A Performance Evaluation Hinges on Feedback from Management

by on June 5, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Start the performance evaluation positively

The second step of the performance evaluation is more familiar. It’s the coach who gets to do the talking in this stage. But it’s not quite the same conversation as you’ve had before in the old performance evaluation. You’re taking some of the same ingredients you’re used to and rearranging them and re-proportioning them to make a cake that tastes a lot better than the stuff that you’re used to with similar ingredients you’ve used before. Talk about three things in this phase of the performance evaluation — strengths, areas for improvement and development recommendations. That’s what this form is made of.

It’s going to start with strengths. Now, you’ll notice that there is not a lot of room on this page. You don’t get to fit a lot of things on here. Pick four things that somebody is good at.

So we want to start the performance evaluation on a positive note. Give somebody recognition for the things they’ve done. And we need to do this because when you do good and you get to say four things you like about somebody, if you do this well and they sit there and say, “Well, you got that right and that’s right too”, it’s very difficult to go through an experience and here, all these things that are positive and correct and then say when you get to areas for improvement, you know, “Where do you get off telling me these things, you don’t know me.”

It’s a very powerful way to begin this phase of the performance evaluation. It’s a way of building credibility with the person being coached. If they don’t trust you or they don’t understand – do you know who they are, they’re not going to listen to the rest of the message.

Next in the performance evaluation comes areas for improvement.
Don’t call these weaknesses. You can improve things infinitely and forever. You’re always looking for things to improve. Areas for improvement means things that may be a strength already that you’d like to see more of.

State these things positively even though you may be talking about something that’s negative. Instead of saying, “You fumble the ball a lot”, say, “We’re likely to work on avoiding fumbles. I want you to work on your delegation. I want you to work on communication.”

Characterize your comments on the performance evaluation for impact. In other words, these are not grades. These are telling somebody if you do this area for improvement – how it will help you and/or the organization. There’s a box there that’s described in detail on the back of that form. It’s called performance impact and that is not a grade.

“Performance impacting” means if you do this better, it will help you in the job you’re in today.

“Potential enhancing” is only used for people who say they would like to be considered for promotion. So not everybody will even have anything in the second box. Most people will have most things in the first box.

“Potential enhancing” says if you get better at this one thing, it will help you be a better candidate for the job you say you want. So if you tell me you’d like to move from accounting into public relations, I may look at you and say, “Well, that’s great but, you know, it would be very helpful if you work on your presentation skills because right now you can put people to if you have a podium in front of you. We need you to work on that if that’s serious.”

“Job threatening” is used in 5% to 10% of the cases for an area for improvement.
In other words, if you don’t start, you know, attendance and punctuality could be job threatening.

Development recommendations are what the company will do for the employee to help make improvements. This shows people that you’re behind them, and that you’re willing to not just tell them to work on something. You’re willing to invest in them.

Edited remarks from the Rapid Learning Institute webinar “No More Performance Reviews! – A Revolutionary Approach to Performance Feedback” by Gary Markle

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