The idea of taking tools from the best of the best in high performance from such brands as McKinsey & Company, FC Barcelona, and EXOS @ Google and implementing them into your company is an excellent thought.
We all want this idea of truly getting the best out of our people, all while they love our company culture and score high on your 6-month "engagement" survey.
But what your favorite professional sports team has, and you don't, is a framework for high-performance management.
A framework in which an entire company can drive to create hockey stick growth, from here to moon, all while your people are happy, healthy, and committed to the mission at hand.
That framework for high performance is what makes LEON the perfect partner to help you build an effective performance management system.
Having this structure allows us to learn and adapt (i.e. be agile) in the fastest way possible while ensuring the well-being and safety of our teams. Let’s begin.
Each quarter will be made up of three sprints, each lasting 3-4 weeks in duration. The term sprints come from SCRUM methodology.
It is essential to acknowledge that only one sprint is planned in advance (in detail). This is in contrast to traditional planning: planning is ongoing through sprint iterations in this framework. In the "traditional" approach, planning is just one process that happens once at the beginning of a quarter. (Usually through employee goals and OKR's)
During sprints, we iterate through the plan–do–check–act or schedule–do–check–adjust cycle and rapidly adjust based on LEON Check-ins and Growth Window reporting to better understand the context and problems at hand with our team members. In short, we're using this process to quickly iterate on how best to support our key asset: our people.
Each sprint has a couple of elements:
Sprint planning – Organizational goals, team OKR's, workflows etc.
Perform, collect data, iterate – using embedded feedback (LEON Check-ins) to adjust processes instead of outcomes (using Growth Windows and Playbooks). This also involves daily standup meetings and weekly one–on–one meetings to gather continuous feedback and coach your team as needed.
Sprint review – Reviewing results/outcomes of each sprint
Sprint retrospective – Reviewing the sprint process and making adjustments as needed.
There are two fundamental concepts in the LEON framework – embedded feedback using LEON Check-ins and adjusting process using Growth Windows and Playbooks.
Embedded feedback involves utilizing weekly pulse surveys and LEON Check-ins to drive iterative decision-making. In sharp contrast to the traditional approach of managers meeting with their teams at the end of a quarter to discuss what happened and what went wrong. In the LEON framework, we seek to build real-time feedback into the sprint process, so as a leader, you can pivot, adapt and run "safe to fail experiments" to make sure the sprint is a successful one.
With the traditional approach, managers meet after a quarter to assess goals or drive conversation via one-on-one performance reviews. The problem with this approach is that we cannot use the information to affect our planning and modifications – not to mention it lacks a framework for driving decision-making that protects both company goals and the employee experience.
It is also essential to understand that the aim is to ensure the data collected is prescriptive instead of general.
This is why when viewing reporting within LEON, we break our results down into simple and actionable recommendations. So you can understand which teams need support and which groups can be challenged or pushed harder in a clear view. Plus, you will understand how your team is being impacted.
During your sprint, you'll have the power of your Growth Window reporting feature to drive decision-making. For example, you can tell which teams are struggling with their workload and which groups are primed to perform in one view.
You will be presented with either a green, yellow, or red designation for each team. We call these designations Growth Windows.
Each Growth Window is broken down by team and track. We do this because this allows you as a leader to understand employee engagement within a specific team/track and the best way to support or challenge your teams at a given time.
Pro tip: you can learn more about LEON Fields and Tracks here
This "window" framework helps managers improve the performance management process and leads to more sustainable company growth.
As we mentioned before, the LEON framework is about running agile sprints, which allow us to implement a plan–do–check–act or plan–do–check–adjust process of performance management. With the previously mentioned Check-ins and Growth Windows driving the check portion of this process, the next step is to either act or adjust the sprint plan (if needed).
That said, we want to try and achieve performance goals, and avoid having to adjust or lower the goals wherever possible.
We recommend running "safe to fail experiments" or what we call Playbooks for the teams that need it.
Pro tip: you can check out all of our Playbooks in the Playbook Library
These Playbooks range from adjusting or reducing hours, setting team or individual meetings to re-align on metrics and set goals, and even implementing something like the Coinbase Playbook we call Peak Month to increase performance and drive employee development.
With Playbooks, we provide real solutions to performance evaluation right when you need them.
During your teams' sales sprint, LEON provides you with a Growth Window that your Inbound Team and Enterprise Team are currently at high risk of burnout. Instead of emailing Human Resources and setting up a meeting to discuss how to best help your team, a Playbook is automatically recommended to you to implement a "4 Day Work Week Playbook" for the next 45 days.
Better yet, you can start the Playbook, customize it, and communicate it to your teams, in one click of a button, directly through the LEON Platform.
Some more examples of Playbooks:
Successes teach us to do more of what we did well next time. But we can often learn even more from failures: maybe one minor tweak could have saved the entire effort. In any case, as decades of experience have shown, performance improvement plans sustainably increase quality and productivity. This principle is as true in user-experience design as in assembly-line manufacturing of automobiles. To keep getting better, we should periodically reflect on our methods.
Most importantly, these retrospectives help us plan and iterate on the next agile sprint in the LEON framework process.
But how do you run a quality retrospective within the LEON framework? Well, luckily for you, we have a Playbook for just that.
Work has changed, and it's time to take on a more intelligent way of managing our people. The LEON framework is a modern, streamlined approach to driving the "future of work" that we've seen with each wave of workplace transformation.
Creating a more resilient and "fit" organization, then, isn't about providing wellness perks to your employees or bagels in the break-room. Still, it is about understanding wellness as a key performance indicator to sustained growth — and Wellness Intelligence by LEON is the best way to do that.
And like all good products, it has benefits for both parties: LEON is better for your business and better for your employees. That's because providing timely, proactive, contextualized Playbooks helps create a healthier, happier, and more resilient team of employees — that ultimately helps you both thrive.