Creating the Right Employee Evaluation Rating Scale

At the heart of every organization’s employee review process is the rating scale. It’s the medium in which managers and other raters express how well an employee performs at their job, conducts themselves in the workplace, and embodies the organization’s values. It also provides a system for quantifying evaluations and generating data for succession and compensation planning.

Most HR professionals put a lot of thought into the competencies included on employee appraisal forms but too many overlook the rating scales that accompany them. The wrong scale can cause raters to misunderstand their scoring options and allows biases to creep into the evaluation process. The result is inconsistent and inaccurate evaluations which naturally hurts employee engagement and morale. 

But the right rating scale leads to every employee getting the recognition they deserve. They learn where they’re excelling and where they can improve. In this blog post, we’ll cover all things employee evaluation rating scales so you know what to consider when building a scoring system for performance reviews. 

The five-point rating scale has its shortcoming

Let’s start with the five-point rating scale since it has long been the default method for formally evaluating employee performance. It’s simple for raters to complete and allows HR to tally up a final score for each review.

The problem with the five-point scale is it lacks context. For example, each rater can have a different idea of what a “3” means on a competency like communication. It gives them too much latitude in how they interpret scoring options and opens the door for these common rater biases:  

  • The leniency bias – Some raters don’t want to be too critical so they give every employee “4s” and “5s.”
  • The central tendency bias – Other raters veer toward the middle, giving employees mostly “3s” with a couple of higher and lower scores mixed in for good measure.
  • The strictness bias – And then there are the raters who believe a “5” means perfection and gravitate toward the lower end of the scale on each competency. 

When each rater takes a different approach, evaluations land all over the map. Some employees get good marks that overstate their performance while others are told they’re underperforming in every area. And in the case of the central tendency bias, the employee doesn’t receive any actionable feedback at all. 

And if your organization uses multi-rater feedback, an employee’s scores on a single competency can end up not making any sense. When each rater gives a different score, it’s confusing and frustrating for the employee and the HR team member tasked with recommending next steps. 

Use a semi-quantitative scale with rating titles

A quantitative scale is still necessary, raters just need to know what each option means. A five-point scale that includes titles (e.g. “not effective,” “minimally effective,” “effective,” “highly effective,” “exceptional”) provides the context that a pure five-point scale lacks.

Whereas a “4” is easy to check without much thought, a title of “highly effective” means the employee is truly making a difference in that area. It encourages the rate to think before they choose a score. They may conclude the employee is doing a fine job but not necessarily exceeding expectations, so an “effective” score is correct.

A semi-quantitative scale also makes for productive conversations between the manager and employee. When the manager thinks through their ratings, they can later convey that feedback to the direct report when they sit down to go over the review results. They can say, “here is what you can do to get a ‘highly effective’ or ‘exceptional’ grade next time around.” 

Achieve proper spread in your rating scale

With Trakstar, you can customize rating scales to your organization’s liking. You can create specific titles that match your organizational values or the specific competencies employees are evaluated on. 

The key when determining rating scale titles is to achieve proper spread—or distinction from one scoring option to the next. Remember, the goal is to provide context so raters need to have a clear understanding of each option on the scale or they’ll end up making their own assumptions. 

You can achieve spread by providing additional information with each scoring option. For example, the title “not effective” could include a description of “below minimum job requirements” while the title “minimally effective” is described as “barely meets job requirements.” These extra details remove the guesswork and help raters provide accurate scores. 

Using Trakstar, you can customize the descriptions at every level of a rating scale. Our team has also created a library of 100+ fully built competencies and rating scales you can use to quickly create detailed evaluation forms.  

Other best practices for rating scales

We’ve covered that a semi-quantitative rating scale consisting of titles and descriptions will help result in accurate employee appraisals. But what else is required to create the best possible scoring system? Let’s conclude with some quick tips for creating effective rating scales:

  • Assign values to each rating scale option so evaluation scores can be calculated. We recommend using increments of 20 on a five-point scale to ensure even scoring with the highest rating option valued at 100.
  • Include a “not applicable” (NA) option for competencies that don’t apply to every employee. You never want factors that are irrelevant to an employee’s job to influence their final evaluation score.
  • Feel free to use different rating scales that are appropriate for each competency. For example, a straightforward “yes” or “no” option might be called for at times. In the case of goals, a scale of “not started,” “in progress,” and “complete” may make for better measurement. 
  • In addition to providing descriptions for rating scale options, explain what each competency means. This is especially important for behavioral competencies that aren’t quantifiable.  

Rating scales are only part of the equation

The takeaway of this blog post is rating scales matter—a lot. However, many factors go into making a successful employee appraisal process. Trakstar will not only provide you with an industry-leading solution for tracking and measuring employee performance. We also have a team of experts who will help you build a great evaluation process from rating scales onward. 

Ready to learn more? Request a live Trakstar demo today!

Introducing the Trakstar API


Today, we’re excited to announce a new feature that will help our customers get even more out of our software—the launch of our Application Programming Interface (API).

Using our API, Trakstar can communicate and share details with your other employee management and HR software. Automating data entry frees you to use Trakstar to focus on what matters most—providing performance appraisals that help your employees reach their full potential. 

Ready to connect to your favorite HR tools? Contact us to learn how to get started.

How our API works

Your organization has multiple systems that hold employee data. Manually inputting information into each system is tedious and time-consuming. And there’s the risk of inputting incorrect data or forgetting to update a particular system. 

Our API automatically syncs information between Trakstar and any connected system. Employee details like first and last name, email, manager, and employee number are pushed to or pulled from Trakstar.

Even more, our API helps your organization act on the information collected in employee performance appraisals. Your other HR systems can read details like self-appraisal score, manager score, completion date, and more.

Our API in action 

Connecting Trakstar with your other software offers numerous advantages. Let’s review some specific use cases so you can see exactly how beneficial our API will be for your organization:

  • Employee appraisal scores in Trakstar can be pulled into your HRIS and used for compensation planning. See who are your top performers and reward them so they continue to deliver outstanding results for your organization. 
  • New hire details added to a connected system automatically flow into Trakstar. There is no need to log in and create new employee profiles. 
  • Profiles for employees who are promoted or change jobs are automatically updated in Trakstar. Your employee performance management software will always reflect your actual org chart. 
  • You’ll have peace of mind that employee details are accurate, correctly formatted, and current in Trakstar and connected systems. 

