Luc Levesque is currently a VP at TripAdvisor, responsible for its global SEO efforts and TravelPod’s business unit. Luc uses iDoneThis with his team at TripAdvisor to ensure that his distributed team is on the same page and to take the pain out of the much-hated annual performance review.
Daily Updates for Remote Teams
Luc's team is distributed across TripAdvisor offices in Ottawa, Calgary and Boston, and so he's at times struggled to keep his team in sync and up to date. He hates resorting to the manager's crutch of asking individual employees, "Hey, what are you working on?" That can too often interrupt the employee's day and feel like micromanagement.
“iDoneThis certainly helps with the fact that we’re remote. Getting those updates daily, I can quickly scan through and see what’s going on day-to-day,” describes Luc. “What I really like is that it avoids the inevitable ‘hey, what are you working on?’ and having to go by everyone’s desk constantly. Actually, with remote teams I can’t do that, but I don’t feel like I need to because [with iDoneThis] I just see their work."
What I really like is that it avoids the inevitable ‘hey, what are you working on?’
And iDoneThis syncs up the team without taking anyone out of their flow. “Being able to click reply on the email and send off a few bullet points is the most important part.” He adds, “The other value is in the self-reflective nature of it, that you’re sitting back and thinking, ‘okay, what did I do today, and did it drive towards our goals?’ It’s a really nice piece of the way we do things, and I would definitely recommend it to others.”
Ultimately, for Luc, what iDoneThis gives his team is a new communication channel, to openly share information and have it permeate the team effortlessly, which empowers the team to focus on what's important: getting stuff done.
“If I want to share something with the team,” he explains, “and it’s not really worth an email or phone call or a meeting, I can put it in my update so that they can passively absorb what’s going on and be closer in tune with some of the changes that happen quite often.”
Keeping in touch using iDoneThis suits Luc’s management style of facilitating progress while giving his team breathing room to operate. “I frankly give people more freedom in terms of not having to talk to me everyday,” he says. “They can run their things and execute towards their goals. If I see there’s something that’s not being worked on, we can sync up better.”
Performance reviews that actually capture employee achievements
At TripAdvisor, they hold formal mid-year and yearly reviews, but as is the case with performance reviews, they're ineffective all too often because no one remember what happened 6 months or a year ago.
During one such mid-year review, an employee expressed disappointed to Luc because he felt that the review hadn't captured all his achievements over the past 6 months. To fix that issue, Luc decided to try monthly reviews. The idea was that the shorter time frame would help people track their work better, especially in relation to goals.
What Luc and team created was an informal but structured monthly review that folds into TripAdvisor’s formal mid-year and yearly reviews. Every month, Luc sits down with individuals to go over goals they have shared in a Google document.
“We should be talking on a regular basis with teams, but we’re busy. But when you have that monthly, and it’s structured, you’re literally walking through the goals. It forces you through the process, and it’s very lightweight. Sometimes it’ll take five, ten minutes. It’s not a ‘hey, how you doing?’ random chat. It’s focused on being the best.”
Luc found that the monthly reviews worked well for his team. “It gives people the opportunity to capture specific things they did against their goals,” he explains. When semi-annual and annual reviews come around, these achievements don't go unnoticed because they were captured in the monthly reviews.
Monthly check-ins also take the anxiety and ceremony out of formal reviews. It’s easier to give more frequent feedback and have real conversations, especially about things that didn’t go well, without the fuss and drama. “I don’t ever want to run a team differently ever again because it’s what we should be doing as leaders anyways,” Luc declares.
Mid-year and end-of-year [performance reviews] become extremely easy because they have basically already been written.
iDoneThis plays a critical role on the monthly reviews, because it's where team achievements get tracked on a daily basis, and it provides the launching point for day to day conversations about how people are doing. “iDoneThis fits in well, where we have it as the daily touch-base. The monthly is the rollup, and that rolls up into the midyear and the end-of-year. It’s a nice progression [and] then the midyear and end-of-year are extremely easy because they have basically already been written.”
Luc’s team has consistently garnered the highest ratings within Expedia and TripAdvisor. We’re so excited to be helping Luc and his team continue to focus on being the best!