In the past year, we have seen major companies – such as Microsoft, Shopify, Tesla, Ford, and Noom – lay off sizeable chunks of their workforce. This can make both employers and employees start to feel uneasy. Strategies – including people strategies – may start to be rethought and perhaps even have budget cuts.
However, performance management should not be compromised. The success of businesses are rooted in their people. For companies where the prime product is their talent (such as professional services firms), talent management should never be ignored – even in tough times. Therefore, it’s important that companies focus on strategies that make employee engagement and motivation a top priority.
Below we list why investing in talent management should always be at the top of the priority list.
1. Goals need to be clear
In any market, individual goals should always be clearly communicated. Effective performance management begins with effective goal setting. Managers cannot meet with employees once or twice a year to go over their goals. The cadence of check-ins need to be more frequent. Setting and tracking goals can make employees better aligned, more engaged, and more productive.
2. Feedback is truly what keeps people motivated
We have previously written about the importance of feedback. Feedback is an easy way to motivate employees. Most employees want more feedback; and in tough times, they may need more reassurance that their work matters. In addition to motivating and engaging employees, feedback also improves work relationships by increasing trust and transparency – it is a (cost-effective) way for managers to show employees that they care about their employees’ performance, work, and wellbeing.
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3. Retention should always be top of mind
In good times and in bad, turnover is inevitable. Despite major layoffs making headlines in the past couple of months, there are still companies that are having difficulty finding and keeping good talent. Retaining top talent will always matter, as high performing talent will always be head hunted. Having a strong performance management software can help flag employees that may be at high risk of turnover.
4. Succession planning is and will always be crucial
Workforce reductions sting. It can demoralize a team and impact business outcomes. This is particularly true when there is no solid bench of talent ready to embrace new responsibilities and positions. Many performance management softwares have people analytics that allow for HR professionals to identify strengths and weaknesses of their talent pool, thus allowing for a strong bench of talent to take over if the current leaders leave.
Performance management is always crucial. The success of businesses is rooted in their people. How organizations manage their workforce can truly be a way to differentiate from the competitors. Success for people means success for your business.