Get up and running with the Trakstar API

Our API can be implemented within Trakstar but software development knowledge is required. Check out our support article that provides step-by-step instructions for granting your system administrators API keys. You can then provide your development team with our technical API Documentation that outlines everything they need to know to sync Trakstar with your other systems

If you encounter any problems as you set up the API or have questions before you get started, please contact us at

If you’re not yet a customer but want to learn more about Trakstar, request a live demo today!

Evaluating Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in Employee Performance Reviews

Think about your favorite people you’ve worked with. Yes, they were good at their jobs but that is probably not why you remember them so fondly. In all likelihood, it was the attitude they brought to work every day that stands out. Great colleagues are friendly, supportive, encouraging, and an overall positive presence in the workplace. 

Unfortunately, people aren’t formally taught how to be great colleagues. It takes years of life experience and self-awareness to learn what we can do better when working alongside others.

Using a modern performance review process, your organization can assess employees on a wide range of factors, including emotional intelligence (commonly referred to as EQ). The evaluation and ensuing conversation between employee and manager help each team member learn how they can improve at conducting themselves in a professional setting. 

The profile of an emotionally intelligent employee

Most of us intuitively know what emotional intelligence is. We’ve seen the full gamut of how people handle their emotions and understand there are right and wrong ways to express our feelings. 

But before we move forward, the official definition of EQ from Psychology Today is worth getting familiar with:

“Emotional intelligence is generally said to include at least three skills: emotional awareness, or the ability to identify and name one’s own emotions; the ability to harness those emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes both regulating one’s own emotions when necessary and helping others to do the same”

The workplace presents challenges we don’t experience in other areas of life. And given that our jobs take so much of our time and energy, we must remain level headed when things get tough. Let’s apply the three factors in the above definition to common work experiences and build a profile of an emotionally intelligent employee:


When a bout of stress inevitable hits an employee, they must stay composed and do whatever stress relievers work best for them. They should also work to resolve the source of the stress by effectively managing their time or discussing priorities with their manager. And if they see a teammate is having a hard time, they should offer a helping hand. 

Feedback acceptance and delivery

A great employee is open to how they can improve at what they do. They take feedback to heart and try to incorporate it into their work. And effective managers know how to deliver feedback in a calm and straightforward way, using examples to support their claims.


No one does their job perfectly. Employees should accept when they failed to reach a goal and avoid making unreasonable excuses or blaming others. They should also commit to learning from the experience and make strides to do better next time. 

Workplace presence

Regardless of their place on the org chart, employees should be friendly and supportive to everyone they work with. That means treating colleagues with respect and collaborating with others to accomplish common goals that help the organization succeed.


Emotional intelligence doesn’t mean unrelenting positivity. Things go wrong at work and employees should notice issues and resolve them with tact. That might require having tough conversations in a calm yet direct manner. 

Personal growth

Self-awareness and a desire to grow are cornerstones of EQ. Employees should already have an idea of how they can improve at expressing their emotions and interacting with others during challenging situations. 

Integrating EQ into employee performance reviews

Evaluating employees on imprecise factors like emotional intelligence requires a delicate approach. We recommend using a documented, HR-lead performance review process where employees are evaluated on a range of competencies, including the following EQ-focused criteria: 

  • Communication – Assess an employee’s ability to voice reasonable concerns or have other challenging conversations in a healthy way. 
  • Collaboration – Ensure employees are willing to work with direct team members and colleagues from other departments to accomplish broad organizational objectives. 
  • Attitude – Evaluate how receptive employees are to direction and feedback, as well as how they deal with stressful situations. 
  • Interpersonal skillsEven though you have introverted employees, make sure team members are kind to each other and make the workplace a pleasant environment. 
  • Culture adherenceIf you have specific organizational values, consider how well employees embody each one. 

Additionally, you should create an employee performance review process that emphasizes emotional intelligence. The points below will help you evaluate EQ from all angles: 

  • Consider 360-degree evaluations – Collect feedback from colleagues, direct reports, and other people each employee works with so you get a thorough assessment of their EQ.
  • Use self-assessments – Ask employees to evaluate themselves so you learn if they’re aware of their emotional strengths and weaknesses and what personal strides they’re making.
  • Praise EQ like you would job performance – Instead of only calling out great work, also publicly recognize when employees navigate tough situations or go out of their way to help a colleague. 

Bring emotional brilliance to your workforce

The simple act of including EQ factors in your performance reviews will help each employee consider if they’re the best person they can be in the workplace. They’ll see your organization values emotional intelligence as much as job performance and will harness all their feelings into productive and supportive energy. 

Trakstar Receives Three Awards from FinancesOnline

Big news! We’re excited to share that Trakstar has been recognized for being a leader in the employee performance management industry. FinancesOnline has presented us with their Expert’s Choice 2019, Great User Experience 2019, and Supreme Software 2019 awards in the performance appraisal software category.

FinancesOnline is the fastest-growing independent review platform for B2B SaaS solutions. Their annual awards are given “only to top B2B products and represents the highest possible level of service.” With thousands of vendors listed on their site, including every major player in the performance management software industry, this recognition is high praise. 

It has been a banner year for us here at Trakstar. We’ve continued to build on what is already a robust and user-friendly performance appraisal platform that includes the following features:

  • Customizable rating scales and competencies that allow you to match an employee’s evaluation to their real-world job responsibilities.  
  • The ability to set, track, and manage SMART goals at every level of your organization.
  • 360-degree reviews, self-appraisals, on-going feedback, and other functionality that make for better performance management.
  • Surveys and polls that give you deep insight into employee engagement throughout the organization. 
  • A responsive, friendly, and knowledgeable support team made up of product experts.

These are only a few of the many features that set Trakstar apart for your other performance management software options. Request a live demo today and see for yourself why FinancesOnline—and countless companies—love Trakstar.

Performance Management Helps Retain Talent

Employees have more job options than ever and there are an increasing number of individuals who see job hopping as an opportunity for fulfillment and career growth. In this current climate of increased employee turnover, it’s more important than ever to have an organization that is laser focused on managing the performance of its workers while making sure that they feel like they have a voice within the organization

Set goals

In order to combat the increased frequency of employee turnover you need to have a solid plan when it comes to the performance management of your team. Setting healthy goals (that align with the strategic plan of your organization) for your employee’s and giving them a plan of action to achieve them will go a long way in keeping them engaged, and in making sure that they know their work actually matters to the overall health of the company.  Providing measurements or mile markers on the way to attainment of these goals can also help employees track smaller wins along the way and give managers insight into how employees are progressing towards these goals.

