“Tell it Like it Really is During Performance Evaluations!”
Looking back on our series, “The Myths and Facts on Performance Evaluations,” I shared with you some long held beliefs and practices that affect the performance review process. I heard you talk about your body signals, heart palpitations, cold hands and other discomforts as the day nears to meet with the employee. Some of my clients and persons like you mentioned another myth and asked for some suggestions about talking with the employee; “What to say and how you say it, to alleviate those anticipatory meeting symptoms.”
Myth: Telling it like it really is with the employee will damage the relationship, or morale.
Fact: Let go of that myth! Straight and to the point communication is the best approach during performance evaluations. Managers and persons in leadership positions can be instrumental in transforming communication patterns in the workplace from negative into positive - poor performers into valued employees. There's just no getting around it "Telling it Like it is." Now that said, please be aware that managers who are highly skilled in a specific area of work, may be a bit short on interpersonal and communication skills. They may not always engage an employee’s ear or effectively communicate the company’s goals and objectives to the employee during a performance review. When clients have shared with me how they've communicated with an employee about a specific problem, the words they used sometimes translate into a vague and ambiguous message. The resulting outcome was that of disappointment and frustration for both manager and employee. For a performance review to be effective, the communication requires fact-based positive and corrective feedback. Remember, positive statements tell what something is, or has, or does so we can advance. Negative statements tell the opposite of what is desired. Positive statements tend to move us forward. Negative (or critical) statements tend to make us withdraw.
Consider These Tips for the Next Evaluation You Do:
- After the usual pleasantries, “how's it going" etc., start the evaluation by explaining the purpose of the review, and what the points/rating system looks like. Give specific job related examples of a five-level/stellar performance.
Avoid vague statements like, “you have to do a lot to get a five around here.”
Keep the employee’s attention, prevent them from tuning you out. Relate only facts about an incident, or quality of work.
Negative statement: Never take 3 days to process an invoice!
Positive statement: We always process invoices within 3 business days
Negative statement: You didn’t complete the special mid-year project on time
Positive statement: The mid-year project is due July 15. Share specific examples of what the employee is doing great and encourage him or her to keep up the good work.
If the task and projects were not up to par, offer the positive reinforcement rather than negative:
Negative statement: Hey, don’t make the same dumb mistake next time!
- Positive statement: I'd be happy to help if you have any questions or doubts.
Just in case you missed the first two articles on performance evaluations of this 3 part series, Click here for Part 1 and Click here for Part 2. Call Success Trek today to get your team members operating at peak performance!
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Questionable self-worth, mis-communication and frustration among team members can put a serious damper on performance. In some cases it can even cause personnel blow ups! Can you really afford the associated hour and dollar loss? One of our most effective Success Trek tools is is the "Team Performance Assessment."
In 2011, Burke, Costanza and Carberry LLP engaged Success Trek to guide a key employee to reach the potential they believed she held. The protocol was to strengthen the systems and communication between manager and employee for greater efficiency and productivity. Burke, Costanza and Carberry attorney, Jon Schmaltz said, "Success Trek has been instrumental in evaluating members of our firm's team and finding ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness in our workplace. Even when we perceive a productive and efficient flow of communication internally, Success Trek has uncovered ways in which the process can be improved. The tools provided have been thorough and clear, and Success Trek has had our firm's - and our clients' - success and well-being in mind throughout."
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