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… is one of the suggestions in this LinkedIn article which  demonstrates the value of having long term career conversations to engage staff and reduce turnover.

I agree, it’s time to reframe the old performance review. Let’s face it, most people go into performance reviews with negative anticipation that the focus will be on what they need to do better, which often infers that they’re not meeting expectations. Ultimately these discussions occur once a year with the focus on ensuring performance is in line with achieving organisational objectives and ideally identifying any development needs to help the individual achieve them. What I’ve found is that people wait until that one meeting to voice any feedback around performance.  However the moment has well and truly passed and if there’s a need to deliver constructive feedback on how something could have been handled differently, it can set the relationship, and the individual’s performance, back.

What’s the alternative?

Flipping the focus onto helping that individual identify how to unlock their potential, optimise performance and achieve sustainable success, and seeing challenging situations as an opportunity for learning and personal growth, not something to hide away from. Success is still measured against organisational objectives being achieved, but the path there is through inspired performance.

For this to be a success, it needs to occur through regular career conversations to capture learnings along the way and identify someone’s success strategy to help them keep achieving, as well as identify where they’re heading and what they need to develop to get there.

My recommendations for these inspired career conversations are:

  1. make them individual focussed, it’s about them, not you. Is the role still enabling them to use their strengths/gifts/talents, live their values, achieve their goals – this will ensure they are intrinsically engaged, motivated and inspired.
  2. what are they learning? If people aren’t learning and growing and forming new neural pathways, their brain becomes lazy which leads to the same old thoughts and lack of innovation and creativity. Reflect on learnings over the past quarter – what challenges have they experienced in the role and why did they come along (to equip them with what skills/knowledge)? This will help identify any development needs (through training/study, engaging a coach or mentor, or looking at other ways to stretch themselves).
  3. are they clear on what they need to achieve next quarter (to ensure strategic objectives & KPI’s are met)
  4. are there any blocks around mindset or limiting beliefs that will stop them from achieving them? What strategies can they develop to overcome them?
  5. where do they want to be heading long term in their career and what steps can they take now to start getting runs on the board to make them an obvious choice when internal opportunities arise? Quite often when an internal appointment happens it’s because that person has already been demonstrating the capabilities required for that role. (retention & succession planning) Are there some collaborative projects they can work on, do they need to increase their network so they can be more valuable to the company, do they need to speak at more events so they are seen as an industry expert?
  6. and most importantly, reflect and celebrate the successes achieved last quarter. We are often so focussed on moving forward and achieving the next big thing that we don’t look back and see how far we’ve come.

This approach is really a shift from the ‘how do we drive performance’ approach to ‘how do we build an inspired workforce’ and then increased performance is a bi-product.

If you’d like support with your career conversations, contact me here.