Performance Reviews Should Be Work In Progress
Employees need and want direction. How and when it is done is what makes the difference -- for the employee, for the boss and for the organization. Like flying a plane, reviewing performance should be a matter of constant course adjustments. If you wait until the end of the flight to make adjustments to the course you will always be disappointed with where you land. Worse yet, someone else will probably be sifting through the wreckage to figure out why the plane crashed.
Communicate Constantly And Consistently
Now, that there is a flight plan in place it is the manager's responsibility to provide a system and process for constant and consistent communication. He has to coach the employee, not just evaluate his performance to keep the plane on course. In my first job out of college, my sales manager called me every Monday morning. His questions included: "What's going on? How are you doing? What can I help you with?" This provided him with what he needed to know to help me do my job. It provided me with the help I needed do my job.
Provide Specific Feedback
When employees meet or exceed expectations they should be told they are on course. This needs to be specific. There is nothing in the world that will inspire you more to continue doing a great job than to hear from the boss that you are doing a great job. The only exception is when those words are either insincere or untrue.
When employees fail to meet expectations they need to be told they are off course. Again, this needs to be specific. If you don't hear what you need to improve, the only assumption is that you're doing what you should be doing -- or your boss doesn't care what you do.
There are many examples of employees describing their manager as a wonderful person, but not a good manager. They like him but dislike working for him because he gives them no direction. They feel like they are flying blind. This creates a high level of anxiety for the employees and the manager.
Source: Jim Whitt is a speaker, consultant and author. He is cofounder of Purpose Unlimited which is in the business of transforming lives, leaders and organizations through the power of purpose
Posted on Wed, August 4, 2010
by Kurt McDowell filed under