12
May
09

What’s not being said at performance reviews?

What’s not being said
during performance reviews?
One of my favorite Neilisms is, “Do you do quarterly performance reviews at least once a year?” When I use it during my presentations, there’s a reason why it always gets a chuckle. No matter how you view the process of performance reviews, there exists an inherent confrontational element. The intent of performance reviews is not only for issuing praise for outstanding work, it’s to discuss behaviors and skills that need improvement. And lets not forget the most uncomfortable part – to communicate performance and behavior that is unacceptable and must stop. Issuing praise and accolades is the joyous reward of leadership. Dispensing the not-so-fun corrective and disciplinary stuff is where vital information gets stuck in the leadership blockage muck of emotions and fear of confrontation.
Performance reviews are formal opportunities to guide and coach employees to reach their full potential. The perspective that reviews are “confrontational” is created entirely by the leader responsible for conducting the reviews. And until the leader can shift his or her thinking back to the healthier “guide and coach” aspect, the process of conducting performance reviews will continue to be painful, ineffective and without question, detrimental to the employee, the company and its culture.
Here are some no-compromise strategies to keep performance reviews in the proper perspective:
    * Properly set the table: Take the drama and uncertainty out of your performance reviews by informing employees how they will be evaluated and what topics, performance and issues will be discussed. Detail how the review will be conducted – that it will be open, respectful and allow both parties to express their views safely. The “not knowing” is what fuels stress. Given this, you may want to re-introduce performance reviews to your employees.
    * Use evaluation tools that allow the right conversations to occur: At Strategies, we encourage the use of Broadbands and evaluation tools to serve as a checklist of talking points. For example, under the heading of “dependability and accountability,” you can ask employee how he would rate himself on a scale of one to ten. If he rates himself higher than you would, you instantly have the basis to open dialog where you can say, “That’s interesting because I rated you a bit lower because of …”  Tools keep you on course and allow the right conversations to occur.
    * Keep the focus on the desired outcome: Without question, one-on-one performance reviews are stressful and emotional. But consider this: the intention is to establish and clarify the mutual accountabilities and next-steps for employee and company success. Sensitive issues may need to be addressed, but with success as the desired outcome, performance reviews should be embraced as positive and necessary course adjustments, not dreaded confrontations to be avoided.
    * Record keeping and accountability: These are two of the most common post-performance review pitfalls. First, you must maintain accurate records of each and every performance review detailing what was discussed, what the next steps and expectations are – complete with timelines. Second, too many leaders expect all to be right with the world after a performance review. It’s the leader’s responsibility to hold the employee accountable – to check in and see if the employee is making progress or is stuck and in need of coaching, guidance and support. 
Performance reviews are essential elements to employee growth, retention and nurturing of the company culture. If your reviews are incomplete and don’t address essential performance issues, it’s called compromise and your company’s performance is paying a price.
Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends. They’ll appreciate it.
Neil Ducoff, Strategies founder & CEO, and author of No-Compromise LeadershipWhat’s not being said
during performance reviews?
One of my favorite Neilisms is, “Do you do quarterly performance reviews at least once a year?” When I use it during my presentations, there’s a reason why it always gets a chuckle. No matter how you view the process of performance reviews, there exists an inherent confrontational element. The intent of performance reviews is not only for issuing praise for outstanding work, it’s to discuss behaviors and skills that need improvement. And lets not forget the most uncomfortable part – to communicate performance and behavior that is unacceptable and must stop. Issuing praise and accolades is the joyous reward of leadership. Dispensing the not-so-fun corrective and disciplinary stuff is where vital information gets stuck in the leadership blockage muck of emotions and fear of confrontation.
Performance reviews are formal opportunities to guide and coach employees to reach their full potential. The perspective that reviews are “confrontational” is created entirely by the leader responsible for conducting the reviews. And until the leader can shift his or her thinking back to the healthier “guide and coach” aspect, the process of conducting performance reviews will continue to be painful, ineffective and without question, detrimental to the employee, the company and its culture.
Here are some no-compromise strategies to keep performance reviews in the proper perspective:
    * Properly set the table: Take the drama and uncertainty out of your performance reviews by informing employees how they will be evaluated and what topics, performance and issues will be discussed. Detail how the review will be conducted – that it will be open, respectful and allow both parties to express their views safely. The “not knowing” is what fuels stress. Given this, you may want to re-introduce performance reviews to your employees.
    * Use evaluation tools that allow the right conversations to occur: At Strategies, we encourage the use of Broadbands and evaluation tools to serve as a checklist of talking points. For example, under the heading of “dependability and accountability,” you can ask employee how he would rate himself on a scale of one to ten. If he rates himself higher than you would, you instantly have the basis to open dialog where you can say, “That’s interesting because I rated you a bit lower because of …”  Tools keep you on course and allow the right conversations to occur.
    * Keep the focus on the desired outcome: Without question, one-on-one performance reviews are stressful and emotional. But consider this: the intention is to establish and clarify the mutual accountabilities and next-steps for employee and company success. Sensitive issues may need to be addressed, but with success as the desired outcome, performance reviews should be embraced as positive and necessary course adjustments, not dreaded confrontations to be avoided.
    * Record keeping and accountability: These are two of the most common post-performance review pitfalls. First, you must maintain accurate records of each and every performance review detailing what was discussed, what the next steps and expectations are – complete with timelines. Second, too many leaders expect all to be right with the world after a performance review. It’s the leader’s responsibility to hold the employee accountable – to check in and see if the employee is making progress or is stuck and in need of coaching, guidance and support. 
Performance reviews are essential elements to employee growth, retention and nurturing of the company culture. If your reviews are incomplete and don’t address essential performance issues, it’s called compromise and your company’s performance is paying a price.
Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends. They’ll appreciate it.
Neil Ducoff, Strategies founder & CEO, and author of No-Compromise Leadership

