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We Evaluate the Performance Management System as a Set of Behaviours and Values

Selin Çiğdem Gülbay 
Marks and Spencer Turkey HR Manager 

How would you describe the performance management system of Marks and Spencer Turkey Sourcing Office in conjunction with your global structure? 

As Turkey Sourcing Office, we’re a part of Marks and Spencer’s global performance management system. Our performance system was recently changed and was designed under a concept called “Being Your Best”. The goal we want to achieve with these changes is to create a high-performance culture, hold performance meetings with quality dialogues, make it possible for everyone to do their best by providing the needed support and guidance, and therefore switch to a sustainable performance system. Determining 3 or 5 SMART performance goals, giving and receiving feedback continuously, and being evaluated under a consistent 4 stage scoring system are also on the list. 

One of the most critical aspects of performance meetings is the quality dialogue built between the manager and the colleagues. Especially, these five questions each of us will ask over and over can direct us: “Do I know where we’re going?”, “Do I know how can I make a difference?”, “Do I know what is ‘good’?”, “Am I aware of my performance?” and “Does my manager know how I feel?” 

To summarize: For M&S’ future success, it’s important to create a culture where M&S employees feel valued and are encouraged to do their best. 

What are your priorities in determining the performance goals? 

For our company, each of the goals must be SMART goals varying from 3 to 5 in number relating to the work area and determined within a framework that foresees personal development. While being goal-focused, we also make sure that the goals of all departments serve the joint goals followed by the next link. 

How do the fundamental values of M&S find a place for themselves within the performance system?

  We always hold performance evaluation meetings in the half-year and year-end marks. Aside from these evaluations, we have mutual feedback processes, and we constantly hold one-to-one meetings throughout the year. 

In these meetings, 50% of the evaluations are related to achieving goals. The remaining 50% focuses on how M&S’ 4 behavior models are integrated into these goals while the goals are achieved. These 4 behavior models are: Own it and get it done (owning the work and finalizing it), Talk straight (clear communication), All in for the customer (being customer-focused), and Make every penny count (using the resources in moderation). Thus, we can evaluate the performance management system as a set of behaviors and values. 

How do you think the pandemic affected your performance management? 

Due to the effects of the pandemic, for determining the performance goals, a more dynamic framework was created. The regular one-on-one meetings and feedback exchanges are essential tools that keep us on the right track while determining and revising hybrid working models and new goals for the changing needs. 

What kinds of elements do you have within your corporate culture that support your performance management system? 

I think we can add the Inclusion and Diversity principle to M&S’ 4 global behavior models I talked about before. All M&S employees have completed mandatory trainings on this subject. Likewise, our managers took on additional mandatory trainings that would feed their management style. These practices of M&S that feed all employees individually as well, pave the way for us in keeping the spirit of togetherness alive, which Henry Ford mentions as “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Besides, our employee satisfaction surveys include questions regarding our performance management system. Aside from these global processes, we also hold 360-degree performance evaluations for our managers that support the feedback culture. 

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