At Lacoste Footwear (PCL), employee experience is seen as critical to their success. For the brand to thrive, they knew they needed a performance management method that could help every manager deliver a better experience for every employee.
Yet their pre-existing approach didn’t match up to their people-centric ideals. Paper-based systems were making it difficult to stay on top of goals, performance and career progression, not to mention making it much more challenging to assess and influence wellbeing and motivation.
The team at Lacoste needed a tool that would help them take a more holistic approach to performance management, supporting managers to have the breadth of conversation in one-to-ones that could unlock every employee’s full potential and encourage them to take ownership.
It had to be more than a tick-box performance tracking system: they wanted a platform that could actually enhance their employee experience and create a usable framework for managers.
Lacoste Footwear opted to implement OpenBlend – and the rest is history.
The OpenBlend effect
Four years (and one global pandemic) after engaging OpenBlend, Lacoste’s approach to performance management has transformed. With in-built coaching, conversation frameworks and clear reporting, OpenBlend has helped the brand tackle its most pressing performance management issues – as well as raising new opportunities to deliver excellent employee experience.
We sat down with Deborah Mowbray, Head of HR at Lacoste Footwear (PCL), to find out six key results that OpenBlend – and the broader performance management conversations it enables – has brought to the Lacoste Footwear brand.
According to Deborah, OpenBlend has really encouraged people to look more closely at their own performance. “Managers are finding it easier to have frank conversations about performance – both good and less good – because employees are reflecting on how they’ve performed.”
Real, human insight through data
Having employee performance and wellbeing data recorded and stored in one place has helped the brand to take genuine people-centric insight from data. “Our data is more qualitative now,” says Deborah. “We’re getting real human insight whereas before we had something rather impersonal.”
Eliminating proximity bias
With the rise in remote and hybrid working, the tool has been invaluable in helping senior leaders to eliminate proximity bias when discussing talent, explains Deborah: thanks to a formalised performance process, availability of data and feedback tools that help to judge success objectively.
Support for managers
“The prompts delivered on the system really help managers to structure conversations in a way that makes them rewarding and relevant,” explains Deborah, adding, “It’s so simple to use and it’s incredibly intuitive. Yes, you’ll always have some managers who need more help than others, and we make sure we’re available to support people where they need it, but that ease of use has been crucial in getting things working so well.”
The platform hasn’t just improved the employee-manager relationship – it’s had a positive impact on recognition and communication across the entire business. “I go into the tool and see the high fives that people are sending to each other… I don’t know if people would deliver that same level of ongoing recognition if we didn’t have OpenBlend.”
The real cherry on the cake for Lacoste has been a tangible improvement in wellbeing scores across the business in 2021. “We believed that great conversations would make a big difference,” says Deborah. “Seeing it all come together within one simple-to-use platform is incredibly satisfying.”