Effective Performance Discussions Start Here

Performance management discussions can be filled with emotion and tension, even in the best situations. It’s no wonder that most leaders only hold them once a year. Make all of your performance management efforts pay off tenfold by taking some basic steps toward changing the way you address the performance management process overall.

First, commit to giving feedback all year long. Don’t wait for the annual review. If you take the time to guide employees throughout the year, the frenetic energy that typically goes along with a performance review will dissipate naturally. Moreover, you’ll find that you become more adept at the performance conversation by practicing it on an ongoing basis, making the “official” performance review simply an in-depth version of what you have been doing all year.

It’s Okay to Be the Boss: The Management Workshop encourages and trains managers to assert their position as a measure and guide of employee performance.  With consistent reinforcement of goals and expectations, an involved and empowered manager can identify and correct performance issues before they become points of conflict, leaving no surprises on either side of an annual review.

Second, take into account each employee’s career aspirations. This should weigh on how you decide to prioritize performance. People do well on the things they want to do, and your employees are no different. While there are certain job expectations that must be met, regardless of whether they meet employee career expectations, knowing how the employee weighs each task and its importance will help you shape the language around your review.

HRDQ’s Work Satisfaction and Renewal Profile and Planner is an invaluable tool for facilitating communication of goals and expectations between employee and manager. Incorporating self-reflection into a performance review with the Profile and Planner will provide both employee and manager with a starting point for professional development planning, and shed light on any divergences in evaluation and expectation.

Finally, avoid the “feedback sandwich” of a canned performance review that starts with a few compliments, then dolls out criticism and couches it in a few more hollow compliments.  Instead, give the overall picture of how well or poorly they are doing, and get right down to any disciplinary issues or rewards, as appropriate.

There are measures available to ensure that not only are you asserting your position, but that it is being received in a constructive and effective manner. The Interpersonal Influence Inventory is a self-assessment to determine an individual’s communication style and tailor it to specific situations and people. Are you effectively asserting your position on an employee’s performance?  Are they receiving your feedback as you intended?

Many managers fail to carry out effective performance discussions. Many of them can’t get an employee to agree that an issue even exists, don’t identify all of the possible solutions, and don’t involve the employee in finding solutions. Shop HRDQ today to keep your company’s performance management on track.

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