A Performance Management Approach to Retaining Key People
Simplistically, most people will feel motivated and will want to stay in their job if their manager:
- pays attention to their work
- provides them with a job to match their skills, knowledge and experience gives them opportunities to grow and develop
- judges their performance objectively
Most Performance Management processes contain critical opportunities for recognition.
Traditionally, the annual appraisal is the only meeting during the year when an average or better worker will meet his or her boss to discuss performance. People with poor performance can and do have a regular audience with their manager; sometimes on a weekly basis. Your appraisal form is the document that is held on file as a record of how good, bad or indifferent you might have been. For some, this may be the only time in the year that they receive plaudits and even these may be guarded comments because of the close link in everyone’s mind between appraisal and pay raise, despite repeated denials. Too much praise might raise expectations of a large pay increase. Poor performers, however, frequently receive far more than their fair share of management attention throughout the year.
If paying attention to our employees is one of the greatest motivators, when did we decide that high performers need less motivation than poor performers? Of course they don’t! Many of the top performing companies in the world have introduced regular coaching and mentoring sessions to supplement the appraisal system and to give all employees a regular opportunity to talk about their job, their performance against their objectives, their motivation, and their aspirations.
Often you can see situations where mgers act as spectators. Their behavior, plus the words they use along with their body language, would not be out of place at a soccer or baseball match. They would be sitting in the stands eating a hot dog, throwing down a beer, and belting out criticism at the players (their staff) on the field. There is almost no connection between the manager and the staff other than they just happen to be sitting in the same building.
This image is used to point out the profound difference between the manager as coach and the manager as spectator. A coach works individually with players, helping them to overcome setbacks and obstacles to progress forward. They know and understand how their players respond to different types of motivation and how their family life and health impact their performance.
The majority of coaching is done on a very frequent basis. You simply don’t wait for the big match to deliver your advice to the team in the way the manager as spectator’ does. You work very closely with everyone in the team, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your players before they are tested under pressure.
Tammy A.S. Kohl is President of Resource Associates Corporation. For over 30 years, RAC has specialized in helping businesses achieve sustainable results through leadership development and executive coaching. For information on creating a leadership succession plan visit www.resourceassociatescorp.com or contact RAC directly at 800.799.6227.