Keep coaching and feedback consistent

Aside from having an overall plan to execute on, coaching and feedback is the most important piece of the performance management puzzle that is often overlooked.  Employees can feel disengaged from their work and invisible to management due to a lack of ongoing discussion surrounding their performance and goals. Whether that conversation is constructed around recent wins or details on areas that need improvement, this type of ongoing discourse being a priority will have positive implications on the organization; having a continuous open dialogue to address any issues, maintain consistent feedback and coaching, and ensure employee satisfaction is a key factor in retaining great talent.

Pulse check with performance reviews

Maintaining a schedule for performance reviews throughout the year will also help keep managers and employees accountable to one another and create more opportunities to find meaning in the performance management process as a whole. This is a time for reflection on what has worked, discussions about what could have been done better, and making sure everyone is aligned to the overarching goals of the company.  Performance reviews are an excellent way to do a pulse check throughout the year and make sure that employees are taking ownership of their work and staying engaged; when employees are engaged in their work they are less likely to look for opportunities elsewhere.

Challenge your employees

Creating a culture that values tackling new challenges and allows employees to stretch themselves professionally will keep them engaged in their work as well.  When employees don’t feel challenged with their work and feel as though they are coasting through the day can leave them searching outside the organization for new opportunities.  This is an area where the performance management process can shine and recognize the need for new challenges allowing managers to be proactive and offer new projects for eager employees to take on or even expand current roles enabling an individual to gain more skills.

Your system should be flexible

Performance management is a fluid process with many moving parts and gets more complex the larger the company. That’s why it is crucial to have a performance management system in place that gives you structure, but also remains flexible and is amenable to the culture of your company.  Each section within the system should be connected and make the whole process seamless and efficient for the entire organization. Ease of use is of utmost importance for the system to be effective, especially among today’s millennial-driven, tech-savvy workforce. They will want access to all this information on the go through mobile phones and have the same user-friendly experience as they would on a computer.

Raise the bar

Organizations should strive to raise the performance of individuals and teams, so business processes continue to improve, and the bar is continually raised on individual performance and employee skills improve in the process.  Performance management systems help in this process by focusing on goal clarity, defining expectations, and keeping the dialogue open for managers and employees. This process is very important and makes for a company culture that continues to improve and grow

If we want to retain great employees and help them find success within our organizations along the way, we need to make sure they feel valued.  Value can come in different forms and great performance management platforms give us the chance to bring this value directly to our entire workforce in positive ways that leave employees motivated, engaged, and ready to take on whatever goals lie ahead.

Performance Management vs Performance Reviews

There are countless podcasts and articles out there that shed light on the negative feelings that can be associated with the performance review process. Most of us can probably relate to this feeling at some point in our careers. Most of us can also probably see the need for a performance review. Imagine if we all saw our performance reviews as a welcome guest, as an opportunity for growth and career development. With a slight shift in process and paradigm, you and your team can reap the benefits of a review process done well. 

Over the years, there have been many shifts in how companies are doing performance reviews. Some well-known companies even stopped doing performance reviews altogether. Most have since reinstated reviews and have shifted their focus on to the process of coaching, and ongoing feedback throughout the year.

Initially, they made these changes because of the negative feelings that can be associated with the performance review process. Most of us can probably relate to this feeling at some point in our careers. Most of us can also probably see the need for a performance review. Imagine if we all saw our performance reviews as a welcome guest, as an opportunity for growth and career development.

So, with a slight shift in process and paradigm, you and your team can reap the benefits of a review process done well. 

Let’s take a look at some ways to create a healthy and holistic approach to your review process!

A better way

Performance appraisals are a way to evaluate the progress being made by assessing and measuring the employee’s performance over time. Performance management is the process of identifying, measuring, managing and developing the performance of the employees within your organization. 

A holistic approach to performance management should consist of both performance reviews and performance management. Performance management when done well offers both employees and managers a clear path of professional development, self-empowerment, and a better sense of alignment with the overarching goals of your company. 

This modern-day approach to performance management results in higher levels of employee engagement, employee satisfaction, retention rates, and increases overall productivity. Research has found that helping employees reach their full potential the organization as a whole will benefit from a fiscal and cultural level. 

Communication is key to engagement 

One of the reasons we commonly hear people dreading their review is due to a lack of ongoing communication and feedback leading up to the review itself. The longer we go between conversations, the more difficult and less fruitful they can seem.

Now that we know better, it’s time to do better. Many organizations find success with weekly check-ins between managers and their direct reports. With the right process in place, these check-ins can be painless and meaningful for both employees and managers.   

Even if managers have only 15 minutes to connect with each employee, imagine how much more effective their time could be with a bit more context collected beforehand. Gathering continuous feedback and identifying barriers will help managers make informed decisions that will create a more effective and efficient team culture.

Coach your team’s strengths 

Ideally, your employees should feel empowered to share their vulnerabilities and grow from those moments. Additionally, managers should feel confident enough in their own strengths to help provide meaningful coaching tips to their team. If your managers aren’t here yet, don’t fret! There is a wealth of information out there to help get them up to speed.

With weekly manager check-in’s we should be able to identify areas of focus for growth and development. Now that we have collected a bit more context with our weekly 1:1’s let’s utilize this information as an opportunity to foster a richer learning environment. 

Work with your team to develop their professional goals. Encourage employees to set goals that align with your company’s strategic goals. This helps employees better identify and understand how their day to day activities funnel into the bigger picture, increasing intrinsic motivation.

Learn to grow and grow to learn

With a bit of effort and some behavioral coaching, your organization can reap the benefits of a solid performance management process. Changing behaviors takes time, it is an ongoing process consisting of actions and accountability. 

Just like all other things in life, we get better with commitment and regular practice over time. Talk to your leadership team to learn what this process might look like your company, then grow it by following the tips provided in this article. 

Curious to learn more? 

Check out these articles on performance management or reach out to our team for a free live demo.

Tips for Reviewing Appraisals with Your Team

So you’ve done it. You’ve spent the past year working closely with your team, giving them feedback and working towards long term goals. You’ve documented that feedback and have specific, concrete examples of what your team does well and what they can do to improve. You have feedback from peer reviews and each employee’s self appraisal. With a clear picture of performance this year, you feel good about the appraisals you’ve put together. They are fair, firm and consistent. 

