November 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 7 
Main Feature

The road to rewards

Boeing's common performance and salary review processes pave the way for your progress


The road to rewardsWhat gives you job satisfaction? Pay and recognition for a job well done are likely top factors on any employee's list. However, Boeing's mergers and acquisitions brought with them a number of different performance, development, salary and job classification systems. As a result, when changing jobs or simply understanding how pay and performance relate to business goals, navigating the system hasn't been easy for some.

That's why Boeing has been working over the last decade to continually improve pay, performance and development systems and processes. Most recently, Boeing last year implemented a suite of improved tools for performance evaluation, individual development and salary management.

Since then, employees and their managers have used the new tools to better manage business and personal performance goals and expectations, salary reviews and career development.

Salaried employees and their managers are nearing the end of the first year of using these tools, and feedback so far indicates it's been a pretty smooth ride.

Under the new electronic process, employees receive a year-end performance evaluation. This evaluation is based on performance against Business Goals and Objectives prepared by both a manager and employee—as well as against Performance Values, which are common to all employees and tie to Boeing's Vision 2016 mission statement. Managers use this information to develop an Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA) to provide a means of measuring employees' value of contribution to Boeing relative to their peers.

"Earlier evaluation and pay raise processes I went through were not as satisfying as I'd hoped," said Carl Davis, Senior Industrial Security manager for Shared Services Group in St. Louis. "Now, using the IPA, it's easier to see the overall contribution an employee makes."

Performance Cycle

Michael Reinhardt, an Industrial Security Specialist in Davis' group and a 17-year Boeing employee, felt the performance evaluations have been more useful this year. Using the online tools, Davis and he discussed his accomplishments and contributions to Boeing. "They contribute to the process of identifying, tracking, accomplishing and validating my goals," he said. "My manager listened to me and agreed with what I believed I had accomplished."

These structured conversations let employees tell managers what's important to them, discuss how they're doing and develop a plan to achieve set goals.

Goals are an important part of the new processes, as they are now integrated into the individual's performance evaluation and subsequent salary review. Managers and employees said that establishing business goals and objectives under the new processes was challenging, requiring more thought and discussion than in years past.

Reinhardt said that as the processes were changing this past year, Davis made sure each individual in the group understood what was taking place.

"My employees know that goals and performance to those goals are very important indicators to the value of their work in the group," Davis said. "But as a manager you still have to be fair to the employee as you're working with them. You could agree to a set of simple, easy goals, but then his or her contribution at the end of the year may not be as great as someone who had very challenging goals and didn't accomplish all of them."

Where rubber meets the road

This year managers and employees alike reported that they felt they were better able to connect the dots on performance, value of contribution and pay.

"I've been with Boeing for 37 years, and during that time I've seen many performance-evaluation-type programs," said Dennis Utterberg, a Logistics Specialist on the C-17 program's Propulsion Sustainment Integrated Product Team in Long Beach, Calif. "These new tools are meaningful, and I believe they'll really help with goal setting and employee performance."

Carolyn Hodges, Utterberg's manager, sees employees making the connection between performance and salary, but believes that next year will be even better.

"I think the salary review process will be better next year, particularly with regard to the employee [IPA] ratings," she said. "I think employees are starting to see a clear link between their goals, performance rating and salary adjustment."

Hodges liked using the enhanced salary review system introduced last year. She particularly liked having access to the Pay Visibility Tool, which provides visibility to information from the Performance Evaluation along with other data to assist managers in determining salary recommendations. "In the past, I'd rely on information flowing down to me to make decisions," she said. "This year I got to do it myself, and I liked the visibility."

Reinhardt likes the idea that his manager was responsible for his salary adjustment this year. "I believe my manager should be responsible for my salary review," he said. "He is the best judge of how valuable I am to him, the department and The Boeing Company."

Davis believes the tools introduced last year truly manage salary and performance in a positive correlation. "You can see how performance and salary are related, and you don't have to come up with the outcomes off the top of your head," he said.

It all comes down to the connection between goals, performance and relative value of an employee's contribution.

"My manager and I discussed my performance, and he gave me the opportunity to point out my accomplishments and then told me about my salary revision," Reinhardt said. "I believe my salary revision was based on my performance for this year."

Shift into high gear

Employees and managers alike truly are in control when it comes to career and salary management. The employee-led Performance Development Partnership (PDP) plays a vital role in the journey to business and employee growth—and has the potential to shift a career into high gear.

"Each of us can become a better employee, and the conversation with your manager is what will really make that happen," said IDS' Utterberg. "These are really good tools, and I love what I'm seeing. The things our manager is learning from them is being applied, and we're benefiting as a group."

Hodges manages 17 people—including Utterberg—and all of them did a performance development plan this year. She spent a lot of time talking with them about their goals and objectives and what each of the employee's goals meant to him or her. As a result, Hodges believes she has changed the minds of some of her team members on the usefulness of the PDP.

"I use them as tools to see where my employees want to go, what they want to do, and what they want to become," she said. "I look at them and draw from them to give them assignments to help them get there."

In Davis' view, simply having a development plan is good because those who have plans are more likely to follow through with them. His group, like Hodges', also had 100 percent participation in the PDP this year.

"They all wrote plans. Whether it was a short-term plan or a long-term one didn't matter to me," Davis said. "The plans are purely for the employee—not the organization or the company."

Reinhardt commended his manager and Industrial Security leadership for supporting Boeing's goals by helping employees develop themselves.

"A PDP is an excellent tool for career development because it promotes identifying and tracking goals and objectives," Reinhardt said. "I believe that we need to standardize processes like these and sustain them. That's what will really help employees feel the loyalty and buy in to the connection between their work, their goals, company goals and pay."

For more on the new performance and salary review processes, visit the Boeing Frontiers World Wide Web site at
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