Your tutor will then provide brief feedback on your submission.

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