Now, you have to go over the reviews with each member of your team. Those can be tough conversations. Even when you’ve done the work and have an accurate picture of each employee’s performance, it can be tricky to convey clearly.

However, there are a few steps you can take to prepare for these conversations and ensure your team gets the most out of their performance reviews.

For each of your direct reports ask, “What do I want for him/ her? What do I want for us?”

You have a lot of specific feedback for each employee. Taking a step back to understand exactly you want from these conversations will help you see the bigger picture rather than getting bogged down in the details.

Determine how you should behave to get your intended result

It could be firm and serious. It could be light and congratulatory. But your tone matters, and determining what tone to strike before starting the conversation is important prep.

Start the conversation with a reminder of why we run performance reviews

These reasons are of course unique to your organization, but common reasons include fairness, transparency and a commitment to employee growth. Employees deserve to have a company that is invested in their development, and this kind of feedback is exactly that – a time to touch base, give open feedback, commit to candor and grow together.

Re-state good vs great

Hopefully your team already knows what good vs great looks like and that distinction is built into your rating scales. However, this is a good time to remind folks of the competencies, benchmarks and behaviors that distinguish your best employees.

State your positive agenda

You want the best for your employees. You know what you want from this conversation. Start the conversation by stating your positive agenda clearly

Start the review with what’s going well

Consider breaking down each section into STAR feedback. Start with a specific situation. Then explain exactly what your employee did well and take the time to explain the impact of their actions on the broader team or organization.  Thankfully, you’ve been documenting this feedback throughout the year, so pulling these examples should be a breeze.

Tackle what needs to be improved

Again, consider using the STAR system to ensure employees have specific, concrete examples of what they need to improve and understand the broader context for why improvement is important. Including tangible ways the employee can improve and guidelines or timelines to work on the topics raised in the appraisal help make these conversations impactful and actionable. For a few more tips on delivering tough feedback, check out this article on the topic.

With fair, accurate reviews and the right preparation, your team can get the most out of performance reviews. If you have other strategies for conversations around performance reviews, let us know! If you’d like to learn more about how Trakstar can help you build the processes and content to make your reviews impactful, actiontionable and efficient, we’re always here to chat.

Performance Reviews: Why They Matter More than Ever

For many companies, performance reviews can be an afterthought until the process goes live, and many employees may feel forced to write glowing reviews about colleagues they hardly interact with. Because of this, performance reviews are often overlooked or not even completed at all.  However, if we look at statistics focusing on what it is like in the workplace today, performance management is more important than ever.  

According to Forbes, 79% of employees who leave their jobs do so because of a lack of appreciation. What is even more shocking is that 89% of bosses believe employees leave for more money. This is a huge discrepancy that could easily be solved by better communication between management and their direct reports. Global studies also note that the number one way for a manager to influence an employee to stay is to simply give them more recognition. These statistics show that performance management, when done effectively and methodically, is a great way to not only motivate employees to do better work but also improve retention. 

Here are some ways you can get the most out of performance reviews:

Make your reviews valuable

Managers are often tasked with so many things that performance reviews can become a huge, daunting task. You can overcome this challenge by making performance management a part of your company’s culture and not something done the last week of the work year. Keeping tabs on employees throughout the year and giving recognition of when they go above and beyond makes performance management more effective, and managers better leaders. Also, don’t be afraid to let employees know how they can improve. If they are a great employee, they will embrace the feedback.  

Keep feedback open

Many performance reviews only involve the manager and direct report but getting feedback from multiple sources can also be extremely effective. Is one of your direct reports working on a special project with another team? Getting feedback from those team members is only going to show more ways the employee can improve their performance. The more, the merrier!  

Give reviews meaning

Often times, an employee’s review collects dust and is never seen again. This can happen if reviews are not tied into anything that matters to the employee such as promotions, higher compensation, or a roadmap for further career development. If you use reviews to reward employees for a job well done, it will only motivate employees to not only do better work, but also stay with your organization. Employees want to grow and if they can’t do that in their current role, they may think it’s time to move on.     

Make reviews fun!

Another reason why reviews are often overlooked is because, let’s face it, the questions are boring. If your questions begin with “On a scale from 1 to 10…” you probably need to start thinking about reevaluating your content. Think outside the box and ask questions that aren’t just about the employee themselves but also about how they can improve their daily work-life.  Ask questions that will make them happier (Should we have a costume party for Halloween?) is a step in the right direction.

As you can see, performance management has become a necessity in today’s workplace. Giving feedback that is valuable is going to help spur opportunity for employees. Thinking about performance management as part of a company’s culture creates an environment that encourages constant feedback. If you give these reviews meaning and make them more fun instead of a mandatory, end-of-the-year task, you will see happier employees that will stay instead of going to the competitor next door.

When an Employee Rejects Their Performance Review

It’s uncommon but when the performance review process is finished, an employee will sometimes raise concerns with their evaluation results. They may challenge their manager in the review meeting, take their complaint to HR, or go as far as to refuse to formally accept their evaluation.

The good news is much can be done to prevent these situations from occurring in the first place. A solid review process leads to accurate ratings and feedback that align with what the employee expected to hear. 

However, in the rare instance an employee disagrees with their evaluation, it’s important to listen to their concerns and resolve the issue before the review process can be considered complete. 

Was the employee’s evaluation fair?

Start by bringing in an unbiased third-party, usually an HR representative, to review the facts and determine if the employee has a valid complaint. They should learn if the employee disagrees with their rating on a certain competency or their evaluation as a whole. If the employee has a minor qualm, reassure them that everyone has areas they can improve in. If they feel their ratings are low across the board, it warrants investigating. Here are some questions the HR representative should consider:

  • How did the manager rate their other direct reports? – The employee may have a reasonable concern if ratings skewed negative for the manager’s entire team.
  • How did other raters evaluate the employee?Multi-rater, or 360-degree feedback, ensures evaluations are fair and accurate since multiple people participate. If the employee received consistent ratings, their concerns are likely off base. 
  • Is there a bigger issue at play? – Many people hope a performance review will result in a raise or promotion. Talk to the employee and find out if they’re upset about more than their evaluation. 

TIP: Conduct a short training session for managers before they complete their team’s performance reviews. Teach them how to give fair ratings and articulate their feedback to direct reports. 

Is your review process objective?

Objective review criteria leads to impartial evaluations. Strive to set measurable goals for every employee so their performance is always clearcut. That way their review can focus on their progress toward goals rather than a rater’s personal opinion. 

