Selected in Featured

Performance Appraisals as Retention Tools: Flipping the Conversation on its Head

FEB 03, 2020

Show Notes:

Performance reviews are often seen as tools to measure how well an employee is performing in their role. In this episode of Inspired, Jaime and Keri turn the conversation on its head.

Performance Reviews as Retention Tools

What if your annual reviews were something employees (and you) actually wanted to have?

Unemployment numbers continue to hover near rock-bottom levels, so leaders must seize every opportunity to retain and upskill their valuable team members. When a performance review is just as much of a check-in on how the company is doing to meet the employee’s needs, as well as vice versa, you’re showing your employees that you’re committed to them.

And, being committed to your employees means acknowledging some very important trends:

CEO of Me Culture

It’s not just millennials who want to drive their own careers. Jaime and Keri produce themselves as exhibits A and B of this trend. People want control of their career path, advancements, and skill-building. Fewer of us than ever are content to sit around and passively wait for a promotion to a higher floor.

As leaders, we must acknowledge our employee’s aspirations and make it clear that we’re here to help them become a reality. Think of a performance review as your chance to show your staff how well you are supporting them.

Everyone Wants to Feel Important

No one wants to spend the majority of their waking hours feeling like a number among many. Your employees want to be noticed.

As you prepare for performance reviews—and in your everyday interactions—make sure your employees know you see them. Ask about their short-term and long-term goals. Be curious about those goals. For example, when an employee shares that they want to be production manager in five years, ask why. Find out what is appealing about that role, and what they hope to gain by achieving this. Really look under the hood.

For managers who think of themselves as more than that—who see their role as one of a mentor—, this kind of conversation can flow naturally.

What Gets Measured, Gets Done

Performance data may seem one-sided in favor of the company. But, guess what? Your people want their data, too. After all, we all rely on data more than ever today—from how we make purchases to measuring our heating bills at home.

Having scheduled, formal performance reviews on the calendar can provide predictable opportunities for reviewing OKRs and other key performance metrics.

Performance Reviews Aren’t Enough

Performance reviews can be powerful retention tools—but they aren’t enough.

Regular check-ins are also crucial. Consider the power of stay interviews that gauge employee satisfaction throughout their tenure, rather than only in retrospect when they’re on their way out your door.

Jaime and Keri conclude their conversation by bursting the myth of “My door is always open.” The phrase places the onus for open communication on the employee, and our hosts argue that leaders can do better by being more proactive themselves.