Beyond HR: Putting insights in the hands of managers and teams

It's time to put the power in the hands of managers, and enable them to understand their teams better, and faster.

Companies have been collecting feedback data in an attempt to boost engagement and drive performance for years. But merely possessing feedback data isn’t enough if this data isn’t delivered to the right people at the right time, it can’t do more than help us understand problems after they’ve arisen.

The problem with the current process

In most companies, performance and engagement are the domains of HR. They collect data through centralized, bureaucratic processes, using tools such as performance reviews and employee engagement surveys. These processes require a lot of time and effort to set up and roll out, and, in our fast-paced world of work, their value for managers and teams is questionable. For executives, it is crucial to grasp what’s going on in their organizations and to understand why people might feel disengaged or decide to resign. But these insights are often slow to make their way to management, and it’s often too late to make any immediate use of the information by the time it comes to light. 

"Imagine your car dealership held all the data on how much fuel you have in your car, and you didn't have real-time access to the gauge, to know when you’re running low on fuel until the tank is completely empty. The same is happening when it comes to people-insights in organizations."

It’s time for a new approach

At Perflo, we believe people-related insights should be far more readily accessible to managers and their teams, and that they should be delivered much faster. After all, these are the people who work on the front lines every day; those who can make an immediate difference to an organization’s performance. They can do this by starting with team performance and team wellbeing to ultimately achieve team success. In light of this, we decided to repurpose components of HR-related tools to create Perflo. We empower managers and their teams to set up and access their own team-generated insights allowing them to make strategic decisions to tackle issues as they arise, and not after they blow up. If a manager’s team is out of sync, they need to know now — not next week or the end of the quarter. Without timely insights, managers are essentially left flying blind, unable to understand the human factors that impact team dynamics, performance, and engagement. 

It is important to stress here that the data we’re referring to is not the kind of individual performance data that’s usually used for scoring, determining compensation, and rewarding performance. We’re talking about data that represents the health of a team, its dynamics, and its blockers - this data is based on the team’s weekly feedback and suggestions, with the intention to use it to discover potential problems, collectively problem-solve, and increase team performance. 

Empowering managers has never been more important

The world is changing at an increasingly fast pace. Because the pandemic has accelerated the transition to remote work and in-person interactions (both formal and informal) have fallen by the wayside, it has never been more important for managers to find ways to keep their fingers on the pulse regarding their teams performance and engagement. Working virtually will inevitably make issues harder to notice, and will increase the likelihood of problems sneaking up on unsuspecting managers. 

As the rate of change accelerates, organizations must become more agile. Those who are able to adapt rapidly will survive; those who aren’t, won’t. To make the right decisions swiftly, managers need data delivered in real-time. They need leading data points on team performance that can help them tackle issues as they arise — not lagging data points that highlight issues after they’ve come to the fore.

This points to a new approach to people analytics — or, as we call it at Perflo, team analytics. Equipping managers with team insights is the next quantum leap in accelerating team performance. It’s a new type of tool because it’s a new type of philosophy: We measure performance not merely to evaluate team members but to empower them. 

Why this is critical for managers of project-based teams 

The need for real-time performance data is particularly pressing for managers of project-based teams. The way these cross-functional teams operate and the way they are assembled and disassembled means that they face greater uncertainty and urgency than functional teams do. As a result, a great deal of agility is required from project-based teams.   

Traditionally, managers of project teams have had access to a large body of process-related data, but not much people-related data, if any. When project teams become misaligned which they do, regularly managers usually don’t know until it’s too late. This is the primary reason many projects fail to deliver on time and within budget. 

To succeed consistently in our projects, we have to give managers and teams the insights they need to solve problems collectively, before they escalate, and to make more informed decisions. This need will only become more apparent with the ongoing shift towards project teams and away from traditional teams in our world of work. 

"Accenture, 80% of executives believe the future of work will be project-based, not role-based."

Introducing Perflo

At Perflo, we’ve created a tool that uses micro-feedback and rich insights to allow managers and teams to easily stay aligned throughout their projects. Teams can start to measure what matters, literally within 30 seconds. By integrating with the tools teams already use (Slack and Microsoft Teams) and automating team-based feedback loops. Perflo empowers teams to make data-driven decisions, and provides managers with the visibility they need to lead happy and high-performing teams. 

We believe that when managers are armed with team insights, they will not only be able to lead teams more effectively, but also make those crucial strategic decisions that have such a massive impact on an entire organization. Of course, once all of your teams are generating data, senior leadership will begin to understand the factors that drive and hinder performance — and, as a result, can begin to make timely, data-driven decisions that guide your organization towards success. 

Unlike existing analytics tools that measure performance at an individual level, Perflo focuses exclusively on teams. More and more organizations are starting to see the value in a team-based model of working from the results produced, and we believe the time is right to make the shift from individual to team

So, if you’d like to start understanding your team better, measuring what matters, and accelerating performance, request a demo of Perflo today.

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