by Debbie Winkler
As seen in the Idaho Statesman Business Insider on 5/23/2012
There are few things more important to the success of your business than retaining good people. Good people are the talented, committed employees who are critical to your success. Increasing their productivity and satisfaction, and retaining them should be a priority.
The best managers know that employees have the right to expect answers to key questions.
1. What’s expected of me? Managers are responsible for ensuring that job descriptions are defined for each role in the company. Job descriptions should clearly identify requirements and responsibilities, and the competencies, skills, and behaviors required for successful performance. Managers and employees share responsibility for discussing and understanding responsibilities and performance expectations.
2. How am I doing? Successful managers ensure that a formal performance appraisal process is in place. They enhance the process with feedback and informal coaching. Working with employees, managers identify strengths and development areas, establish performance goals, and define action plans to achieve goals. They evaluate observable performance using a rating scale and have employees do the same (self-rating), to enable effective performance discussions.
3. How can I get better? The most powerful developmental opportunities occur on the job supported by coaching and feedback. Innovative managers identify new ways to build employee skills and knowledge on the job and they challenge employees to do the same. They ensure people have the diversity of experience needed to be successful in their roles. They know that supplementing job experience with tools and training can be highly beneficial in the right situations and they take responsibility for ensuring they are available when needed.
4. How can I expand my opportunities? One of the most powerful motivators for employees is the opportunity to work on challenging assignments that stretch capabilities. Look at your employees. If you see talented people not being challenged by current assignments, look for ways to provide the resources and experiences that will allow them to grow into more challenging work. Then assign it to them. Put them in charge of a new program, have an employee represent you at a meeting to give a presentation on findings or results, assign them to a project that creates exposure in a new area or with a higher-level manager. Employees should also ask for stretch assignments.
5. How does my work performance support business goals? Managers should ensure that the goals and values of the organization are understood by all employees. Employee performance appraisals should include the achievement of business goals with work performance. Managers and employees should work together to define goals and create development plans that lead to achieving business goals.
6. How will my performance be recognized and rewarded? Successful managers create and communicate a culture of recognition and reward that reinforces the right behaviors and results. They understand the importance of aligning rewards with the personal motivations of their people and they use diverse ways to recognize and reward performance, including special awards linked to specific accomplishments, customized gifts, recognition events, peer and customer recognition programs, job promotions, high profile role opportunities, merit increases, and financial incentives.
DEBBIE WINKLER Consultant, Idaho Business Development Center