That said, it’s fine to include subjective secondary review competencies, like teamwork, initiative, adherence to values, etc. Just make sure raters back up their scores with examples and actionable feedback. Even if these competencies are a bit ambiguous, employees will almost never challenge their ratings in these areas if their job performance evaluation is accurate.

Was the employee caught off guard by their evaluation?

While formal, in-depth performance reviews are important, great managers understand the power of on-going feedback. Meeting with a direct report weekly or even monthly provides the opportunity to discuss their recent performance and how they’re feeling about what they’re working on.

Regular check-ins build toward effective performance reviews and prevent the employee from going into the experience not knowing what to expect. They’ll already have an idea of what sort of feedback they’re going to receive because they’ve had previous conversations with their manager focused on what they’re doing well and where they can improve. 

Is a PIP the answer?

You may need to take action if you can’t get an employee to agree to their performance review and commit to doing better. Placing them on a performance improvement plan (PIP) is an extreme step but can end up being a necessary last resort.

A PIP outlines a series of objectives an employee must complete by a certain date to continue working in their current role. It’s intended to get a struggling employee back on track so only consider this option if they’re failing to meet their role-specific goals. If the problem is with the employee’s attitude, not their performance, you should instead take action based on your organization’s conduct policy. 

Does your performance review process need an overhaul?

A single employee who objects to their performance review is likely an outlier. However, there is a problem if multiple employees say their evaluations aren’t an accurate representation of the effort they’re putting in and the results they’re delivering. If this is a real challenge your organization is facing, it may be time to reinvent how you do employee performance reviews.

Adding Culture and Values into Performance Reviews

There is more that goes into job success than carrying out role responsibilities and completing projects. Organizations are successful when employees work well together, support each other, and buy into the long-term mission. That is why it’s so important to ensure your team members embody your culture and values in everything they do. 

However, many organizations struggle to effectively include culture in employee performance reviews. Evaluating general job performance is straightforward since managers establish objectives, processes, and metrics for their direct reports. But organizational culture is more of a philosophy. You often intuitively know if an employee follows it but may not feel comfortable assessing them on something so vague.

The key is to remove the subjectivity by establishing a clear culture and values and a process for successfully evaluating employees on those competencies. 

First and foremost: Define your culture and values

You can’t integrate culture into performance reviews until every employee can articulate what it is. Many organizations have a loose mission statement they ask employees to keep in mind as they go about their jobs. But that leads to each person forming their own conclusion on what the culture means and integrating it into their work in their own ways. 

It’s perfectly fine to have a high-level mission statement. Although, you should also have a series of values that give it context. These should be memorable words or short phrases that employees can apply whenever the opportunity presents itself. Provide examples of what each looks like in action and give recognition when an employee incorporates them into their work so everyone understands what the culture is in a practical sense.  

Rate employees on each value

Once you’ve defined your culture using specific values, you can include each in your employee performance reviews. You should naturally build evaluation forms that focus primarily on the employee’s role objectives. You can also include adherence to values as a secondary competency along with criteria like time management, initiative, and teamwork. 

List all your values on the evaluation form with short descriptions to remind raters what they mean. Then include a five-point rating scale they use to evaluate the employee on each one. At Trakstar, we recommend using terms like “not effective,” “minimally effective,” “effective,” “highly effective,” and “exceptional” rather than a numerical scale. That way raters have a frame of reference for the scores they give.

Collect ratings from multiple people

An employee’s performance review is traditionally conducted by their manager. However, many organizations are bringing more voices to the process by including the employee’s team members, colleagues from other departments, their direct reports, and even people from outside the organization like customers or vendors. 

360-degree feedback, as it’s called, is an excellent way to accurately assess an employee on every factor your organization cares about, especially culture and values. After all, managers don’t always see how an employee interacts with their peers or customers. By gathering ratings from multiple people, you’ll learn if the employee is truly embodying your values in everything they do. 

Incorporate culture in personal development plans

The purpose of performance reviews isn’t just to tell an employee what they need to do better. It’s also an opportunity for them to set personal goals and plan for how they’ll accomplish them.

Goals most often focus on where an employee wants to improve at their job and the career strides they hope to make along the way. However, their development plan should cover how they’ll grow in all aspects of their job, including positively representing the organizational culture. 

This is particularly important if the organization has recently defined the culture and is including it in evaluations for the first time. Many employees have the best intentions but may still be trying to grasp how they can apply the cultural philosophy to their work. The ratings they receive on each value, and the discussion they have with their manager regarding each one, will help them see where they can improve. 

Welcome feedback on the culture from employees

Cultural expectations are a two-way street. You of course want your employees to keep your values top of mind. And they expect the same from their manager, leadership, and the organization as a whole. 

Performance reviews are a great opportunity to ask your employees how they feel about the culture they’re experiencing every day. Managers and direct reports should discuss how their team can better incorporate values into collaborative efforts. 

It is also worthwhile to assess your culture from a macro perspective. Surveys and polls are an excellent way to learn if your workforce believes the organization is living by the same tenants it expects of them. We recommend making responses anonymous so your employees feel comfortable sharing their true feelings. The results you collect, combined with anecdotal feedback from individual employees, will show you exactly what needs to be done to make your organization an even better place to work. 


What Pride Means to Us at Trakstar

June is Pride Month and organizations around the world are sharing stories about diversity and inclusion. We here at Trakstar felt inspired to share our stories too. 

We presented our team with a few simple questions they could choose to write about. What does Pride mean to you? How can we show others they are not alone? How can Pride help individuals face difficulty with strength and confidence?

The result was these beautiful stories. 

Julie Rieken

What does Pride mean to you?

This year, we were able to attend the Denver PRIDE Parade as a family. Before we went, we wanted to talk to our three kids about the Parade and the things we might see and celebrate.

I asked our 3rd grader, “Ruth, do you know what PRIDE is?”

“Yes,” she said. “It’s celebrating gay people. Like people of the same gender that like each other.”

(not bad for a 3rd grader.)

“And what do you think the PRIDE Parade might look like?” I asked.

“It will be made up of lots of parents who will be there to love and support their children,” she replied.

Yes.  Forward motion. 

Tawny Rose Case

How can we show others they are not alone?

I think the best way we can show others they’re not alone is to show up for them. Listen to them when they ask you to use their pronouns, even if those pronouns are unfamiliar to you, even though you might make mistakes. Support your friends, family, acquaintances, strangers on the internet, when they express themselves, even when you’re not expecting the message they come to you with. 

