The Great Resignation is upon us, and it’s unlikely that any organisation will come out the other end completely unscathed. As people everywhere begin to gain more confidence in a stabilizing job market, resignation notices are beginning to flood employer’s inboxes. Our recent research indicated that as many as 50% of people are currently considering looking for a new job, and with job vacancies reaching a 20-year high, this is now starting to translate into movement in the market. So if you’re finding that rising attrition is creeping up your priority list, you’re not alone!
Whilst there are a number of market forces driving this, chief amongst this has been the fundamental shift in employee experience that many of us have been through, and the many and varied approaches to hybrid working now being unveiled. We know from our own research that employees vary greatly in terms of what they believe the best remote/office working balance is, and striking this balance in policy terms is really difficult.
The solution to this (and we believe the secret tool in the retention race) is empowerment. Creating an organisational culture where individuals are empowered to deliver outcomes by doing tasks wherever and whenever will deliver the best outcome. We believe that employers who can achieve this stand to be well positioned to profit from improved productivity and retention.
To many of us, this might seem difficult, but actually the steps to achieving it are relatively well known – and it all starts with modern performance management.
Everybody wants to feel like they’re being heard, respected and valued by their organisation. But sometimes people’s voices get lost in a team situation, their hard work goes unnoticed by a busy manager and they can begin to feel unmotivated and disengaged with their job. A 2019 article by ‘The Resource’ stated ‘…a recent poll of workers throughout the U.S. and Canada indicated that over 60% of the respondents agreed that their biggest problem at work was leaders making decisions without seeking input.’
This situation may have been amplified when more and more people began working from home, making them less visible to managers, simply another face in a box during team video calls, or the occasional email here and there.
For those organisations still using the once a year annual appraisal method to track performance, these issues are likely to go unnoticed, get worse and ultimately result in employees leaving.
So how do you tackle these problems using good performance management?
By ensuring all managers speak to each member of their team on a regular basis, for example once a month, issues can be spotted, concerns nullified, and people feel heard. Without time set aside specifically for employees to have meaningful conversations with their managers, many will keep their problems to themselves, rather than asking for time to address the issue.
By opening communication and solving problems at early stages, staff who may have left due to ongoing problems not being resolved, now have a regular opportunity to speak out and be heard by their manager.
Short term goal setting
Setting objectives once a year and then expecting staff to stay engaged and enthusiastic about them is a little unrealistic. Most of the time staff will forget what their objectives were, get distracted by other projects, or sometimes their objectives will become irrelevant over the course of a year due to shifting company priorities.
By setting staff shorter term goals that can be met in months or weeks, they have something clear to work towards, progress can be tracked better, and goals can be changed to better fit the priorities of their team / organisation at that time.
Open communication between staff
Encouraging feedback between colleagues can be great for engagement. Receiving positive feedback for a job well done from a co-worker makes people feel appreciated. And allowing constructive feedback to be given in real time (rather than months after the fact) means that employees can improve on work and develop within their role.
This is best done on a performance management platform which allows staff to quickly give, receive and request feedback from other members of their organisation.
Tools to track staff wellbeing
We all know the importance of mental wellbeing, a person who is unhappy, stressed, unmotivated etc. is more likely to be looking to leave than a happy worker. As well as having regular check-ins with managers, one way of monitoring staff wellbeing is to implement a ‘mood tracker’. These are multiple choice survey platforms that staff can answer anonymously once every month or so.
These can include questions such as, ‘How engaged do you feel with your work at the moment’ or, ‘Does your work give you a sense of purpose?’
Whilst this will not give you an indication of in individual’s wellbeing, it can give HR staff an overall view of motivation and morale in the company as a whole. If this starts to look bad, it may be time to take action to boost these things.
We’re not saying good performance management is a miracle fix for the Great Resignation, but by encouraging regular meaningful conversations, improving communication between co-workers, increasing engagement and putting more focus on staff wellbeing, we believe you will be in the best position possible to retain your people.
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