By Claudine Kapel
There’s a saying that when employees quit their job, they’re really leaving their manager, not their company.
Although there are many factors that shape an individual’s decision to look for – and accept –another job, the type of relationship that person has with his or her manager can be a central consideration.
Savvy organizations recognize this and devote time and resources to foster a positive work environment through both performance management and leadership development.
An effective performance management process can contribute to a positive organizational climate by encouraging:
- Open, two-way dialogue;
- Feedback and coaching;
- Attention to training needs and career aspirations; and
- Timely problem solving and continuous improvement.
To that end, effective performance management is about a lot more than just getting the annual performance appraisal forms completed on time.
But real managerial skill is required to make the leap from shuffling paperwork to engaging hearts and minds. That’s why management training is so important for optimal organizational performance.
Strong people managers know how to focus employees on what matters most. They keep the lines of communication open and they understand how to leverage pay and recognition to acknowledge superior contributions.
Ultimately, effective people managers represent the cornerstone of an organization’s employee retention strategy. They have their finger on the pulse of employee morale and can deal with issues proactively. They leverage the performance management process to tackle issues such as employee aspirations for advancement. And they support employee progression – including into other organizational areas – because they understand that it serves the greater good.
That doesn’t mean organizations with strong managers have no turnover. In fact, some level of turnover is generally desirable, because it helps organizations stay fresh and open to new ideas. Even in the best environments, employees will still move on for meaningful new opportunities or more readily accessible promotions.
But when there’s attention to performance management, career development, and leadership development, it’s less likely that a manager will be blind-sided by the sudden and unexpected departure of a pivotal top performer. And it’s less likely you’ll hear the squealing of tires in the parking lot when the employee concludes his or her final day on the job.
Claudine Kapel is principal of Kapel and Associates Inc., a Toronto-based human resources and communications consulting firm specializing in the design and implementation of compensation and total rewards programs. For more information, visit www.kapelandassociates.com