Adopting a Mindset of Continuous Talent Improvement.
Over the years I have been asked by clients the following question: When an employee’s conduct in a particular situation is unacceptable should it be discussed immediately or wait for the employee’s annual performance review?
In answering the question we should first decide if the conduct or behavior is correctable or requires termination.
If you wait for the annual review to address correctable conduct or behavior you may have missed an opportunity to get the employee on the right track.
Companies see value in adopting continuous process improvement methods to reach the goal of optimizing efficiency. Similarly companies need to adopt continuous talent improvement methods. The operative word is "continuous".
Continuous talent improvement is an intentional mindset which uses an immediate or frequent feedback approach to talent development. It is done in a way which thoughtfully provides feedback to change or reinforce desired behaviors.
Waiting until the annual performance review to address the employee’s behavior is not nearly as effective as immediate or frequent feedback in changing behavior or mindset. The employee’s focus during the annual performance review is about the overall appraisal result and the impact it will have on a possible raise or bonus. If the particular past conduct is emphasized too much in the appraisal the employee may focus on it rather than the other subjects that are part of the review.
Don’t wait to give feedback or take corrective action. Feedback and corrective action needs to be constant and consistent. Some organizations are moving toward more frequent performance reviews. That is a step in the right direction but is it enough?
The entire organization needs to be all in when it comes to giving feedback and taking corrective action. How can this be done?
- Adopt a philosophy of continuous talent improvement.
- Develop open communication within the organization.
- Training managers and leaders to be clear and accurate in discussing corrective action and feedback and to do so in a productive, positive and constructive way.
- Develop and execute programs focused on communication strategies, overcoming conflict-averse behaviors and human talent process improvement.
- Document the personnel file with a written summary of what was said and the action taken. One way is to generate an email documenting the conversation/meeting and sending it to the employee and the HR manager. This gives all constituents an opportunity to add their input.
A company’s sustainable competitive advantage lies in the development of its human talent. If an organization adopts a continuous improvement model for human talent development, it can reap huge rewards.