OK, so everyone can admit that performance management is challenging. There are lots of moving parts and pieces, and no silver bullet to keep them all in perfect harmony. However there are two fundamentals that any wannabe successful talent management program should be built on. Check them out:
1. Rock-solid employee/manager relationships
The workplace is a melting pot of every personality type on the spectrum, each with their own communication styles and priorities. And while there will always be some friction, ensuring consistent interactions between employees and their managers should be a KPI for companies of all sizes. Here’s why:
- Managers influence 75 percent of voluntary turnover
- 1 in 5 employees do not feel they receive regular, constructive feedback
- 69 percent of employees would work harder if they felt they would be recognized for it
So, how can you help employees improve relationships with their managers?
Say hello to the weekly (or monthly) 1:1
There’s no tool more powerful than good, old-fashioned dialogue between managers and employees. By conducting weekly or monthly check-ins instead of annual reviews, you’re providing a platform for:
- Feedback - employees want constructive feedback. And they need it well before their next big performance review so they can do something about it.
- Collaboration - managers should do more than manage in their regular check-ins with employees. By asking workers for their perspective on other business challenges, they can enhance teamwork and collaboration.
- Conflict resolution - regular meetings allow managers to hear about issues before they blow out of proportion (or simply blow up).
- Transparency - keeping the lines of communication open means there will be no surprises down the road when promotions and pay increases may be expected.
- Accessibility - the best managers are accessible to employees. Whether you have an open door policy or not, carving out time to regularly meet with individual contributors is a big win in the accessibility category.
While employees and managers may never invite each other to weekend clambakes, thanks to frequent and regular 1:1s, they (and the company as a whole) can definitely benefit from enhanced teamwork and communication. But relationships are only half of the story.
2. Visible talent development efforts
Employees want to know they are more than cogs in the corporate wheel. How can you show them you want to help them invest in themselves and their career development?
Whether employees are being primed for management or not, they still need ongoing training to keep up with fast-moving technology and trends of today. And besides the obvious reason of enhanced company performance, there are plenty of motivating factors for demonstrating a genuine talent development effort:
- Workers are more stressed than ever — 60 percent feel stressed all or most of the time at work. And according to Udemy’s 2017 Workplace Stress Study, 58 percent are turning to workplace-sponsored training to help combat that stress.
- Then there’s the terrifying notion that the half-life of a new skill is now just five years. That means ALL of us, whether salaried or hourly employees, need to ABL — always be learning.
- And one more stat to really drive it home… 57 percent of workers ranked opportunities to learn and grow as one of the most important aspects of workplace culture.
The productivity, engagement and culture of your workplace depend on how well you invest in talent development.
Work on improving these two keys to killing it in talent management and watch how everything else falls into place.