Do you feel like it’s becoming increasingly harder to find talented employees? You’re not alone. A recent article from the Independent revealed that nine in 10 UK employers are struggling to find skilled workers and most expect this situation to get worse as the UK gets closer to leaving the EU. When faced with these circumstances, it may feel hopeless trying to recruit the best and brightest. Yet, we’re here to tell you that there’s hope -- you can retain key employees AND attract new talent. 

How do you ask? The solution is relatively simple, develop a performance management system that promotes employees growth and professional development. With a positive environment, encouraging coaches, and the right opportunities, talented employees will be motivated, engaged and committed to your company. 

What is Performance Management? 

Performance management is a workplace, corporate strategy that is used to encourage and enhance employee’s work. To be effective it has to be a continually evolving process where managers and employees collaborate to create clear goals, track progress and review the employee’s achievements and setbacks and overall contribution to the company. 

With Brexit looming on the horizon, it’s even more essential for businesses to create and develop robust performance management plans. It’s no longer enough to simply offer fun perks like discounted gym memberships or a fully stocked beer fridge. Employers need to make sure employees feel like they can grow and develop at your company, that their ideas are heard and that managers are responsive to their feedback. Otherwise, you risk losing your top talent to your competitors. 

A high staff turnover rate can have some pretty serious impacts on your company. It dampens staff morale, impacts a team’s performance, creates setbacks on projects and can even have financial implications. While research varies on the precise figure, it’s generally agreed that losing a middle manager can cost a business up to 100% of that individual’s salary.  

What Does a Good Performance Management Plan Look Like?

An effective performance management plan should support employees throughout their entire lifecycle from onboarding to exit. Smart employers understand that an excellent onboarding process shows employees that you care about them before they even start working for you. Once they join the team, it’s important to continue to support their growth and development.

Supportive Managers

Employees are more likely to hand in their resignation due to poor managers and supervisors than job requirements. Training your managers to be empathetic, supportive and responsive can go a long way towards promoting staff wellbeing and professional growth. Any effective performance management plan involves cooperation between employees and their managers and without the right support employees will feel frustrated, lack direction and ultimately leave.

Set Clear Company Goals & Explain Employees’ Roles

Nearly every company has goals yet not all companies take the time to explain employees’ roles in helping the organisation reach these objectives. Whether the employee is only entry-level or has a more senior role, it’s essential that each individual understands how they’re contributing to the overall company’s success. Otherwise, reaching key milestones may not mean anything to employees and they won’t be motivated to strive towards these goals.

Set Employee KPIs

Similarly, it’s also crucial to set employee KPIs. Whether these goals are related to soft skills, personal development or professional experience, setting clear objectives helps employees feel like there’s a plan in place. Benchmarks should be taken every few months so that employees can clearly see their progress and managers are aware of any challenges. If there are setbacks, managers should work with employees to identify appropriate solutions.

Recognise and Reward Good Performance

When employees reach their goals or go above and beyond, it’s essential to make sure they receive proper recognition. A simple “thank you” or “job well done” can be quite effective. On a more long-term scale, it’s also equally important to have a reward system in place. This could include monetary bonuses, prizes and awards, company recognition, etc.

Some companies have come up with creative, fun reward systems. For example, Groupon gives their employees a bright green Adidas jacket for each year of service and Walt Disney has the Spirit of Fred Award which recognises employees that embody the company’s values.

Provide and Announce Opportunities for Growth

It’s not enough to simply reward your employees for a job well-done. Talented employees want to take on new challenges and advance their careers. Managers should be aware of employees’ long-term career goals and then create opportunities to help them accomplish these goals. While it can be difficult to promote employees or develop new roles within small businesses and start-ups, you can assist employees to gain the necessary skills.

Create an Open and Friendly Work Environment

Implementing a performance management plan requires also developing a friendly and welcoming work environment with plenty of opportunities for communication between employees and managers. Employees need to feel confident in voicing their opinions and ideas. It’s important to take any feedback seriously and employees should be aware of any resulting changes. Employee feedback can have a positive impact on your approach and can ultimately help the company achieve more significant results.

Understand Employee Exits

It’s inevitable that employees will occasionally hand in their resignations. Whether they’re leaving to pursue new opportunities or for personal reasons, employee exits create a valuable opportunity to learn about your company and your approach to performance management. Conducting an exit interview can be an effective way to identify any areas of improvement and nip problems in the bud before other staff members leave.

Recruit Talent with Change Recruitment

We have over 45 years in recruitment experience and will use a bespoke approach to assist you in finding the best and brightest employees. As the leading Edinburgh and Glasgow recruitment agency, We’ve got access to talented candidates for roles in accountancy and finance, investment and risk, professional services and construction and building services. Find out more about recruiting with Change or speak to one of our dedicated consultants.

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