Delivering Effective Performance Evaluations
We are half way through 2019 – have you sat down with your employees for a “mid year” discussion about their performance and their goals? Did you set goals with your employees at the beginning of the year? Do you have time set out for regular discussions about Performance and Goals with your team? Performance Management involves several steps not just a once a year meeting.
Remember Performance Reviews aren’t “one and done”! Although you may have a formal discussion once or twice a year – you should be having “informal” conversations regularly. Delivering effective Performance Reviews doesn’t come naturally to most leaders. As a matter of fact, most managers/leaders find it difficult to have this one on one meeting with their team members – it can feel like you are sitting “in judgement” of your employees. If you are stepping into a review feeling negative – take a step back and re-evaluate why you feel that way. Performance Reviews are a good time for you to connect with each of your team members and celebrate the successes and talk about how you could have handled the “misses” a little differently and set some goals to move forward. Keep in mind this meeting is NOT about you. This meeting is about your employee and setting goals for the next year that will set you both up for success.
Here are a few things to keep in mind during the meetings:
- Aim for meetings in which the employee talks approximately 1/2 of the time. You can encourage this by asking questions; how do you feel things are going, what do you feel will be most challenging about the coming year, how do you define success/achievement in your current position, how can I be a better manager for you, do you feel that you receive enough feedback from me on a regular basis?
- Be “present”! Avoid distractions. Schedule time in advance with your employee for the Performance Review. Give them time to prepare for the meeting. Find a quiet, private area to meet in.
- The spirit in which you approach this conversation will make the difference in whether it is effective. This is a positive time for you to connect with your team! Start the meeting positive and always end on a positive note with a goal for the future. Don’t be afraid or uneasy about discussing “opportunities” with the employee. Part of getting better is recognizing missed opportunities, errors and ideas that went wrong. It’s good to talk about them, analyze what could have been done differently and make a plan for not repeating them. Remember – this isn’t a Discipline Meeting. This is not a time to bring up “bad” behaviours that need correcting. For example if the employee has bad attendance, but you have never spoken to them about it before – the Performance Review meeting is not the time to tell them they have 22 absences. You shouldn’t be telling them anything that they haven’t heard before.
- If you have an underperforming employee – speak directly to the concerns and don’t mince words or they may not understand what you are telling them. Use examples and ask them if they see how they could have done things differently. Ensure that they understand what you are saying to them – if body language is showing they may not be understanding – ask them to repeat it back to you.
- Be a great coach! Fight your urge to tell employees what or how to do something. Find a way to bring out their ideas for success.
Remember this is a conversation – not a speech from you. Invite dialogue from your employee. Conversation is the keyword when you define a performance review meeting. If you are doing all of the talking – the meeting becomes a lecture!
The Performance Management process for your company should not be something that you “google” and copy off the internet. It should be a practice that fits the culture of your company, the spirit of your employees and one that is easy and comfortable for both management and employees. If you are looking for a Performance Management process that “fits” your company and culture – let Romas HR Consulting help you define and build the process that works for your team.