The impact of a HighFive

Valmet is committed to driving high performance and is looking to feedback – in all its forms – as one tool to make it happen. In 2016, we launched a new HighFive Feedback channel to give positive feedback in the form of an e-card to our colleagues for a job well done. So far around 6,500 HighFives from more than 1,500 different people have been sent worldwide.

Through HighFive everyone in the Valmet community can contribute to a feedback culture. Anyone can send a HighFive and anyone can receive one. The first set of e-cards is based on our values – customer, renewal, excellence and people – which works to strengthen and recognize values-based behavior. Additionally, all HighFive’s are sent to both the individual and his/her manager for maximum recognition.

I send HighFive’s regularly to my team. In fact, I have a task in my weekly calendar to remind me to consider whether to send a HighFive. In the past six months, our team has become more motivated and proud, after simply receiving a HighFive for a job well done.
Fabio Moreira from Valmet in Brazil

“I regularly use HighFive, but only for real highlights. I think this is a really good people-related improvement and a good tool to energize the team. HighFive’s also work to develop self-confidence and encourage people to be even more proactive in future projects. Together with the Spot Reward, this is a good tool,” says Andrei Pindak from Valmet in Russia.

“I try to send a HighFive when I have something “special” to share. In my view we should actively recognize the positive things happening around us, giving positive feedback verbally, using a HighFive postcard or something else. Positive feedback makes our working environment better. Most people are happy to get the feedback and some even send a `thank you´ email in return,” says Leena Silakoski from Valmet in Finland.


Give or get feedback – and go forward

HighFive is just one example of how we’ve stepped up our efforts to strengthen our feedback culture. We also made the mid-year review process introduced in 2015 mandatory in 2016 as a way to evaluate the status of the targets and performance expectations, talk about how things have been going and identify any steps that can be taken to facilitate performance. To complement the mandatory mid-year review and launch of HighFive, we made feedback the first theme in a manager series focused on sharing best practices. Seven managers from around Valmet gave insights and best practices on the topic. 

We also introduced a new virtual learning environment for managers consisting of 12 learning paths focused on strengthening our manager role. The Power of feedback learning path was among these, which includes a mix of videos, articles, tasks and interactive modules and is divided into three parts: Understanding the impact feedback has on performance, giving feedback and asking for feedback. In total 269 of Valmet managers spent over 750 hours on the path in 2016.   

Focus on feedback is paying off

The results of our most recent OurVoice engagement survey show that our efforts regarding feedback are paying off. Both questions related to feedback went up with My immediate manager gives me regular feedback on my performance, increasing by +6 percentage points globally, and Valmet recognizes outstanding performance by +5 percentage points. These were among the highest increases for all the questions in the survey. 

“Feedback is one of the most effective ways we have to drive performance, ensure people stay on track and create engagement. It just requires a good tool and a strong culture to support it. I’m pleased to see that HighFive is actively used and by so many people. In our most recent OurVoice engagement survey we saw significant increases in performance feedback scores – which I am confident is a reflection of the good work we are doing in this area,” comments Julia Macharey, SVP, Human Resources.

The local touch

Global initiatives are intended to be complemented locally, adding impact through a local touch. South America is linking positive feedback to values through a new recognition program run quarterly in which individuals are awarded values trophies for being role models for our values. South American management presents the awards in townhall meetings.

Meanwhile, the team in China is encouraging its people to share the HighFive’s they receive. A new program was introduced at the end of 2016 that works to showcase the type of feedback given and received as part of HighFive. All individuals who actively share their feedback are then entered into a lucky draw competition where a few prizes are given quarterly.

Read the next story: An inside look at how Valmet develops its managers