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Carrot or stick? Motivating managers to finish reviews

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in HR Management,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews

Included in HR Weekly -- June 26, 2007

Performance reviews were supposed to be submitted two weeks ago. You’ve e-mailed one delinquent manager twice and even stopped by his office. Do you go over his head? Do you stew in silence?

Rather than hounding managers to finish reviews, set a clear review-timing policy and include the right mix of carrots and sticks. HR Specialist recently asked experienced HR professionals for their advice on how to do it. Here's hoping one or more of their suggestions can help light a fire under your unmotivated managers.

Document & discipline. “If reviews are not completed on time, you should document it, just as they would for one of their employees who failed to do something in a timely manner.” —Jinnie, Minnesota

The bribe method. “I’ve worked for a company that offered rewards to managers who complete reviews on time. We offered baseball tickets and an afternoon off to the manager who completed his or her reviews first.” —Jennifer, California

Withhold manager’s raise. “Assuming that annual merit raises are handed out with appraisals, hold the increases for the managers who are late with their appraisals (and don’t give retroactive pay). Set the deadline for when they must be signed and on your desk. If they’re not, no merit increase for the manager until you have all of the reviews.” —Sheila K., Arizona

Tie to manager’s bonus. “I once worked in a company in which supervisors who did not submit their reviews before the announced deadline would see their bonuses decreased. Plus, it would go on their performance reviews.” —T.O., Texas

Hold their hands. “You can help managers get over the hump by providing some sample phrases for each review category. Many times, managers just need some basic phrases to get started. HR can also provide training or role-playing for managers on how to conduct the review meeting.” —Ruth, California

Keep manager’s boss in the loop. “When requesting yearly performance reviews from managers, it’s always a good idea to ‘cc’ their boss (general manager, VP, president, CEO, etc.). That usually gets their attention.” —Elly, Pennsylvania

Urge employees to speak up. “We encourage employees to schedule time with their managers during review time to help managers keep on track and to keep from saving the hardest reviews for the end.” —Sherry, California

Draft new policy. “Our CEO decided to add ‘completing employee performance reviews within two weeks of established deadlines’ as a mandatory performance standard for every manager. Once they realized their own raises and bonuses could suffer, the problem faded considerably.” —Carolyn, Florida

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