Several terms depict managing a workforce: human capital management, talent development and performance management. The understanding of each of these terms is varied. Perhaps the new terms are an effort to move from a narrow view of employee discipline to making the best of each employee’s work-life.
Yet, many organizations continue to focus on discipline or corrective action; others add the performance appraisal process; and some look at the effort to optimize the employee’s life from recruitment to retirement.
There are several strategies to increase employee engagement, and many can be considered performance management, or talent development strategies.
Performance management starts with a clear job description that describes the position’s purpose and what duties are required to achieve the desired outcomes. This is the road map for recruitment, onboarding, training, and evaluating the individual selected to perform that function. The job description needs to change, as the work and methods change.
Onboarding, or the initial training and orientation is the first step of performance management that impacts the new hire. Research advocates a well-executed onboarding process, as it decreases the amount of time the new hire takes to become a productive employee and increases the employee’s tenure. It’s a worthwhile investment.
The manager’s coaching, and ongoing feedback demonstrates the importance of the position to the employee. This establishes boundaries, catches errors before they become serious; and promotes a mutual learning experience.
Performance evaluations should go beyond evaluating the current position, to exploring performance development, promotional and career opportunities. This is the step where the employee feels the company cares about him as an individual, not simply a contributor. Whether promotional opportunities exist in the company or not, managers who engage in conversations about the individual’s personal professional growth engage the individual.
Several organizations call the performance evaluation, the Performance Development Plan (PDP) to assure the focus is on development. Many PDPs are quarterly with specific quarterly goals. Should the performance of the employee be less than satisfactory, the evaluation becomes a Performance Improvement Plan with more frequent feedback and consequences for failure to improve.
A final piece of the performance management puzzle is compensation and recognition. A great relationship with one’s manager means a lot, but it’s not enough to keep employees if their compensation is not on par with others in the marketplace. There is some evidence to suggest when the compensation structure of the organization is set up to reward and recognize high achievers, it will motivate others to achieve. There is more evidence that suggests a structure that provides flat rate increases based on tenure causes high achievers to leave.
Non-monetary recognition is an important element. Diplomas attesting the completion of training with a ceremony is an example of a memorable recognition.
Despite the endless buzzwords and plethora of available strategies, less than 25% of employees feel their managers are interested in their professional development, according to a recent Lee Hecht Harrison survey.
The sad truth is few managers feel they have time to connect with their employees. And even fewer organizations recognize managers for the effort. Developing their employees is so far down the “to-do list,” it’s not on their minds.
Organizations need to be mindful of developing employees and begin to recognize managers who do build their bench strength. Even routine tasks carried out with this mindfulness, will result in more eye contact, greater interest in others, and a healthier work environment. It’s a worthwhile investment.
The Department of Labor issued guidance for the Family Medical Leave Act’s definition of children. A child may be an adult child with a disability, regardless of when the disability commenced.
Trump’s Taj Mahal casino fired 20 plaintiffs between the ages of 42-67 years old. They claim they were fired due to age and high wages, and that they have been replaced by a younger workforce. Trump has a history of age discrimination suits, including not selecting a 49 year old to compete on the Apprentice in 2007.
“Lookism” is a term describing the advantages attractive people have in business, including higher pay. In this case, The 8th Circuit demonstrated being attractive can also work against you. Melissa Nelson was the best dental assistant Dr. Knight ever had. She was fired for being too attractive.
Nelson filed a sex discrimination suit. The 8th Circuit Supreme court upheld the district judge’s dismissal; stating Knight had an all-female staff and replaced Nelson with a female. Employees can be fired for creating jealously and tension within a business owner’s family, which was the case in the dentist’s office.
The 8th Circuit upheld the termination of a returning veteran, because his supervisor recommended him for termination as part of a down -sizing prior to his return. USERRA requires employers to return the vet to a position s/he would have had, had the employment not been interrupted by service. This may result in greater pay and promotion.