[Skip to Content]

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2020, Click to Enter The 2021 Stevie Awards for Great Employers


Category: Achievement in Performance Management




Ask Employees, Feel the Magic of Communication: If you ask the Toyota Turkey HR team “What do you put your soul into at work?” With no doubt, you would get “creating the environment that encourages and supports employees to bring their best to work.” We want everyone to feel like a CEO of their own business, when they come to work with great enthusiasm every morning. When we tried to accomplish this aim, we first recognized that we should use employees’ perception power, and we have found a very simple formula: asking employees! In this way, we can incorporate them into the business and carry the “Respect for People” which is one of the most essential values of our company to the heart of employees rather than being a frame on the wall. When we asked them about their needs, their comments and observations in the current processes, we realized that they have already created their own values and strategy exactly as we dreamed. At the same time, they have enlightened us with their expectations, so that we can serve the best menu that meets their expectations. That's how story of the Performance Development Process- which is called 1to1 was born.

Time for Change: We receive feedback from our employees about performance reviews - old traditional system- through our employee satisfaction surveys (54% dissatisfied), regular individual meetings and exit interviews (58% dissatisfied). Results conclude that performance reviews are perceived as superficial and misleading. Also informed that the traditional system was focus on too much on ticking boxes regarding annual objectives and competency developments and also it was not relevant to employees’ day- to- day challenges. The traditional performance review meetings, which are held three times during the year, focuses on how to turn around poor results. On the other hand, good results are only rewarded monetarily. Such an approach does not motivate the employee for further development, therefore leading to stagnation. As a result, run of the mill evaluation and rewarding process leaves all stakeholders dissatisfied. Employees are asking for the performance management process to be changed in order to have more purposeful conversation on the evaluation of performance and development. Ultimate goal is to help employees become more productive. Following our analysis of the situation, we concluded that it is “Time for change”. We started to dream and brainstorm with our coworkers - that is, with employees- and finalized the process and content design together.

Secondly, we removed the grading, and replaced it with a follow- up and stress- free, effective feed forward mechanism. We removed feedback and introduced a frequent feed forward model since managers have focused heavily on the importance of frequent, real- time feed forward.

Employee- manager relationships are at the heart of effective performance management and so we organized meetings where employees and managers get together every month.

As started with ‘Why’; we have emphasized that the importance of having meaningful coaching conversations to gain personal benefits for employees and managers. We applied special training to prepare managers for having more honest meetings.

We provide a clear framework for holding meeting with suggested coaching questions and responses. The rest of the content is flexible and every month we address different business and employee needs. For example; determining the alignment of employee engagement and performance development is one of our important topics. In order to make employees experience a productive and efficient “Toyota journey”, we need to understand what motivates and inspires them. In light of this, one month we announce the main topic as “Discover Your Motivators”.

They receive training on how to interpret the results of the survey correctly and effectively during the 1to1 meeting. Then, they share results with coworkers and talk about how they can keep their motivation alive and support each other to create a happier and more efficient work environment. While process stay similar, as mentioned above every month we created special topics for employees and managers.

We moved the process to a higher level which is now called “1toTeam”. We announce “1toTeam Time” ,enable an employee to get feed- forward from every team member. Following month we organized cross- functional feed- forward exchange. Throughout all processes and sessions, Toyota Turkey HR team prepares all the materials and guidelines to be used in the meetings.

We transformed the process to be more agile using latest technological advancements. We have a partnership with a company called “Mentornity” that design mentoring, management and communication programs for companies like us. The new process allows users to hold online mobile meetings, answer questionnaires specifically designed for the month by HR, take notes about meetings and rating meetings efficiency. We can measure the efficiency and satisfaction every month and make our improvements quickly in line with feedbacks.

This is a process focusing on instant feed- forward, adding purpose to their work, listening each other, realizing that they are the main owners of the process, without the judgmental effect of grading.

We are happy to be able to offer a meal that has been selected according to the tastes of the employees, marinated with a sprinkle of spices, with ingredients in consistency and compatible with each other, which is cooked with pleasure and served as its best. At the same time, we see that the employees evaluate the new process over 85% satisfaction rate and we are proud to be able to evoke the emotional benefit of the process as well as its rational benefit!

Links/Supporting documents:

1to1 Video: https://youtu.be/MLcwSozkLbI