Posted by Julie • September 6, 2016 (Last modified July 29, 2018) • 3 min read
The workforce is doing what the workforce does best: adapting and evolving. Today’s employees are on the move, and while that provides more innovation and culture, the mobility change can put a great deal of pressure on performance management programs. Thankfully, high potential employees want to be productive and involved with their company, which means if you have a good performance management plan, they will happily oblige.
To be specific, when it comes to performance management today’s high potential employees want…
Employees are looking for guidance throughout employment, but those first few months are absolutely critical to forming the right habits. New hires are aware there will be expectations for their work, but they don’t come aboard knowing what those expectations are. They lean on the onboarding and training phases of their employment to provide the exact performance management standards by which they will be held. Don’t let the fear of overwhelming hires keep you from being transparent of expectations.
Employees of all levels want to see where their work aligns to the strategic plan of the organization. To keep it simple, employees want to know that the time and effort they give is going to benefit the team, or company, in some way. And, let’s be honest, management feels the exact same way. Making those connections clear will motivate the workforce to do their best and will keep them engaged as a whole.
It’s not enough to have a couple goals and aspirations. As much as we talk about goal alignment, you probably believe that simply setting goals and crossing them off the list is enough to keep employees shooting for the stars; the above point proves that inaccurate. Your people are happier when they know how their everyday work is actually impacting the organization. Depending on the employee, the specific impact could potentially be the difference between good and stellar work. For instance, some employees are far more excited when their work affects the bottom line, while another may wish to see their effort positively affect colleagues.
High potential employees demand personal development. There is no way around it, if you want to retain the best of the best, you have to be dedicated to each individual’s career growth and skills. This conversation shouldn’t wait until they have reached proficiency either. Discuss career path options from day one, describing directions similar employees have gone and touching on what departments will eventually need growth. Simply having this conversation will prompt the employee to share their strengths and instill a desire to remain with, and grow, within your organization. It’s the candid and honest discussions that leave an employee feeling in control of their career.
The blind leading the blind is a term we like to use when untrained people or teams are leading other untrained individuals through tasks they have little knowledge of. If this sounds like a great business model then, by all means, forget building feedback into your performance management process. If you’re not sold on that, however, avoid confusion by approaching feedback from various angles. For one, employees should receive immediate feedback on work so they can adjust before they complete projects. In addition, high potential employees want continuous guidance via informal critiques and compliments. Though many may criticize the performance review, scheduled, formal feedback allows employees to collect their own thoughts of management and provides a medium in which to deliver it.
All that feedback keeps high potential employees on track to everything we mentioned above. Do you have an amazing performance management tip? Share it with us @Trakstar_hr!