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How Organizations Can Make Data-Driven Changes that Benefit Everyone: Affirm's Kaitlyn Mathews

by Dani Johnson and Stacia Garr | March 14th, 2023

What does your organization do when a program doesn’t work? Do they dig in and try harder? Do they look to external data for answers? Or do they explore what works within the organization by finding their own data?

On this episode of Workplace Stories, Affirm’s Kaitlyn Mathews describes how her organization uses its own data to drive changes within the company. Kaitlyn also touches on their delivery systems, the HR relationship with managers, using tech to strategize, and how she uses her role to help others realize their capabilities.

Kaitlyn’s teaching background gives her a unique perspective on management and HR. As a former teacher, she brings insight that we hadn’t thought of before. In this episode, we discuss how her background informs her decision-making in her current role as the Feedback and Development Lead at Affirm. You won’t want to miss this fascinating conversation with a fellow Threadheader! Press play to listen.

Kaitlyn realizes her calling in her role at Affirm

Kaitlyn Mathews started her career as a teacher but moved into a principal assistant role after a few years. She decided to switch gears and see how her doctorate in instruction would apply to adults in a corporate setting. She worked at Envoy Air and State Farm before her current role as the Feedback and Development Lead at Affirm, where she handles feedback, performance reviews, and promotions.

Kaitlyn loves her role. She is able to use her skills as a tutor, mentor, manager, and coach in the HR setting. She uses her zone of genius to help others realize their capabilities by creating the systems and environment to help employees thrive.

Affirm was created to challenge the predatory credit card industry. Affirm’s mission is to create honest financial products that improve lives. Affirm’s five values influence the company both inside and out. Listen in to hear what they are–you might be surprised to discover a financial company that doesn’t believe in the fine print!

Is continuous feedback really an improvement?

Coaching and feedback are directly related to job performance; however, many companies only provide feedback to their employees on an annual basis Realizing this, Affirm implemented a continuous feedback model based on a quarterly review system replacing their previous annual performance reviews. The idea was that the more feedback an employee received, the better the chances they had to improve.

While this new system seemed like it would provide superior results, employees and managers were both in a continuous review cycle. This left little time for other important tasks, so the feedback given wasn’t as well thought out. Listen in to hear Kaitlyn’s insights and to learn how Affirm decided to change its course.

 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Kaitlyn Mathews

 

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