The Second Phase of a Performance Evaluation System Centers on Coaching

by on June 3, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

A Performance Evaluation System should highlight strengths and improvement areas

The second part of catalytic coaching is the most conventional part of the performance evaluation system in terms of what managers are used to. This is the part of the performance evaluation system where the boss is going to do the talking. But restrict the boss to talking on one side of one piece of paper. Focus them around three basic pieces of information.

Talk about strengths. Talk about areas of improvement. And talk about development recommendations. No overall grade, the label, no attempt to justify salary treatment. Why start with strengths? The number one objective of a good performance management system is to change behavior.

Begin this phase of the performance evaluation system with an employee’s strengths. Doing so starts things off on a positive note. If you come in and you tell people all the things they’ve done wrong or even things they could do to improve, it creates tension. In that situation the natural place to go in your mind is defensive. It is easy to go negative when somebody starts in that tone. So, if somebody starts off in a positive note, tells you some things you did well, it’s just makes it easier to digest.

Secondly, it gives you some earned recognition. Now, the employee needs me to say some nice things about him. If he has worked hard it’s only fair for him to do that. So, he gets some recognition there in the performance evaluation system. I mean it feels good to him to know the big boss heard this. By the way, when you tell somebody things they do well it makes it hard for them to negate everything else.

And so, if you’re going to get somebody to want to change, you’re going to get them to understand that you see the good in them. When you praise a behavior, what does that do to behavior? It’s not avoiding behavior change. When you praise behavior, you actually get more of it.

In this phase of your performance evaluation system, highlight areas for improvement. Everybody can improve. These areas for improvement need to be stated positively. I talked to you about that earlier in one of the basic principles that you need to say things in a positive way. So, you don’t tell a football player to quit fumbling the ball because it actually makes them fumble more. You tell them to work on holding. We want to rank order this. So in other words, if you can only do one, do this one first. If you could do two, do the second one.

The backside of the form should be an explanation of all the terms in the performance evaluation system. Okay so, even if you trained them, they forget sometimes. “Performance impacting” means if you get better at this it’ll help you in the job during the day.

“Potential enhancing” means this area for improvement will help you make a better run for the job you would like to be promoted to. That’s not a better grade than the other. There are no grades in this new performance evaluation system. They have no impact on salary administration. It is telling you that this one will help you make a better run for higher office.

And finally “job threatening”. This is the only one that actually would give you a bit of a clue on your salary administration later on. It will tell you if you don’t get out of this box you won’t be here for a salary adjustment. And if you are still here when we do salary adjustments, expect nothing.

More importantly, what “job threatening” tells you this one thing all by itself can get you fired. It could be demoted instead. It could be a transfer. It says right now you’re in a perilous place. And if this specific thing you’re doing doesn’t improve, you run the risk of not being here.

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