How do you turn talent into performance?

I’ve been thinking about this question a lot lately as I prepare to speak at the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Expo next month. The topic of my presentation is onboarding (go figure, right?) and, while I can’t wait to share advice on building a structured program, I also can’t ignore the fact that managers are a big key to productive employees.

If you don’t have solid managers in place who are capable of building great relationships with talented new hires, no amount of onboarding will make them stay. In fact, one of my favorite business authors, Marcus Buckingham, recommends that all companies hold their managers accountable for how each employee under their supervision answers the Gallup Q12 questions. For your reference, here they are:

While I’d omit question #10 (seems outside a manager’s direct control), I think Buckingham is right. What if you used the Gallup Q12 as a starting point to finally define a very grey area, i.e. over and above just meeting sales numbers, what does good management look like? Then, you would be in a much better position to weed out any managers who could be handicapping your retention.

I know I’ll be taking the Q12 with me to Dallas in a few weeks and challenging every employer to schedule meetings with their staff to see if these fundamental needs are being met.

What do you think your employees would say?

P.S. Don’t try to answer that. Ask them directly!

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