And in my own life, I try to be visible. I have pride flag bandanas that I allow to spill out of my back pocket. When the weather allows, I have pins all over my jean jacket. I hold hands with my partner when we’re out together. I keep coming out, to new people, over and over. 

Listen with an open heart, greet with open arms. Make every space you occupy a safe space, with pride. You’re not alone; you’re Family. 

Dia Mohamed

How can we show others they are not alone?

I remember the look of fear on one of my closest friends eyes when he decided it was time to come out to me. It was the fear of losing a friend, fear of being emotionally abused, and fear of being further subjected to nothing other than his sexuality.

I understood that this was a really big moment for him and all he needed to know was that I cared. From then on, it became less about me knowing, but more about him not feeling cornered.

What I found to be helpful in showing him that he’s not alone is asking questions about his feelings and experiences. He always seemed very excited to talk about his perspective because everyone avoids the topic.

He has made me understand that it’s not easy feeling like you’re constantly keeping a secret, so helping others burst out of that bubble can feel liberating, no matter how uncomfortable! 

Adam Vinueza

What does Pride mean to you?

I became an adult in New York City at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, and it’s hard to articulate the overwhelming sense of panic, terror, and anger in New York’s gay community during that time. People seemed to literally disappear: homophobia, shame, and fear of disease drove the sick off the streets and into their apartments (and then, eventually for many, hospitals), where they died quietly, often alone. This was thousands upon thousands of people just in New York. That was also the time of the first Pride parades in the city, and you can imagine how furiously joyous they were—like mass cathartic wakes.

It’s four decades later, and I have two grown sons, both openly and proudly gay. For them, the AIDS epidemic is history; the virulently anti-gay prejudice in this country that was completely normal when I was younger has mostly disappeared or confined itself to only the nastiest segments of our society. Pride didn’t make this happen—ordinary people did—but those were the same people who started the first Pride marches, pushed for Pride month, relentlessly advocated for gay rights as human rights, and generally made it possible for my kids today to experience the marches as the bright, affirming celebrations they should be. Pride, to me, embodies that history.

Madison Rozakos

How can pride help individuals face difficulty with strength and confidence?

I recently wrote fragments of this poem for a friend who was deeply struggling with her identity. It came out of the strange loneliness that can sometimes swallow you whole—more fervently when you start living a life in a mode where tetchy sensitivities once thrived. 

I wanted her to know the Japanese have a phrase for this dual perception: mono no aware. It means “beauty tinged with sadness,” for beauty or identity cannot exist without a journey. I wanted her to feel as if she were a balloon, padding over a body of water, claiming her identity—a sweeping salute toward her horizon. 

When something strange happened here

I was

anchored to you by hands, my brokenness


over a larger body

of water.


I could feel the bite of salt on my skin.


I was balloons

pale pink and hollow blue

over the sea

tied to your wrists.


I was iridescent

reflections of your skyline

cotton candy eyes

pouring over the water when


                       something strange happened here. 


I was ink

onyx-like a fingerprint

over your palms

rolled onto glass


                     like a dream


I imagine


                     every once in a while, you find


                     who is 


                     and nothing else can compare. 

Sara Dyel

What does Pride mean to you?

I grew up in a conservative part of the country, in a highly conservative family, and have only recently realized I belong to this Pride community. Pride for me means being as visible as possible, for the sake of others who cannot [yet]. Though my journey is still ongoing and has struggles of its own, I have to remember to be as open and proud as possible so that others feel comfortable taking this step. It’s not until everyone feels comfortable coming out and aren’t marginalized for it (however minimal) that our work is done. I’m so grateful to be in Seattle and to be part of a company that encourages this aspect of our lives, yet also doesn’t define us in this way. I am excited to see how my answer to the question “What does Pride mean to you?” changes year after year for the rest of my life.

Claire Locascio

How can we show others they are not alone?

My cousin flew out to visit me in Denver for the Pride festival last year. She had started dating her first girlfriend, at the time, and she told me a story that stood out. Her girlfriend had just graduated from Notre Dame but my cousin wasn’t allowed to go to her graduation. Her girlfriend’s family didn’t know she was a lesbian and she couldn’t tell them. 

I felt a sense of animosity come over me because I could see how it directly impacted my cousin. I couldn’t imagine the feeling: to not be able to support a person you love.  My cousin had made a huge decision to come out a few years ago, and yet she was still trapped living in the shadow of judgment. 

I know my cousin is lucky to have the enormous support system she does because a lot of people don’t. I think that the easiest way to support people is to realize that they are no different. My cousin is the same person she was before she came out. I take Pride in her, her strength, and everyone else on their own journeys. 

Trakstar Engagement Feature Update May 2019

We’re excited to share some new updates to our Trakstar Engagement module! The module helps organizations get valuable insights into employee engagement through frequent check-ins, surveys, and polls. We’ve been hard at work expanding two key areas of our offering: the Company Pulse Survey and the powerful reporting that comes out of it.

Company Pulse Survey

As a really exciting addition to the engagement tool, you’ll now find pre-built Company Pulse Survey content ready to be used. Backed by research, the survey questions highlight the drivers of employee satisfaction and provide tangible results you can use to make the right changes. Today’s socially complex and challenging contexts make engagement in the workplace incredibly difficult to understand and explain, let alone come up with meaningful steps to measure and improve—and we’re building the tools to help you with that.

We took a fresh approach to employee engagement, developing a survey framework to get to the root of what truly motivates people in the workplace. Our questions and cadence provide you with a holistic view of your employees’ experience. What you get is a tool that incorporates the latest research findings and industry trends, in addition to the lessons we’ve learned from the hundreds of thousands of performance review cycles facilitated through Trakstar. Now, you can start getting these crucial insights into engagement with the click of a button.

Unlike other survey solutions, we help you identify the areas—unique to your people and organization—that affect the satisfaction and performance of your employees by focusing on the key, evidence-based drivers of engagement.

Powerful reporting

In addition to our collection of topics and questions, we support you with the analytic tools to help you understand your results in real-time so that you are empowered with actionable insights to strengthen engagement in a meaningful way:

  • Real-time interactive dashboards
  • Engagement driver analytics
  • Time-series analyses and group-level comparisons
  • Easy to use configuration controls to quickly narrow down results

You can now precisely measure the engagement of your workforce and identify the areas your organization can improve.

Want to learn more about Trakstar Engagement?

If you’re interested in finding out more about Trakstar Engagement, request a demo today or email us at!

