The Rollout Playbook is your one-stop shop for introducing Bridge and driving employee engagement initiatives at your company. Whether you’re launching Bridge for the first time, or reinforcing the value of certain tools, the Playbook offers inspiration, guidance and ready-to-ship resources, including one-pagers, email templates, presentation decks, customer examples, and more.
While you can introduce Bridge by highlighting features in any order, the below sequence represents Bridge's recommendation.
Bridge integrates performance management and learning in an easy-to-use application that gives learners and managers a powerful toolkit to foster employee engagement and development.
Bridge is a people-centric solution that helps you develop your employees, build and support effective managers, surface actionable insights, and drive business outcomes. Bridge combines learning, performance management, career planning and development, feedback, and connection to provide a single solution for workforce performance optimization.
What to Watch For:
- Share the "Why": You're investing in employee development and driving performance at all levels. That's good news! Make sure you're sharing why investing in employee development is important to your organization specifically.
- Introduce all available functionality: You may first prioritize certain areas of Bridge (e.g. learning or 1on1s) based on your organizations goals and needs. While it can be tempting to launch with only that functionality, companies have greater success with Bridge when they introduce all of Bridge's tools from the outset and then maintain momentum by highlighting and reinforcing various features on a regular cadence.
Help promote a culture of learning at your organization by offering a library of varied learning opportunities for employees and managers to leverage. Access to learning resources provides employees with the opportunities to acquire and sharpen the knowledge and skills they need to reach their professional goals.
Create content directly in the Bridge-authoring tool, upload existing content, or integrate with a 3rd-party content provider, like Linkedin Learning, to create a robust Learning Library. Supplement course content with Practice exercises to encourage peer-to-peer learning that's social and accessible.
During 1on1 check-ins and Performance Conversations, Managers can help identify learning plans and opportunities for their employees, enroll them directly in to appropriate learning items, or encourage the employee to self-enroll.
What to Watch For:
- Leverage Learn to train employees and managers that are new to Bridge: Bridge is the perfect place to teach your staff how to drive the performance processes you have at your organization.
- Extend learning beyond new hire on-boarding and annual compliance: A best practice for developing a culture of learning at your organization is to provide employees with a variety of optional courses and opportunities for learning.
- Communicate and set processes for authors: Bridge allows as many employees as you want to have Author permissions, which permits subject matter experts (SMEs) to create and distribute their own content. Admins who expect a lot of Authors in their Bridge instance should develop guidelines around creating, editing, and distributing content so that all Authors can work together.
The goal of an engagement survey is to provide leaders with actionable data to improve employee engagement. Asking for employee feedback shortly after the introduction of Bridge:
- Lets employees know that you’re listening and committed to learning from them
- Provides insights into what's working and what isn’t, guiding the rollout of your initiatives
- Provides a baseline to measure your progress
The engagement survey tool provides anonymous results for your organization so that employees can voice their concerns and feedback about the company. The only way to improve is to receive honest feedback from your employees, and they need to know that their feedback is confidential and truly anonymous.
The first engagement survey provides you with a baseline for measuring future improvement. A survey can be distributed as often as needed, with every three to six months as a recommended cadence. The most important thing is that you leave enough time between distributions to take action on what you’ve heard, and communicate those plans and/or outcomes to participants.
What to Watch For:
- Only ask if you're ready to act: The only thing worse than not soliciting feedback from your employees is soliciting feedback and then ignoring it. Don’t distribute a survey if you aren’t committed to learning from the feedback and doing something about it!
- Set your data before distributing the survey: When you open a survey window, a snapshot is taken of all of your data in Bridge. Make sure your users and custom fields are all imported before you launch the survey, otherwise you may not be able to slice and dice reports the way you'd like.
- Remove contractors from data: You may have users in Bridge that you don’t want included in engagement surveys, such as contractors. If that’s the case, you’ll want to create a user group that only includes those employees you’d like to take the survey and distribute the survey to that group.
- Ask "Likert" questions with engagement "Factors" to receive a Company Score: Engagement survey questions are best formatted as a statement, where the respondent provides feedback in the form of agreement, frequency, importance, etc. Explore the pre-loaded survey questions in your Bridge account to see best practice examples.
A 1on1 culture that values learning translates directly to greater employee loyalty and growth potential. 1on1s are not just manager-employee meetings—when used appropriately they strengthen the connection between manager and employee and provide opportunities for further employee development.
Employee and manager check-ins should happen frequently. Productive 1on1s focus on an employee’s successes, struggles, and career development. They create regular opportunities for continual feedback and mentoring and foster a culture of open manager-employee collaboration.
What to Watch For:
- Don’t Give Up: Changing a culture won’t happen overnight. Monitor progress by using the 1on1 cadence report, feedback from your Engagement Survey, and soliciting informal feedback to see how your company's 1on1 culture is developing and where there are challenges and opportunities to improve.
- Help Your Managers: Watch for individual managers that are struggling with the process. Managers need to know the basic values of a 1on1 culture and why it’s important. Some of them may not understand the basic framework or principles of a 1on1. Admins may need to support managers with additional training, workshops or incentives to help them adapt to the 1on1 culture. (See "Best Practice" below.)
Performance conversations introduce periodic opportunities for managers to connect with their employees, reflect on their achievements, plan for the future, and refine their career development plans.
Manager-employee conversations are critical to helping employees achieve their potential. Frequent, informal 1on1s should be complemented with more formal, periodic performance conversations, ideally on a quarterly or bi-annually basis. For best results, these conversations should take place separately from an annual compensation-related review process so that employees and managers can focus on employee growth. When context is set appropriately and both the manager and employee are prepared, performance conversations can be a motivating milestone in an employee’s career.
When it’s time for a performance conversation, Bridge walks both the employee and the manager through a simple, customizable template that encourages both participants to reflect on successes and achievements since the last performance conversation, plan for the next period, and add any other topics that may be on their minds. Performance conversations are also a great time to review career aspirations and an employee’s current development plan.
What To Watch For:
- Focus on Growth: Regardless of our intentions, traditional annual performance reviews typically focus on compensation and performance measurement. Strive to clearly communicate that the purpose of these conversations is different—growth and performance enablement. What can the employee, manager, and company do to help ensure the employee’s success?
- Build on Other Initiatives: Performance conversations will be more effective when employees and managers are familiar with the employee’s drivers, and are having regular 1on1 meetings.
- Adapt as Needed: After you begin performance conversations, monitor participation and follow up to understand what stopped people from participating. Based on feedback from your team, you may want to consider modifying the template for the next occurrence.
Encourage a growth mindset in employees by helping them surface what drives them in their career to provide them with a richer career vision. Managers will also learn more about how to better support their employees' unique career path.
Everyone in the company should complete the Career Driver Card exercise with his or her manager. Not only does this exercise help employees discover what drives their career, but they’ll also improve their relationship with their manager.
Every manager should receive either a deck of Drivers Cards or a link to the online activity, as well as training to help them guide their employees through the exercise. Employees should then add their drivers to their Bridge account so they can reflect on them, update them over time and discuss them with their leader.
What to Watch For:
- Don’t Rush the Exercise: The Career Driver exercise can take 30-45 minutes to complete and should be followed by a thoughtful discussion. Managers should set aside one hour for this exercise. Schedule the exercise when you’re able to give the employee your full attention.
- Prepare for Tough Conversations: Drivers get to the core of what matters, and some employees may be hesitant to talk about their career or drivers with their manager. However, in many cases, the Career Driver exercise can help resolve the issues that are causing employees to be hesitant. By doing the exercise with their manager, both the employee and manager can build empathy and get to know each other better. If possible, encourage managers to thoughtfully approach employees who may be disengaged and have an open mind going into the Career Driver exercise.
- Discourage Managers from Abusing the Drivers Exercise: Be aware that there may be Managers that could attempt to use this deeper understanding of their employees as a weapon against them. Alternatively, disengaged employees may fixate on drivers that highlight negative issues.
- Repeat the Exercise: As individuals and companies evolve over time, so too will drivers. Managers should repeat the exercise annually, ideally in advance of a performance conversation.
Regular and productive feedback is crucial to organizational success. When used well, feedback can help build a positive culture, develop talent, improve morale, and align teams. Bridge supports both the giver and the receiver of feedback by ensuring the feedback is timely, relevant, structured, and constructive both in terms of skills and projects.
Bridge makes it easy for employees to request feedback from managers, direct reports, and colleagues on both skills and projects. Feedback can be structured in a “Stop-Start-Continue” format or as a Skills Rating. Skills feedback can be requested by the employee or by a manager on behalf of their direct reports and pulls in to Performance Conversations, making it a great initiative to run in advance of mid-year or end-of-year reviews. Individuals can request Stop-Start-Continue feedback to improve how they approach day-to-day tasks (e.g. how they run a weekly meeting) or after an event or project.
What to Watch For:
- Consider Your Bridge Settings: Admins have the option to require that all feedback be anonymous, or to give those requesting feedback the option of that feedback being anonymous or named. Additionally, admins can limit skills feedback requests to only those skills associated with an employees current role. Consider your company’s culture as well as the goal of any feedback initiatives as you configure your settings.
- Prepare for Responses: As a manager, if you’re requesting feedback on behalf of your employee and expecting difficult information to return, you may want to consider toggling on “Manager Sign-Off” if the option is available to you. This will allow the manager to review the feedback and choose when to share that feedback with the employee so that the manager can prepare and host a productive conversation with the employee on the feedback received.
- Company Culture: Frequent and effective feedback requires a certain level of psychological safety. A minimum threshold must exist on an individual's immediate team and/or environment in order for them to feel comfortable both requesting and absorbing feedback. Research finds psychological safety and a willingness to take risks are found to be a critical factor in teamwork, team learning, and organizational learning. Before emphasizing a feedback initiative, especially anonymous feedback, consider your organization’s culture.