The topic of employee engagement seems to be one that is quite popular in recent years, especially with all the changes that have occurred in the landscape of the workplace. It has been said that a culture of high engagement is necessary to help overcome the fear of the fleeting workforce with the improvement of the economy and the increase in hiring in some organizations. In the January issue of Chief Learning Officer magazine, Tom Roth discusses five key elements to creating a culture of engagement. One of those elements is creating a culture of inclusion. In explanation of this, Roth makes a statement that employees don’t necessarily hate change, but actually hate having change imposed upon them. Think about that for a moment.
In a previous post, I discussed the need to include employee control in your performance management strategy. Roth is right; employees hate having things imposed upon them. They hate that their supervisors have complete control of the performance management process as well. So, what can you do?
Oftentimes, the issue comes down to miscommunication and mixed messages. You have given supervisors a great deal of responsibility for the performance of their work teams. You blame them when a member of their team fails to meet performance expectations. So it seems perfectly logical that they would assume the position of power and control in a performance management discussion. Additionally, you required that they get all those forms completed on time and if your company completes reviews for everyone at the same time, then you are basically asking them to add an entirely new job for themselves in the few weeks prior to the deadline. The result is a rushed review form and most likely an even more rushed review conversation. And since this may be the only document you require of them on performance for an entire year, this may just be the only performance discussion this employee gets at all.
If you want to give employees more control over their performance and strategic HR management process, then your managers and supervisor can’t hold the conversation for the performance review once a year or only when there is a problem. The conversation needs to be two-way throughout the year. In fact, I say find a way to abolish the performance review altogether. Focus your supervisors on all the time two-way feedback and you may be surprised with the result. Doing what you’ve always done gets what you always get. Do you need to change it?
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Sheri Mazurek is a training and human resource professional with over 16 years of management experience, and is skilled in all areas of employee management and human resource functions, with a specialty in learning and development. She is available to help you with your Human Resources and Training needs on a contract basis. For more information send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sherimazurek.com. Follow me on twitter @Sherimaz.