• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

How to conduct positive, valuable assessments

by on
in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills,Performance Reviews

You've analyzed the data and completed the forms. Now you need to meet with the employee. While this is the part of performance reviews most managers dread, the session doesn't have to be tense or uncomfortable. It can be a productive, enlightening and morale-boosting exchange. The key is to go into the review interview fully prepared and with the right attitude.

Set a constructive tone

Approach the evaluation as a mutual learning experience for you and the employee. You can gain valuable insights from your staffers, and you have information and experience that can help bring out their best.

Don't consider the review a critique of the staff member's duties. Instead, look at it as a routine checkup. Go in ready to talk, listen and recharge your relationship.

The right place. Like any strategic planning meeting, hold your review in a private, neutral environment. A small conference room is ideal. If you can't find a neutral room, use another manager's office, preferably one with a casual seating area.

Best time. Avoid meeting during busy or stressful times for the employee. Ask the staffer if the time you've chosen is convenient, and be ready to change if he or she seems hesitant. Don't squeeze in a review between two other meetings or before lunch. Try not to hold reviews on a Friday afternoon, especially if you plan to discuss serious performance problems.

Duration. Dedicate two uninterrupted hours to the discussion. You may not need the full period, but it's better to schedule too much time than too little.

Atmosphere. Create an environment that supports discussion, cooperation and negotiation. Sit beside your staffer, not across the table. Place your paperwork near at hand, but not directly in front of you. You don't want anything to distract you. If you must use your office for the review, come out from behind your desk.

Interruptions. Eliminate as many interruptions as possible. Hold calls or forward them to voice mail. Put a "Do not disturb" sign on the door.

Focus your words on results

Help the employee feel at ease from the outset. But don't get caught up in small talk. False intimacy may increase the employee's discomfort and destroy the meeting's businesslike tone. By the same token, don't make light of the review process or give the impression that you are just "going through the motions." Emphasize that this meeting is important and you want it to be productive.

Also at the beginning, provide an overview of the points you want to discuss. Make it clear you don't expect to do all the talking.

Start by discussing any problems you've observed with the employee's performance. Address each problem individually, cite specific examples and let the employee respond. Don't bring up a new problem until you've thoroughly discussed the current one. Use the following framework to discuss each problem:

Describe the performance problem. Focus on the employee's results and behavior in specific, nonjudgmental terms.

Reinforce performance standards. Your staffer already should know the standards you expect, so don't spend a lot of time discussing them. Review them quickly, then move on.

If the employee challenges the validity of a standard, calmly state your reasons for requiring it, and gently steer the conversation back to the reasons the person didn't comply. If necessary, refer to the employee's job description to confirm the responsibilities associated with the position.

Develop a plan for improvement. Your review preparation should have included a plan for helping the employee improve performance. During the meeting, the employee may suggest additional solutions. Agree on a method for improving performance in the short run, and establish some options in case the first method proves ineffective.

Offer your help. Show your commitment by helping your staffer obtain any necessary training, resources or other assistance to reach performance goals.

Alternate negative and positive comments. If you have a list of performance problems to address, be sure to insert some positive comments along the way.

Emphasize potential. Remind employees that they can apply their strengths to their weaknesses. For example, an employee whose reports are riddled with statistical errors may have successfully designed a complex computer model. The employee clearly is capable of producing accurate work, so point that out.

Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!

Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...

We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.

The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.

" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/1373/how-to-conduct-positive-valuable-assessments "

Leave a Comment