3 Ways Talent and Performance Management Improves Organizational Citizenship

BY Kathy Crosett
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Has your team been asking how your organization can improve talent and performance management? The need for talent has never been more important as employers compete for a diminishing pool of available workers. Employers must attract, retain and motivate team members. To achieve best results, they must also effectively manage their talent by placing employees in positions that allow them to use their skills.

Talent and Performance Management

While managers worry about employee loyalty, the experts say they should be more worried about organizational citizenship. Wharton management professor Michael Parke defines organizational citizenship as “a range of behaviors that promote the social environment of the workplace.” When healthy organizational citizenship exists, employees look out for each other and for the company’s best interests.

Employers generally eroded work loyalty, confidence and organizational citizenship during the past two generations of the “increasingly transactional” modern workplace, Matthew Bidwell, another Wharton management professor, explains. Instead of focusing on talent and performance management, corporate leaders treated employees like another asset that could be reduced or increased on demand. They placed workers in jobs where profits could be optimized. And these management practices led to a workforce where the average job tenure now amounts to about four years.

To turn that trend around, employers “came up with new terms to revive the dying relationship, like referring to employees as associates, team members, or even family.” But they still terminated workers, adjusted their schedules without warning, and paid them as little as possible because corporate leaders, especially of public companies, had pay packages structured around how well the stock price did. To restore confidence in the organization, leaders must visibly demonstrate that they value employees. Here’s how they can start on that process.

Career Pathing

Our research indicates that over 28% of sales professionals have left an organization because they don’t see any opportunity for advancement. Today’s workers, especially knowledge workers, have invested significant time developing skills needed to succeed in their profession. If they can’t see a way forward in your department, they’ll be at risk of leaving for an employer that will give them a chance to try something new. If you can’t find a good next role for a star employee in your department, work with other managers to locate a position with a different career path that might appeal to the person’s interests and strengths.


At least 28% of sales professionals will stay with their current company if they could have a more flexible work schedule. After two years of working mostly at home or in hybrid arrangements, workers have adjusted their personal lives to accommodate child care needs, and they appreciate having the time to exercise instead of putting up with a numbing commute. Requiring employees to work in the office a couple of days a week can improve camaraderie and strengthen the social bonds between team members. But allowing for continued flexibility in the area of work hours and location can appeal to employees.

Money Isn’t Everything

Employers obsess over the idea that a worker will leave them if a competitor offers a 10% pay hike. For some employees, the boost in pay will be enough incentive to leave. Outside of monetary incentives,  employees tell us they appreciate little extra such as unexpected time off (47%), knowing management is aware of their work (46%) and access to paid professional development (46%).

Employers have been taking action on the talent and performance management front since the pandemic started in ways that are making a difference. Those steps, along with an emphasis on team comradery, builds organizational citizenship and may be far more effective than focusing on loyalty. 

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