Many managers dread. But Alan Fox treats them as opportunities for two-way learning.
President of ACF Propertyin Denver, Fox initiates dialogues with employees throughout the year about both their performance—and his. The information he gathers in these discussions helps him adminis-ter more accurate and informative annual reviews.
For example, he likes to ask staffers, “Are all of us providing proper information and support so that you can do your best work?” This way, he identifies and addresses minor issues as they arise before they blow up into major ones.
He also solicits input from employees during the review. He might ask, “How can I perform better?”
This signals his eagerness to improve his own performance.
Fox likes to schedule appraisals within two weeks of an individual’s anniversary date with his company. This removes uncertainty and shows that he takes the reviews seriously.
Trying to decide on a merit pay increase can throw a wrench into a. So he asks, “What salary do you think you deserve?”
Their answers influence his decision. A longtime employee used to ask Fox for a 10% to 15% pay raise every year. He knew that was exorbitant, but he liked getting a sense of that person’s perspective on her pay.
Another employee once sought a puny raise. Surprised, Fox increased her salary by three times as much.
— Adapted from “The (Dreaded) Annual Review,” Alan C. Fox, www.huffingtonpost.com.