Sometimes, employees can feel like they are shooting in the dark – or blind folded – and not able to truly see or understand what is expected of them. This time of year, managers across organizations are beginning to prepare performance reviews for people on their teams. If, as a leader, you have consistently given feedback to those you work with, then the review process is very easy and can be something both parties look forward to. If you are the type of manger that can’t “find the time” to talk to your team members to give constructive feedback, or you feel uncomfortable having a “difficult conversation”, then this time of year can be very painful and one that you find yourself avoiding.
Through the years of coaching, I have worked with many leaders and managers coaching them on how to have a strong performance review conversation with members on their team. Most are unsettled and unsure how to share their observations in a constructive way. Today’s millennium workforce wants constructive feedback; however, many are hesitant to ask for it and many managers avoid it, so you can see why a large number of employees might feel like they are throwing darts in the dark.
Here are some easy ways to prepare for a powerful performance review that embraces coaching skills and all employees will appreciate this fresh approach.
Set up a specific time when you will be delivering the review. Make an appointment where there will be no distractions. This shows respect for the people on your team and their time.
Ask your team member to reflect on the last year and to come to the meeting with the following:
Their greatest achievements
What they want coaching on to improve
What new goals they have for the year
Consider the person you are talking to – what is their interpersonal style?
Driver – deliver the bottom line
Expressive – let them know that you have seen what they have accomplished
Amiable – let them know how they have supported the team
Analytic – tell them the specific results they have achieved in the last year
Approach the review process as a Coach. Recognize that everyone wants to improve at some level. How have you set up the game? Do the people on your team understand the company’s strategic goals and how their roles influence achieving these goals? This is a great starting point.
Ask more questions and listen. Respond by letting them know you hear what they are saying, not just waiting to tell them what you want them to know.
Lay out a plan on how you will work together to coach them in the areas they want more responsibility or skill development.
Begin to manage your time in the year ahead to have informal sessions, checking in or time spent mentoring.
Next year will go a LOT easier.
Warmest wishes, Barbara