Every business wants to improve the performance and productivity of its employees but will you get more out of your employees if they stay in one role or should you encourage them to change roles within your organisation?
On the face of it, it seems that encouraging your employees to stay in one role should improve their performance and productivity. After all the longer the longer they are in their role the greater their knowledge, experience and skills; they get to know and understand their role inside out, they know who they need to speak to help them and they develop the skills to do the role with minimal supervision and support.
However a recent academic study on the relationship between job tenure and job performance has found that there is no link between the length of time an employee is in a role and their performance.
In fact, the study, which is co-authored by Thomas Ng, at the University of Hong Kong and Daniel Feldman, at the University of Georgia, concluded the declines in motivation or increases in job boredom, which tend to accompany longer job tenure, may counteract the positive gains related to increased job knowledge and experience.
The study findings highlight the need for organisations to engage their employees by providing them with performance management, career planning and development, as well as recognition and rewards. After all highly engaged employees will:
- Be passionate and enthusiastic about their job
- Be an excellent brand ambassador
- Be motivated to take the initiative
Since being in a role for a significant amount of time doesn’t improve performance, organisations need to ensure that they have a proper performance management system in place to develop their employees.
Performance management means different things in different businesses, but there are some common elements:
- Clarity – Are both the manager and the employee clear about the goals that have been set?
- Support – Does the employee have the necessary support to achieve the goals that have been set, and if not what support is needed?
- Fit – Does the role match the skills the employee has, and if not, what additional skills or training are needed?
- Feedback – What useful feedback is given by the manager to the employee and vice versa?
- Development – What opportunities are there to develop new skills?
Career planning and development
If you develop employees for the future then your employees will be more engaged today. As part of the performance management process managers should be finding out how their employees want to progress their career and providing them with opportunities to develop new skills and knowledge.
Career planning and development doesn’t just have to be about training courses, there are lots of opportunities for employees to develop the skills they need such as:
- Job shadowing
- Mentoring programmes
- Extra responsibility on a project
- Secondment to another department
Career development and planning is not just about helping the employees. It enables employers to create a succession plan and a pipeline of future managers and leaders which keeps the valuable knowledge and skills gained by the employee in the business.
Recognition and rewards
There’s no doubt that recognition from managers leads to higher employee engagement and improved job performance, therefore it’s crucial that businesses that want to boost employee performance, motivation and employee engagement implement an employee recognition programme.
Employees value recognition from their managers and colleagues most of all, so businesses should create a peer-to-peer recognition element within their programmes. It’s also important that the right rewards are offered to employees. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to employee rewards, so businesses need to find out what motivates their employees, whether it’s a pat on the back, a presentation and a plaque or a gift card to spend on anything they like.
It’s all about the manager!
When it comes to performance management, career planning, ongoing development, and recognition the manager of the employee is key to every single element. After all, studies have proven that most employees leave a role not because of the role but because of the manager. Therefore employers need to make sure that their managers also receive the support and training they need to manage appropriately.
John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.