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Prior to August 2014, Sears Holdings conducted a traditional performance management (PM) process: an annual and mid-year review, complete with manager-generated performance ratings and annual goal setting. In the new Performance Enablement approach, salaried associates kick off each new fiscal year by writing Individual Priorities. These priorities represent an associate’s broader key initiatives for the year, and are directly aligned to transparent business unit and company priorities. Individual associates then utilize the Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) methodology, a thought framework used by other leading organizations, to set individual objectives on a quarterly cadence. This system of tracking goals throughout the year encourages individual progress and fosters associate agility within the organization as business needs change. Associates are also enabled with a homegrown feedback tool called SoundBoard, which helps them exchange feedback any time with their manager or leadership, internal customers, colleagues, peers and partners. Feedback is aggregated in easy-to-use dashboards for individuals and managers to identify real time trends in how they are achieving their objectives. At the start of each quarter, associates meet with their managers to conduct a quarterly check-in. The check-in is an associate-driven conversation that facilitates quality discussions around what the associate was working on, how it went, and what is next with regard to quarterly objectives, growth and career development. Together, these tools and their frequency allow for stronger alignment of individual objectives, more frequent conversations rooted in a growth mindset, and a more robust perspective of associate behaviors and opportunities for adding value.
The SHC Learning and Development Council is comprised of learning and development professionals at our corporate headquarters. The Learning and Development Council was established to provide a real-time forum to strategically exchange new initiatives, key learning and other useful ideas to help unlock associate potential through programs that drive organizational performance across SHC. In 2015, the council held the following events:
- Learnapalooza 2015 - an annual event that offers associates at all levels the opportunity to focus on their personal growth and development by attending targeted learning sessions at SHC's corporate headquarters.
- Dr. Jack Zenger Speaking Event - the world-renowned leadership authority, author and co-founder of Zenger Folkman spoke at SHC's corporate campus. Dr. Zenger shared ideas on self-awareness as a key to a leader's success, understanding the importance of feedback, and discovering ways to increase accountability and service.
- Professional Development Fair - representatives from universities, SHC's Associate Resource Groups and SHC's Toastmasters were available to discuss opportunities for associates to help further their careers through education, community engagement and public speaking workshops.