Prevent Voluntary Turnover with Ongoing Performance Management

by Anita Bowness | Posted | Performance Management

Prevent Voluntary Turnover with Ongoing Performance Management

Wouldn't it be great if your top talent stayed with your company and helped keep it strong?

That might seem like a pipe dream, especially if you read a recent study from Bersin by Deloitte that reported a rise in voluntary turnover due to falling unemployment rates. Data from the same study shows that if the unemployment rate continues to stay low, the national voluntary turnover rate will likely remain high. While this can be great news for employees looking for a change, it's not so good for employers trying to hold on to their greatest asset: their people.

But the situation isn't all gloom and doom.

The silver lining of voluntary turnover

Business consultant, Bridget Miller, suggests that voluntary turnover could have an upside - and she makes some great points. Rather than worrying about losing great people, you should try to see employee turnover as an opportunity to:

  • Bring new people with fresh ideas and perspectives into your organization.
  • Reorganize talent pools to improve the overall productivity level.
  • Challenge common practices and assumptions.

Even if we are able to see the silver lining in voluntary turnover, the current market is setting the stage for a spike that can't be minimized. It's important for HR to do all it can to reduce the risk of the company's top talent leaving.

The good news is HR is well-positioned to take the lead on protecting the company's best talent, especially if your organization already has a strong talent management strategy in place.

How ongoing performance management can help

Here are three ways you can fight voluntary turnover with effective ongoing performance management:

1. Help build strong relationships with employees and their manager

According to Gallup, up to 70 percent of employee engagement is impacted by employee - manager relationships. This makes leadership training for managers and continuous feedback between managers and employees critical for productivity, engagement and retention.

You can help managers and employees build stronger relationships by encouraging them to participate in regular check-ins, which gives both parties the opportunity to discuss challenges or missteps before they become bigger issues. Regular conversations during one-on-one meetings or after an assignment has completed also provides an ideal time to clarify roles and expectations, recognize accomplishments, and plan for upcoming projects.

2. Create an environment where employees are challenged

When employees see a connection between their work and the success of the organization, it boosts employee engagement and satisfaction. To ensure that this connection is clear, companies need to align individual goals to organizational objectives. Properly setting and monitoring goals, including stretch goals that challenge and expand employees' skillsets, helps keep employees focused on what's important and establishes a line of sight to their efforts and your company's success. Your employees should also be held accountable for these goals.

As part of regular meetings with employees, managers should take the time to review and revise goals as needed, give feedback and provide coaching. It's also critical that managers allow their employees to take smart risks and learn that failure is just another learning opportunity.

By using ongoing performance management to address these common issues you can help engage, develop and challenge your employees - and ultimately retain them.

3. Provide opportunities for growth and development

People like to learn and grow. If an employee sees a job as dead-end, they may start looking for other opportunities. This is where having conversations about growth and development becomes so important. You can provide managers and employees with the resources and tools to help support a career plan, regardless of the direction people want to go in their career.

Encouraging managers and employees to have ongoing conversations about career goals, skill gaps and training shows that you are invested in their success. This helps employees to see they have a future with your company. These discussions should be a collaborative effort that establishes a learning plan to track employees' progress towards their goals.

In addition to career paths, creating retention strategies for high-performing or high-potential employees can help keep them engaged and loyal to your brand. This can include re-defining your company culture, updating compensation and benefits, offering a rewards and recognition program, or offering more flexible work arrangements.

Engagement: Voluntary turnover's kryptonite

The beauty of ongoing performance management is that it gives your company a first line of defense against voluntary turnover. And, to be completely honest, ongoing performance is just good business, regardless of the size of your company or what the unemployment rates are at during a specific point in time.

Ensuring your managers and employees sit down regularly for open, honest conversations means issues that can lead to employees' quitting are spotted early and addressed quickly. By getting to know each other's expectations, strengths and weaknesses, you establish trust, build stronger relationships, and help employees find meaning in their work and support their career path.

There are many reasons why employees choose to leave. Don't let it be something you can control. How your organization manages and treats its talent is something completely within the realm of its control. So, give them every reason to stay rather than add to the reasons why they can leave.

Driving the Future of Performance Management

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Cover of the book

Driving the Future of Performance Management

Discover how you can maximize your employees\' potential and realize brilliant outcomes for your organization.

Download Ebook

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