performance-reviews

One of my favorite Neilisms is, “Do you do quarterly performance reviews at least once a year?” When I use it during my presentations, there’s a reason why it always gets a chuckle. No matter how you view the process of performance reviews, there exists an inherent confrontational element. The intent of performance reviews is not only for issuing praise for outstanding work, it’s to discuss behaviors and skills that need improvement. And lets not forget the most uncomfortable part – to communicate performance and behavior that is unacceptable and must stop. Issuing praise and accolades is the joyous reward of leadership. Dispensing the not-so-fun corrective and disciplinary stuff is where vital information gets stuck in the leadership blockage muck of emotions and fear of confrontation.

Performance reviews are formal opportunities to guide and coach employees to reach their full potential. The perspective that reviews are “confrontational” is created entirely by the leader responsible for conducting the reviews. And until the leader can shift his or her thinking back to the healthier “guide and coach” aspect, the process of conducting performance reviews will continue to be painful, ineffective and without question, detrimental to the employee, the company and its culture.

Here are some no-compromise strategies to keep performance reviews in the proper perspective:

  • Properly set the table: Take the drama and uncertainty out of your performance reviews by informing employees how they will be evaluated and what topics, performance and issues will be discussed. Detail how the review will be conducted – that it will be open, respectful and allow both parties to express their views safely. The “not knowing” is what fuels stress. Given this, you may want to re-introduce performance reviews to your employees.
  • Use evaluation tools that allow the right conversations to occur: At Strategies, we encourage the use of Broadbands and evaluation tools to serve as a checklist of talking points. For example, under the heading of “dependability and accountability,” you can ask employee how he would rate himself on a scale of one to ten. If he rates himself higher than you would, you instantly have the basis to open dialog where you can say, “That’s interesting because I rated you a bit lower because of …”  Tools keep you on course and allow the right conversations to occur.
  • Keep the focus on the desired outcome: Without question, one-on-one performance reviews are stressful and emotional. But consider this: the intention is to establish and clarify the mutual accountabilities and next-steps for employee and company success. Sensitive issues may need to be addressed, but with success as the desired outcome, performance reviews should be embraced as positive and necessary course adjustments, not dreaded confrontations to be avoided.
  • Record keeping and accountability: These are two of the most common post-performance review pitfalls. First, you must maintain accurate records of each and every performance review detailing what was discussed, what the next steps and expectations are – complete with timelines. Second, too many leaders expect all to be right with the world after a performance review. It’s the leader’s responsibility to hold the employee accountable – to check in and see if the employee is making progress or is stuck and in need of coaching, guidance and support. 

Performance reviews are essential elements to employee growth, retention and nurturing of the company culture. If your reviews are incomplete and don’t address essential performance issues, it’s called compromise and your company’s performance is paying a price.

Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends. They’ll appreciate it.

Neil Ducoff, founder & CEO of Strategies

Advertisements

0 Responses to “What’s not being said at performance reviews?”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Bookmark and Share

Archives

May 2009
M T W T F S S
« Feb   Jun »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Twitter Updates

Blog Stats

  • 40,905 hits

%d bloggers like this: