Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Business Need Icon

With millennials wanting from frequent interaction with their immediate supervisor about their performance, career opportunities, and development, Jet Propulsion Laboratory wanted to move away from the process of ratings and form-fillings to monitor performance effectiveness. Instead, they wanted to engage in more development conversations that were valued by the team.

JPL set about moving the organisation from traditional performance management to ‘Performance Coaching’ in an attempt to hold career conversations that were more frequent, personalised, and effective.


Our Solution Icon

Through a ‘pulse survey’ JPL established a benchmark on how current conversations were received.

JPL wanted to make sure that managers were clear on the intent of the effort. The idea was to eliminate the traditional performance review, and thus embarked upon Blessing White’s ‘Helping Others Succeed’ programme. JPL deployed manager-orientation session to over 600+ managers, encouraging participants to take advantage of existing opportunities to have quality conversations. Managers then had to employ the approaches they had learned to conduct both formal and informal coaching conversations.


Results Icon

By June 2014, over 600 managers across JPL had received the training and held such annual contribution conversations. 60% of JPL respondents agreed that the coaching conversations had contributed positively to their job performance.

62% agreed that it positively impacted their job satisfaction, and 30% of employees reported an increase in the frequency of conversations with their managers about work performance and professional growth. Over 40% of respondents identified their managers as a “role model” or “superior” when it came to coaching them. Another 40% said their manager met their expectations.



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