The conventional wisdom says that performance comes down to how employees are rated and paid. But the science suggests that it’s really a matter of the quality of conversations being had.

That’s because conversation is the linchpin of performance, connecting everything from goal setting to everyday feedback to career conversations, from talent strategy down to manager capability.

Rob Ollander-Krane, Director of Talent Planning and Performance at Gap Inc.


Case Study

Cigna recently took a measured and thoughtful approach to transforming performance management. Instead of ratings, the leading healthcare firm emphasized changing mindsets and improving the frequency and quality of conversations.

The voluntary coaching program had 92% participation across 4500 managers and won a Brandon Hall award for Best Advance in Corporate Culture Transformation.

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Thought Leadership

Ratings, conversations, bias, and more.




Feedback is traditionally given and structured. This makes feedback a threatening situation — and as new experimental research shows, it’s uncomfortable for the giver and receiver.

This leads to more imprecise feedback, given less. The switch: getting to a culture of asking for feedback.

Working with NLI, Microsoft has started the journey — and it’s already creating huge changes in the tech giant.

For more Performance research, see the NeuroLeadership Journal, including in-depth scientific articles on feedback, engagement, and rewards.

From LinkedIn

Kirsten Roby Dimlow
Corporate VP at Microsoft

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