Anonymity in Trakstar Engagement

Trakstar Engagement is designed to provide anonymity to survey respondents. Your employees will feel compelled to honestly respond to your engagement surveys if they know their identity is protected. And accurate feedback is how your organization learns what it’s doing well and how it can improve.

Trakstar ensures the anonymity of survey respondents in the following ways:

  • User responses are assigned a unique identifier so that Administrator(s) cannot see who submitted which response.
  • At least five employees must submit responses before survey results become accessible. We also apply thresholds to prevent any administrator or manager from drilling down into a personally identifiable response.
  • The segmentation feature within Trakstar Engagement requires that at least five employees belong to a segment and respond to a survey before their results are filterable and accessible.

Please note that surveys are set up by a survey creator and not by Trakstar. We provide the tools for survey creators to either collect anonymous responses, or to choose to identify their respondents.

Anonymity is a win-win for both your organization and its employees when it comes to employee engagement surveys. Team members will be comfortable sharing what’s truly on their mind and, in turn, your organization will gather valuable feedback it can use to further boost employee engagement.

If you have any questions about Trakstar Engagement, feel free to contact our support team.


How to Make Your Company Culture a Reality

A lot of organizations talk about culture. The CEO raves about it when they stand in front of the staff. HR strives to build an inclusive and open culture. Recruiters try to hire people who fit the culture.

But too many companies have an indistinct culture. One might exist in some form but it’s often a mishmash of ideas and concepts that formed over time. And often, the most vocal or longest-tenured employees make the biggest mark on it.

In other instances, individual teams or departments end up with their own unique cultures. There are different variations throughout the organization, resulting in employees have different experiences at work.

Many leaders have a rough idea of what they want the organizational culture to be but don’t go through the process of making it come to fruition. There is a lot of work to do when growing a business and completing such an exercise might not seem like a priority. However, cultivating a clear culture is important and can be accomplished with concerted planning and effort.

Define your mission statement and values

This is a key starting point. Your culture will never become a reality unless you first articulate what it is actually supposed to be. The best way to do so is to define a cultural mission statement (what your employees will experience) and values (what your employees should keep in mind as they go about their work).

If you haven’t done so yet, get your leadership team in a room for a brainstorming session. Ask the founder what they envisioned when they started the company. Open it up to thoughts from others. Get a discussion going.

Once you have everyone’s ideas on the whiteboard, identify the common themes. Use them to shape a two-to-three sentence mission statement. Refine and punch it up until you’re proud of what you have.

Next, give the mission statement context by coming up with five or so values to support it. These should be buzzwords or memorable phrases that pop into an employee’s mind every time they encounter a challenge or opportunity.

Form a culture committee

Now that you’ve defined your culture, you need to make it come to life. Some organizations simply add their mission statement and values to the website and employee handbook but there is much more that should be done to create a thriving culture.

Select a group of employees who will be responsible for owning the culture. The logical choice is to put your HR team in charge. However, you can also include employees who are passionate about what you’re trying to achieve and team members who epitomize your values.

The purpose of your culture committee is to hold the organization accountable to the specific tenets it committed to. They can come up with programs, initiatives, and events aimed at growing the culture. They can also be the point-of-contact other employees approach to share ideas concerning the culture.

Give employee recognition based on culture

Workplace praise tends to focus on employees completing a major project or closing a big deal. After all, it’s easy to see the tangible work people do that impacts the organization’s bottom line.

Your employees should also be recognized for doing the little things that make your company a great place to work. Make sure to give a shout out whenever someone goes out of their way to help a colleague, does work that isn’t assigned to them, or is a shining example of your values in any other way.

Additionally, your culture committee should encourage managers to give this type of praise. For example, they can remind team leaders to think outside the box when summarizing team wins in update emails or all-hands meetings.

Hire people who enhance your culture

As we mentioned at the start of this article, recruiters often talk about hiring people who are the right “culture fit.” It sounds good in theory but can do more harm than good if your organization doesn’t yet have a clearly defined culture. You run the risk of hiring candidates who resemble the employees you already have, resulting in a non-diverse workforce of people who think the same. Even worse, you can end up passing on a great candidate because you perceive someone else to be a better culture fit.

Once you have an established culture, you can work it into your job requirements. Interviewers can ask questions based on your values and learn how the candidate would incorporate them into their work. You’ll not only find people who align with your culture. You’ll also get fresh perspectives, resulting in your culture growing to new levels.

Include culture in performance reviews

Performance reviews mainly cover how the employee does at accomplishing daily job responsibilities and long-term goals. However, there is also an opportunity to have a larger conversation about the employee’s presence in the workplace.

Ask managers to rate employees on each of your organization’s values and provide reasons and examples to support their scores. It’s always a good idea to ask raters to write notes on evaluations but is especially important when they’re assessing something as vague as adherence to values.

Culture doesn’t need to be a major focus of your performance reviews but it’s worth talking about after the primary criteria are covered. It reaffirms the organization’s commitment to the culture and helps employees remember what is expected of them beyond their job responsibilities.  

Bring your culture to life

With a little effort, your organization can make its intended culture a reality. First define what it is, then grow it by following the tips provided in this article.


Succession Planning with Trakstar

The following is a guest interview, written and contributed by Janine Nicole Truitt, Chief Innovations Officer for Talent Think Innovations, LLC

Succession Planning is an important component of the health of a business. In order to be a sustainable enterprise you not only need to have a tried and true method for attracting and hiring people who are aligned with your mission, vision, and values, but you also need to have a mechanism in place to retain and develop your workforce to meet the organization’s needs for future growth and expansion. In addition, succession planning ensures that information, protocol, and data don’t live and die in a vacuum or with a single person thwarting the dissemination of legacy practice and knowledge.

How can HR’s role in succession planning be made more effective?

Succession Planning is about more than gathering up your favorite group of high-potentials to be groomed for future roles. There is a lack of connectivity between the time someone starts with us and what happens during the course of the employee’s lifecycle. For example, if someone starts to work for you today, at what point do you start assessing their skills or lack thereof to set a career plan in place? When do you start engaging employees about their aspirations for future roles and discussing how you see them contributing to the future needs of the organization? There needs to be a process for canvassing your employee’s career path or trajectory along with learning and developmental milestones so there is an eye for the pools of individuals who will support future needs.  I have always seen Talent Management as an emerging function within HR that could exist solely to focus on how employees move throughout the organization and that orchestrates the workforce plan for present and future workforce needs.

