Are you nervous at the thought of giving employee-performance reviews? You’re not alone. Your employees aren’t exactly thrilled, either.
Typically, employees aren’t convinced they can get valid feedback. If they’ve experienced poor managers, they likely dread the performance-review process or are skeptical of the outcome.
Ironically, a quality performance review is beneficial for the company, manager and employee. Everybody wins.
For success, here are four leadership mindsets:
1. Commit to conducting thorough research and communication. Don’t take anything for granted.
Even if you’re a veteran at giving reviews, review your organization’s appraisal process well in advance of your reviews.
Be cognizant of all elements and timelines. Make certain your employees are completely aware, too.
A leader wants the employees to anticipate a productive discussion — not a lecture.
2. Anticipate the link to the big picture. For each employee, anticipate what your company wants to accomplish and how success is evaluated for the company’s welfare.
What is your company’s situation? Are there severe marketplace challenges? Is a culture change needed? What about HR priorities in succession planning, career development, assessing wage and benefit packages, or other priorities?
3. Thoroughly prepare for the review process. This is not a time to surprise employees. Be certain you have complete details about each employee’s talents, shortcomings and contributions.
Successes are to be acknowledged. Performance gaps should be discussed. As for goals, reviewers should be definitive.
4. Guarantee a productive discussion. In conducting performance reviews, a leader acts as a coach and makes certain the employee is cognizant of the objectives and structures of the review. Such an attitude and approach will help insure strong results.
It should be an honest discussion — the person’s performance and goals.
Envision how you want to conduct the review. Know your salient points. Give thought to your phrasing. Remember employees tend to dwell on negative statements and don’t hear the positives.
If you must, rehearse your approach. Your goal is to put a stop to any performance gaps in elaborating on expectations and needs in growth. Inform the employee how you’ll gauge the progress. You’ll want the employee to completely understand her or his role and the value the person adds to the organization.
Encourage the person to engage you in the ensuing months. Good employees will respond by seeking feedback.
Finally, make certain you keep commitments in monitoring the employee’s progress.
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“An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.”