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Eurocontrol

Optimizing the performance appraisal process to boost exemplary behavior

Challenge

In 2012, Eurocontrol held an audit to assess how well it developed its employees. The results revealed that their people development was purely administrative and not yet very effective. One aspect that particularly needed improving was the performance appraisal process. Up to that point, Eurocontrol was only measuring “what” was being achieved but not “how” it was achieved.

So, it was important for Eurocontrol to include the ‘how’ in the performance appraisal process because the company wanted to make sure that employees did not just reach their targets, but that they did so in accordance with the company’s desired behaviors. To transform this process, Eurocontrol needed to first define “desired corporate behaviors” as a guideline for describing “how” their employees should achieve their goals.

Invitations to tender were made to find a strong training partner who could introduce and embed these new corporate behaviors in Eurocontrol’s daily work environment. Krauthammer won this tender due to its flexible approach to designing a tailor-made training program.

Solution

"Krauthammer and Eurocontrol paired up in a project team to design a unique customized program that matched Eurocontrol’s needs.

1st step: Workshops to define corporate behaviors Step one consisted of defining the desired corporate behaviors that were to be embedded in the organization. This exercise was done through intensive workshops.

To make sure that the new corporate behaviors would be shared, accepted, and practiced throughout the whole organization, employees of all different levels and business units were represented in the workshops. These efforts resulted in the definition of five desired corporate behaviors and attitudes: results-driven, readiness to change, customer-driven, teamwork, and integrity.

2nd step: Design process with stakeholder involvement next, the project team began designing a training program for all Eurocontrol’s managers. The managers would be trained to motivate their employees to work and co-operate in line with the new corporate behaviors.

A key success factor in the design phase was the involvement of Eurocontrol’s stakeholders to ensure that the program truly matched their specific context. Adriano Franchin, the leading Krauthammer consultant, proposed doing a dry run of the training with some of Eurocontrol’s most experienced managers.

This made it possible for, the program to be tested and further adjusted after the input from this first critical test group. Adjustments of some program elements after dry-run “The dry-run was a challenging exercise for myself and Adriano. However, it made the program stronger. Krauthammer incorporated the feedback quickly and adapted the program accordingly.”

DAVID ARTIEDA, HEAD OF RECRUITMENT AND MOBILITY, EUROCONTROL

The program was designed as a one-day session, opened by the top management to underline Eurocontrol’s commitment. Afterward, the five corporate behaviors were explored in depth by discussing the positive and deficient indicators of each behavior. The managers were also trained to observe behaviors, give feedback, and challenge employees to formulate action plans around those behaviors. This was done with role plays reflecting the specific context of Eurocontrol.

Results

"In early 2012, the program was delivered to 32 groups in Belgium, the Netherlands, and France.“I have a series of hard facts that prove the impact of this program. The program helped us to improve our performance process and to approach the Bell curve. After the program had been delivered, we also observed a huge increase in personal development plans. This was really incredible. We hadn’t had that before. Four years have passed since the program started, and our culture has truly changed. With a satisfaction index of above 85 %, the appreciation of this program was very high. We measured it in an internal survey which also had a very high participation rate and this again highlights the engagement and appreciation of the participants.”

DAVID ARTIEDA, HEAD OF RECRUITMENT AND MOBILITY, EUROCONTROL