How can the succession planning process be improved to see better results?

Succession Planning can be improved with planning and being proactive. The current state of affairs in many organizations is that they focus most of their resources on hiring, and if they are somewhat progressive they may have a lens for retention. Future roles are seldom planned for, but rather discussed just-in-time. A critical role is left vacant by a retirement, untimely death or departure, and everyone internally scrambles to see if there is anyone who can fill the role only to find there are significant skill gaps. The usual excuse is the workforce is unskilled and unprepared. The real story is the organization was unprepared.

The way you get ahead of it is:

  • Get out of the mode of just-in time workforce planning and recruitment. Start having proactive discussions about both present and future succession needs.
  • Start adding a few succession planning related milestones or objectives to the overall strategic plan every year. This will keep everyone involved accountable for ensuring that the succession plan is visible and acted upon.
  • Create a protocol for off-boarding transitioning leadership and onboarding new leaders so there is no knowledge, operational or procedural gaps.

What kind of Learning and Development program should you have in place?

You should have an adaptable L&D program in place. That means you should be creating training that not only meets the business objectives and regulatory requirements of the organization, but it should also cater to the interests of your workforce. The way people learn and how they choose to consume information is shifting rapidly. Having a once-size-fits-all L&D strategy will not suffice moving forward. Every HR department and C-Suite should be considering the following:

  • How do your employees learn?
  • What are your employees learning and development needs and wants?
  • Where can you allow for some creativity in how people develop themselves?
  • What do your career paths look like? How can you involve your workforce in rethinking employee mobility whether upward or lateral?
  • What processes, plans, people, resources, and technology do you have to have in place to ensure that no knowledge, skill, ability, or competency escapes the organization?
  • How do you make succession planning data actionable?

This is an area is where having the right technology becomes imperative. There is no efficient way I can think of for collecting and analyzing retention and succession planning data without having a solution in place that not only collects this data, but illuminates everything from employees you should be watching, to specific milestones for when to take actions within the succession planning process.

Making succession planning data actionable is no different than any other data. The repayment of receiving insight and data from your workforce is to decide what the data is telling you. Once you are clear on the story the data is telling it is up to you to take action. If the data illuminates bottlenecks in the succession planning process, you have a duty to examine them and remove the barriers. If there is adverse impact to certain groups of people in trying to rise up the leadership ranks, you have a duty to acknowledge the impact and set a plan in motion to not only change any unfavorable practices, but to communicate that change.

What makes up succession planning?

Succession Planning entails the identification and development of people within your organization who are being prepared to fill critical roles in the future.  Before you can begin identifying who will fill critical roles, you need to first know what the needs will be. Even if you don’t know precisely what will be needed in the future, you should be able to forecast based on some of the realities and assumptions you have at your disposal today. It is as simple as taking a comprehensive look at a subset of critical roles you have today and then asking some questions:

  • How important will these critical roles be 5 years out? Will the role need to change, shift or be eliminated?
  • Who do you have filling the role currently? Are they ideal for the position? From here, you can start to model what has been successful with this person in the role and what needs to change.
  • What are the timetables you are working with? This is where you get real about retirements, potential for attrition, plans for expansion etc.
  • Who do you have currently that either could step into critical roles with or without training? This is where you need to know who your people are and what they are capable of. Hint: Not everyone who should or could fill a critical role comes in the pretty package of a high potential, be dedicated to taking a closer look at your workforce.
  • How will you communicate the plan and begin the process of knowledge transfer between current and future incumbents? The goal here is for smooth transitions for all parties involved and continuity of normal operations and productivity.
  • Who is succession planning important for?

Succession Planning is mostly important to the C-Suite. Anytime someone leaves an organization there is a disruption to the flow and continuity of operation. That impact is compounded when the loss is a senior leader or someone who fills a critical role within the organization. More than a loss of productivity, you see impact in morale, engagement, consumer concern, and trust when an organization loses a senior or otherwise visible leader. Having a succession plan doesn’t just safeguard you against all attrition, but it ensures that you have people who are developed, trained, prepared to step into one of these roles so there is no loss of productivity  or a hindrance to operation due to both anticipated and unforeseen departures.

It is the goal of every business to be not only profitable and successful in the present, but to be sustainable over the long haul. Businesses who get ahead of the inevitable losses to their leadership teams and workforces are ones who understand the important role people play in the business remaining financially-healthy. It is here that a succession plan doesn’t just become a nice-to-have tool, but an imperative solution to ensuring you are never in an operational void.

 Janine N. Truitt Biography

Janine is the Owner/Chief Innovations Officer for Talent Think Innovations, LLC, a business strategy and management consulting firm. Her career spans fourteen years in HR and Talent Acquisition that has taken her through the world of pharmaceuticals, healthcare, staffing and R&D. Janine is a dynamic speaker, entrepreneur, and an important and respected voice bringing both a human touch and business savvy to the companies and businesses she works with.

It is through the trials and tribulations of her career travels and her passion for Business, Technology, Digital Transformation and Talent Management that she created Talent Think Innovations in January 2013. Her aim is to provide practical and sustainable solutions, programs and strategies that are a catalyst for innovation. Through her work she is using her experience to get businesses and individuals from surviving to thriving allowing them to succeed in an age of rapid transformation.

Janine doesn’t just preach innovation-she lives it. A globally-known figure in Human Resources and Business, she has contributed for: Performance I Create, Switch & Swift,, and and more. Janine is a rare professional who isn’t afraid to tackle the obstacles and issues facing us as a society and global marketplace. She has been quoted by HBR, Bustle, The Cut, Atlanta BlackStar, Newsday, SHRM, USA Today and has been featured by Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Black Enterprise and Ebony Magazines. In 2013, Mrs. Truitt was also named one of the Top 100 Most Social Human Resources Experts on Twitter by Huffington Post and one of 50+ Unstoppable Women in HR Tech by Clear Company. Additionally, she was a part of the first-ever IBM + Purematter VIP Futurist Project. Janine is currently in the process of transitioning her knowledge and work in HR into a technology company that will address the challenges the differently-abled community has in becoming gainfully employed. She proves that humility, innovation and practical thinking has value and is fast becoming the new business imperative.

Visit her blog “The Aristocracy of HR”. Follow her tweets on Twitter @CzarinaofHR. Catch her in action every Thursday at 10pm EST on her Periscope show: Ask Czarina Live and on AnchorFM for her “Growth on my Terms” podcast: