Decathlon La Reunion is one of the 10 franchised Decathlon stores among the 1664 worldwide.
Like many leaders and managers, Thomas Lamorte, director of the Decathlon store in Saint-Pierre, considered that setting goals at the beginning of the year to evaluate performance only at the end of the year no longer made sense.
He therefore wanted to set up agile and modern management rituals, for an HR transformation in total alignment with the values of the sports equipment manufacturer: action, responsibility, dynamism, experience and team spirit. He also wanted to reinforce the idea of proximity and reciprocity not only amongst managers and teams, but also with customers.
Thomas Lamorte therefore needed an intuitive and effective digital tool to involve the 16 managers on his management team and the 150 store employees in his project to modernise HR rituals. He articulated this transformation around three main areas:
- A 3+1 approach for a relevant annual performance review
- Regular and meaningful exchanges between managers and employees
- The creation of a written culture to keep track of exchanges
The manager’s role is to make his teams grow, to make them more accountable and to help them find meaning in their work. But it’s just as important for employees to be demanding of their managers in terms of follow-up and feedback. Zest’s digital suite seemed to us to be a facilitator of exchange and feedback to achieve our managerial transformation project.
A 3+1 approach for a relevant annual performance review
On Reunion Island, Decathlon has positioned individual development evaluations at the heart of its management strategy. Thomas Lamorte emphasises the importance of listening to employees throughout the year in order to engage and support them more effectively, in real time. This process also ensures that employees’ expectations and skills are in line with the company’s needs. But for this listening to be regular and of high quality, there’s a need for an intuitive tool that all teams can use.
Listening to your employees and allowing a true reciprocity in communication is essential in an empathetic management strategy. And we know that this will have an impact on customer satisfaction because it is directly linked to employee satisfaction.
The store chose Zest for its simplicity and high configurability. At first, Thomas Lamorte, who manages the island’s largest store with between 120 and 150 employees, implemented the Check-in module of Zest’s Perform pillar.
His main objective was to set up a “3+1” approach: 3 individual performance reviews (one per quarter) which would be complemented by the annual performance review. Such an approach allows the manager and the employee to be prepared for the final annual review given the continuous exchanges throughout the year. With the support of Zest’s Client Success team, he adapted the existing framework in Zest and built quarterly check-ins based on 4 key points:
- Employee’s feelings (on more personal subjects or outside the classic discussion points in the annual reviews)
- Follow-up of the goals set by the employee and their manager
- Recognition with highlighting of the achievements (through pictures, for example)
- Accountability, with the possibility to define new objectives and goals
Regular and meaningful exchanges between managers and employees
The second step, after having tested and validated this approach with the 16 managers that trained the management team, the new rituals and exchange practices were suggested to all the employees.
These regular rituals allow us to give employees purpose and to adjust the strategy according to the business reality, as well as to the employees’ skills. They help keep the company’s goals on track.
Thanks to Zest’s digital solution, employees have become major players who define their own objectives, track their progress online by moving the cursor according to their progress, evaluate their performance and even publish photos to illustrate their achievements.
In addition, they receive dynamic feedback from their managers for real-time coaching and have the ability to involve other contributors. This allows everyone to commit to objectives that are in line with the company’s global strategy and to give real meaning to their work. The objectives are not imposed by the manager or the employee, but built together.
These constant exchanges throughout the year, based on goals defined together in terms of know-how and cross-functional missions, allow both manager and employee to avoid any surprises. They are better prepared for the annual performance review and can therefore be at ease. Everyone knows why and how the goals have or have not been reached, because they are measurable and no longer subjected to each manager’s interpretation. The framework of the interview allows them to better prepare their answers but does not prevent them from listening and exchanging, so it is no longer a matter of ticking a simple box during the interview.
To help employees grow, regular and dedicated management rituals, with real discussions regarding important or blocking points for the employee, are essential. The mandatory professional review every two years and the annual performance review are not enough.
The creation of a written culture to keep track of exchanges
Thomas Lamorte wanted to introduce a written culture to HR and management rituals, including written objectives and clear performance indicators. To implement this written culture, he chose to offer his employees Zest’s Listen and Perform modules, rather than a boring Excel file…!
The digital suite provides an effective framework for employees and keeps track of exchanges between managers and employees in the event that one or the other leaves the company.
This formalised written culture also creates a sense of importance and consideration. Employees can write down their blocking points in the discussion grid (provided in Zest’s tool) for their quarterly check-in meetings. This guarantees that these points will be quickly addressed by their manager, well before their annual performance review.
The store manager emphasises that it is essential for managers to embrace the process for a successful implementation of the new rituals. He himself uses Zest’s dashboard to monitor the frequency of use of the tool by managers and their teams. In agreement with the management team, managers are also given an annual bonus for applying the “3+1 ritual”. And above all, as a director, Thomas Lamorte leads by example.
Employees increasingly involved with the company
To further strengthen the proximity and sense of belonging, Thomas Lamorte developed a professional social network via the Share pillar of Zest’s HR suite.
He found that the tool, which can be accessed online or via a smartphone, helps create a bond and fosters communication. All employees, regardless of their department (store, administration or factory), use it to share their successes or achievements with all managers and employees.
For example, they can post a comment or pictures that their colleagues or managers can comment on to congratulate or thank them. Recognition is another way to boost employee satisfaction, commitment, and therefore performance. And Zest enables these cross-functional exchanges in real-time.