June 06, 2017

New GoalSpan Partnership with BambooHR

We are excited to announce GoalSpan's integrated partnership with a new strategic partner, BambooHR. Part of this relationship includes joining the BambooHR Marketplace and ecosystem. You will find GoalSpan's listing on this page.

BambooHR is the online Human Resources Information System (HRIS) that makes time for the work you were meant to do. We are excited to be integrated with this favored HRIS provider, because like GoalSpan, BambooHR is powerfully easy to use. Employee records added or updated in BambooHR are automatically pushed to GoalSpan every 15-minutes. Now you can avoid the hassle of maintaining multiple databases, all the while enjoying best in class software for both HRIS and Performance Management.

Click these links to take a test drive of BambooHR's Home Page or to receive a Live Demo.

May 04, 2017

Attributes of a Great Leader and Teammate

Even if you're not a sports fan, it's hard to avoid the media frenzy around the Golden State Warriors. Why are so many people attracted to what they see in this team and its exceptional players? It seems to go far beyond athletic talent, and is deeply rooted in the way they treat each other and their tenacious focus on a common goal.

Stephan Curry could easily be honored with the NBA's Most Valuable Player award again in 2017. When he was honored with this award in 2016, a press conference was held to ask him questions about this amazing accomplishment. I most appreciated the last question of the interview, which came from a young boy who was clearly a fan. He simply asked Steph Curry "What does it take to be great teammate?" The impressive thing was that Steph’s response is the stuff that we go to business school for. He answered, "That's a great question. You've got to be unselfish, know that the team is bigger than individual success. You've got to have that trust in each other. You've got to care about each other and be committed to whatever your goal is as a team. Everybody has a role and everybody has a part in the team’s success."

In four sentences he clearly articulated the critical ingredients for success:

  • Humility
  • Vision
  • Trust
  • Commitment
  • Alignment

There is a "gut" feeling many people have that attracts them to the Warriors (and especially Stephan Curry). Much of this feeling is rooted in how he answered the boy’s question at the MVP awards in 2016. He described Critical competencies are required for success, whether it’s in sports or business. Those competencies must be undergirded with a culture and core values which support the achievement of big picture vision – in this case the goal of achieving an NBA Championship. The MVP award is not the goal, but the bi-product of doing a lot of other things right.

So let's take a card from the playbook of the most valuable player, and an extremely successful Warriors organization. If we make sure we are crystal clear on our vision, values, and action plans, then we support that with the best people who can advance those core values and success is the by-product.

December 28, 2016

Performance Management: A Case for Change

A talented and skilled workforce is the key to any organization. Performance management guides employee behavior to align with organizational goals. This happens because job responsibilities and expectations are clear and lead to increased productivity. Better information results in improved compensation and promotion decisions.

The performance management system

Performance management systems help an organization with employee decision-making and employee development. Decision making uses appraisal information as a basis for pay increases, promotions, transfers, assignments or reductions in force. Performance development uses appraisal information to guide training, job experiences, mentoring and other developmental activities. These two activities should not take place at the same time. Pay discussions need to be separate from performance, training and development discussions. When these activities are combined, individuals walk away with only a memory of the pay decision and do not remember growth opportunities that were discussed.

Key traits of a successful system

A prerequisite for success is getting commitment and support by executives at all levels. This sends a strong message internally and externally about the valued behaviors. If the organization does not have a strong performance management culture, educating the executive team on their crucial role in leading the process and the importance of performance management may be needed. One way of accomplishing this is to involve key individuals in the design and implementation process. Another way is to pilot the new system with the executive team. To implement a new system successfully: communicate to all employees the advantages and rationale for a new system; train managers on the purpose of the review and how to effectively conduct one; and continuously review the process to ensure it is accomplishing objectives. 

Benefits of ongoing performance management

To create an empowered and skilled workforce companies need to go beyond reviewing employee achievements. Judgment should not be the sole focus of a performance system, but it should also emphasize ongoing support and improvement. An effective ongoing performance management process will:

• Drive business results and profitability: In order to give employees an understanding of where they fit into the company and how they contribute to the overall organization. Create company goals that cascade down through the company to individual goals. Aligning your workforce in this manner sets clear priorities and direction for each individual. It saves money and time by providing a clear path to achieve your mission. This promotes a focus on key business results and produces a financial gain which is not achieved without performance management.

• Improve management and coaching: Employees as well as managers need to understand how they fit into the big picture. This includes who and what they are supposed to manage. Allowing the manager to set goals with the employee and adjust goals as need saves the manager time. It also allows the manager to identify gaps in employee skill sets and offers a solution through consistent feedback and coaching, so the employee can achieve their goals.

• Promote job satisfaction and motivate your workforce: An effective employee performance management program will improve retention of your best employees, more quickly identify your lowest performers, and ensure everyone in-between gets the coaching, guidance and development opportunities they need to do their best work. By providing maximum opportunities for career growth there is a positive influence on employee loyalty. This also facilitates a relationship based on trust and empowerment between the employee and manager which improves overall organizational performance.


The main objective of a performance management system is to promote and improve employee effectiveness. With the support of the executive team and ongoing coaching, employees meet their company and career objectives. Performance management is an essential tool for companies who want to increase productivity and profitability. For more information on performance management, please visit contact us at

September 06, 2016

What To Do With the Broken Performance Review

Many organizations go through the pain-staking exercise of conducting annual performance reviews, and they are disatisfied with the end-result. Unfortunately, their disatisfaction does not necessarily lead to process change because they are unsure about what they should migrate to.

Companies trying to make this complicated shift are doing it without a lot of evidence on what structure is best to evolve to. In our experience, the most successful organizations have navigated this change by… 1) discussing, clarifying and documenting organizational and individual goals, 2) managers holding frequent 1-to-1 meetings to discuss goal progress (quarterly at a minimum), and 3) recording and posting goal progress notes. Feeding this data into the annual review helps it to become more of a a pre-written summary for the year, as well as a final assessment of goal achievement. The process concludes with goal setting for the next year.

It’s important that whatever assessment organizations migrate to includes both the “what” was accomplished, and the “how.” You may have a rock-star sales person who exceeds quota, but nobody can get along with him. These development opportunities should not wait for a year-end conversation.

May 09, 2016

Healthy Confrontation

One of the key behaviors of the most effective leaders is their skill at effective confrontation. People are attracted to organizational cultures where direct, authentic forms of communication are artfully coupled with high levels of trust and value of others. A best practice of performance feedback is to embody this on a regular basis. This is not a top-down approach, but one that is a “two-way street” between managers and employees. The question becomes not only how can you achieve higher performance as my employee, but also how can I support you better as your manager?

John Townsend is thought leader in the area of confrontation. He has developed 8-steps to effective confrontation listed below. This excerpt is from “Creating a Culture of Growth through Effective Confrontation.”

  1) Let them know I am “for” them

  2) State the problem

  3) Own my part

  4) Hear their side. Deal with diversion (e.g. “Let me get back to…”)

  5) Request specifically what I want. (Be hard on the issue and soft on the person)

  6) Give consequences, if needed

  7) Reiterate that I am “for” them

  8) Check back in with them within 24 hours

Avoiding confrontation means we compromise what is really important. Applying these eight simple steps on a regular basis in the workplace will lead to improved performance and engagement.

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