August. Part way through the calendar year, and smack dab in the middle of Winter. To ensure your organisation doesn’t lose sight of the goals and objectives set earlier in the year, now is the perfect time for a mid-year check in to review progress-to-date with employees. These discussions can help to ensure employees are engaged in their work and provide a proactive channel for addressing any issues that may be hindering progress on goals.
Consistently engaging employees in performance discussions makes accomplishing individual, team and organisational goals that much easier. Current research on employee engagement tells us that there are a few basic things a company can do to increase employee engagement, satisfaction and retention:
As an HR pro, these tactics may seem simple to you, but keep in mind that your managers need the right tools and support to help make this happen. You want to help managers be better coaches to they can give employees the guidance and support needed for success.
The key to ensuring managers deliver clear and meaningful feedback on an ongoing basis is to make it a part of your organisation’s culture. Here are a few practical ways to foster a feedback-rich culture.
Conduct More Frequent Employee Reviews
Many organisations find that building quarterly reviews into their performance management process helps to give managers and employees a regularly committed interval for dialogue and feedback. These quarterly reviews don't need to be as long or as detailed as your annual performance review session; their goal is to provide a structured forum for giving employees feedback and for checking on progress.
Gather Feedback From Multiple Sources
Another way to provide employees with more meaningful feedback is to gather input from others. Feedback from multiple sources is broader and more objective, and helps both the manager and employee get a more accurate view of their performance. This can be as simple as requesting feedback from another manager or supervisor that the employee works with, or from a third-party who has knowledge of the employee's strengths and weaknesses.
Take Ongoing Notes on Performance
Keeping and sharing notes on performance year-round helps to document performance and create a dialogue between a manager and an employee. Create a system to let managers and employees keep ongoing personal notes on performance and even share them with each other. Highlights, challenges and disconnects that might not otherwise be discovered until the annual performance review meeting can be shared and explored in a timely way. Then, when it's time to write annual performance reviews, managers have an accurate and detailed record to consult.
Define Clear Goals and Link Them to Organisational Goals
Another key to employee engagement, satisfaction and retention is the need for employees to clearly know what is expected of them, and to understand how their work contributes to the organisation's mission and success. SMART goals are broadly recognized as the most effective way to write clear goals. Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound goals let employees know what is expected of them, how success will be measured, and when they must complete work.
Recognize and Reward Your Employees Fairly and Consistently
Employees need to feel that their company rewards performance fairly and equitably. This applies to work/project opportunities, promotions, and awards, but especially to all areas of compensation, including base pay, bonuses, stock options, etc. It's critical for organisations to have a fair and transparent compensation processes.
Having an engaged workforce is critical to organizational success. Engaged employees are more productive and profitable, more customer-focused and more loyal to their employees. If you haven’t taken the time to revisit your organisation’s progress-to-date on goals, consider taking the month of August for this purpose. Review your results and strategise on where priorities need to be realigned, if at all. Make certain there is regular continuous dialogue between managers and employees that includes feedback, coaching and development and a review of priorities. This ongoing dialogue helps ensure everyone's individual contributions move the organization forward in the right direction.
Melany Gallant blogs on Halogen Software's Exploring Talent Management Blog.
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