It’s that time of year where organizations are completing their employee performance management, otherwise known as the annual performance review.  Most managers dread the annual review process as much as their employees do.

Having a candid discussion with your employees about their strengths and weaknesses can be a challenging task, especially when you hold the fate of their annual raise in your hands.

The problem lies in leaving the employee performance management process until the end of the year, since you don’t get a chance to have these candid conversations on a regular basis.  Have you ever asked yourself, “I wonder what keeps my employees coming to work every day?”  Have you ever actually asked them?  Try it on for size, you might just surprise yourself.

Employee Performance Management: Love Them or Lose Them

The 4 most important words at the heart of your employee performance management process:

  • Love – Treat employees fairly and respectfully.  Thank them.  Challenge and develop them.  Care about them and you will engage and retain them.
  • Lose – Loss is just as serious when talent retires on the job as when they leave for a competitor.
  • Good – Consider your solid citizens, not just your high potentials.  Stars are people at any level who bring value to the organization.
  • Stay – Encourage talented employees to stay with the organization.  Talent will be the key differentiating factor in competitive industries.

The top 5 reasons that employees stay where they are:

  • 5th – Supportive Management – Good Boss
  • 4th – Fair Pay
  • 3rd – Working with great people
  • 2nd – Career growth – learning and development
  • …and the number ONE reason….Exciting work and challenge!!!!

Some of you immediately zeroed in on the fact that fair pay lands in the fourth spot on the list…were you a little surprised that it wasn’t higher?  Research indicates that if pay is seen as unfair, non competitive, or simply insufficient to sustain life, it will be a large dissatisfier.

Your talented people will become vulnerable to talent theft or will begin looking around.  Also keep in mind that you can pay a high salary but if they are not being challenged, or grown, or cared about, a high salary will not keep them for long.

Stay Interview

Most of you have utilized the Exit Interview process over the years to determine where the organization went wrong or what they could have done better.  The problem with this is that it only happens after the associate has accepted a position somewhere else or just plain made the decision to leave!

What is stopping you from conducting a “Stay Interview”?  Will stay interviews help to determine the gaps before an employee makes that decision?

Select 2-4 of your employees, depending on the size of your department, and conduct a “Stay Interview” using the following questions.

  1. What can we do to make your job more satisfying?
  2. What makes a great day for you?
  3. What can we do to support your career growth?
  4. Do you get enough recognition?
  5. What can we do to keep you here?
  6. If you could change one thing about this department what would it be?
  7. What is it about your job that makes you jump out of bed each morning?
  8. If you looked back over your career what would you say is the best job or company that you have worked for so far?

In the employee performance management process, too often we forget to ask the important questions and end up missing a telling sign of a dissatisfied employee.  If you make an effort to find out the cold hard truth you will retain your associates and create a more satisfied workforce for all. 


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