People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 33
FIGURE 1. EMPLOYEE NODES DISPLAYING WHO HAS EXCHANGED
ONE-TO-ONE FEEDBACK IN OUR DIGITAL CROWDSOURCED
they prefer the new tools and approach to the traditional
process, we have also seen evidence that the new tools do in
fact support employee performance. For example, employees who are completing quarterly check-in conversations
are significantly more likely than those who have not to
report they "receive quality feedback from their manager"
and "know what is expected of them."
Probably most compelling for our people is the finding
that those using quarterly stretch goals and check-in conversations are significantly more likely to complete broader year-long goals. They also contribute more than their
peers, leading to significantly higher yearly bonus awards.
Our message to our people is, "Our tools will help you perform better and improve your chances for higher rewards.
Why not try them out?"
The New Regenerative Performance
Approach at Patagonia
Social Network Graph of Digital Feedback
This gave us confidence that even if we were to remove the
traditional performance rating system (which we did), our
new approach would still have more data (much more, in
fact) than our traditional process. The most important data
we have collected so far are data that support the use of
the new tools. In addition to most employees reporting that
When the new performance tools all came together,
they created a new approach we call "regenerative performance." We borrowed the term from the concept of
"regenerative agriculture" practices, which is a key strategy
in our food/provisions business profiled in the recent film
Unbroken Ground (2016). In traditional farming, the crop
(such as corn or soy) is torn up from the soil and removed,
and then new seeds are planted annually. This practice can
be costly and wasteful, and there is evidence it is not good
for the environment overall. By contrast, "regenerative
agriculture" or farming practices choses crops that are perennial in nature so their root structure can remain in the
soil year after year, which is far less destructive to the local
or macro ecosystem.
We see a strong parallel with human growth and performance. Instead of the traditional approach where we kick
off the year with a blank slate, write goals, and then do very
little until the end of the year when we deliver a detailed
and final performance evaluation, we wanted to move to an
approach that was more organic and continuous, with tools
that are available throughout the year and can be used in
VOLUME 40 | ISSUE 3 | SUMMER 2017