Performance Scoring Reviews: Diane Strohfus’ Article on Three Performance Management Strategies That Dramatically Reduce Attrition

In her recent article for Training Journal, “Three performance management strategies that dramatically reduce attrition,” Dian Strohfus discusses a topic of ever-increasing relevance: retaining talent. The purpose of these performance management strategies is “both boosting overall workforce performance and improving employee retention,” which ultimately equates to improving promotability. Strohfus begins by acknowledging the resistance to performance management from her experiences from the perspective of both employee and supervisor.

“Employees viewed any performance programs as punitive with a focus on ‘what’s wrong.’…Managers were too often stuck in an old mindset (that) performance management is for underperformance rather than accelerating all employee performance.” This harps back to the inherent trade-off with performance management doctrine, as stated by David Ammons, of the devolved authority by management in exchange for accountability of employees. The three strategies that Strohfus offers all serve to ease the resistance and let all parties know that performance management is used for employee and organizational development, not pointing blame.

1)  Use performance language and a future focus to motivate employees

Implementation and prioritization of effective performance management is trending like never before, it is the way of the future, and for good reason. Therefore, it should be treated as such and when implementing any performance management program, make “sure that the language you use inspires motivation, rather than fear.” Clients of Performance Scoring will use the system as a way to celebrate the success of their employees with employee recognition ScoreCard Categories. Strohfus writes that it is paramount to pair with “an overall performance management program that emphasizes development, instead of being solely concerned with evaluating past performance.” Measurement of overall performance and development is attained by looking holistically at all Factors leading to success.

2)  Help your managers become better coaches

High-performance and continuous coaching are major buzzwords for supervisors for the millennial workforce. We see time and again with survey data that millennials value their growth and development above all else professionally. “Managers have an outsized impact on the motivation of their direct reports,” observes Strohfus. This is a major reason why Performance Scoring has continued to develop our platform around teams by focusing on relativity. An effective performance management system, like Performance Scoring, will “drive the process and provide transparency for everyone involved.”

3)  Harness data and technology to communicate the business value of performance management

The third strategy that Strohfus recommends is one that should be inherent to performance management but is not seen with many top systems which are primarily engagement tools. Using a performance management system “inform data-driven decision making about strategies and goal” sounds obvious, but with so many subjective and one-size-fits-all systems available it is cumbersome to use the data in decision making. Performance Scoring encourages the use of objective performance data to drive meetings, strategy and decision making.

With the correct performance management tool implemented these three strategies that Strohfus prioritizes are inherent. Implementation of performance management is a painless process that yields continuous benefits to an organization. Only having “backwards-looking annual reviews your performance process is about compliance, not employee acceleration and driving business results.” This approach has been the norm and it’s created the stigma and negative perception towards performance reviews by all parties. However, with the right performance management program in place “the result will be a significant reduction in turnover, as well as a more engaged and productive workforce that drives your business into the future.”