Giving feedback, whether positive or constructive, can truly be effective if done timely and
correctly.Effective feedback is specific, not general.For example, you would not just want to give positive feedback like, “Good job
on fixing the problem.”You would want to go into specifics like, “Good
job on the troubleshooting skills you used to determine that the problem was a customer router misconfiguration.”Make this positive feedback timely, specific, and frequent.Recognition for effective performance is a powerful motivator.Most people want to obtain more recognition, so recognition fosters more of the
The same holds true if work done was not up to standards.In
this case you would make a constructive observation.Constructive feedback
is not criticism, but alerts to an area in which performance could improve.It
is descriptive and should always be directed to the action, not the individual or team.The main purpose of constructive feedback is to help people understand where they stand in relation to expected,
and productive, job behavior.
By sharing information and observations, when done sincerely and honestly, will help the individual
or team on specific actions or behavior that they can do something about.It
is a good idea to approach the situation by saying something like, “I would like to give some feedback on how you
troubleshoot if that is ok with you?”This way it will come off looking
like you want to help rather than scold.After you have provided the
feedback, make sure they fully understood what you said by asking them a question or two or by observing their behavior.
Employee evaluations can be a positive, encouraging, and a good synopsis on how they are
doing in the many categories of their job responsibilities.On the other
hand, it can also be considered a waste of time and doesn’t work if neither you nor your employees take it seriously
and just go through the motions.Many managers hate having to do these
evaluations.Managers usually just want to get the necessary info together
as fast as possible and are happy it only comes once or twice a year.Depending
on the amount of employees you are evaluating, this can be quite a big task.However,
if your department has been managed right, it could become a rewarding experience.Evaluations, also called performance appraisals, are important and most companies perform them so they will be
Performance reviews can be an effective tool but only if you and your staff take it seriously.This is not just a snapshot of how they are doing at the moment of the
appraisal, but a review of the past 6 months or year.You need to have the
necessary data to back the appraisal, and everyone needs to understand what is expected and how they are appraised.
In general, most appraisals cover the set goals and objectives including:
Volume or production levels
Thoroughness and attention to detail
Attendance and punctuality
and Final notes
When developing a performance review:
Be sure to meet with your employees and
review the performance appraisal goals, values, and expectations.
Meet with them at the beginning of the year
or evaluation period and establish the timeline.Most companies perform
these appraisals once or twice a year.
Make sure you and your supervisors have
detailed records of each employee’s performance.Outline the recent
accomplishments as well as improvements needed.You need all of this data
for the review itself and to back up the review if questioned.
When it's time to do the performance
review, make it a priority to eliminate any employee anxiety.Don’t put
Once the review has been discussed, be sure
to come to terms together on the evaluation rating and goals going forward.Short-term
and long-term goals should be established whether for growth or improvements.
End the review on a positive note.If there are any issues, be sure you have discussed and offered training,
counseling, and coaching to help improve on the needed skills and remedy any deficiencies.
You want the review to be thought of as professional and an inspirational experience.Reserve plenty of time for the meeting with no interruptions.If performed correctly, your employees will feel you truly understand their
strengths and weaknesses, and will leave with a positive outlook for the future.It
will also establish your credibility as an effective leader.To help create
a successful outcome, here are 19 valuable tips to think about when performing employee evaluations:
Evaluations keep a written record to
support pay increases.Documentation of the employee’s
performance lets the employee officially know where they stand in the company and what you think about their
performance.You want your team to feel like you really do want to take the
time to let them know what they are all about.It will inspire them to
perform better and they will respect you more as manager and leader.The
goal is to make them feel as if they have had special attention, whether it is praising or encouraging.This same mindset should always be used for everyone you evaluate.It is their scorecard to see how well they did and if tasks were achieved or
completed on time.It can also be thought of as a report card.The evaluation process makes sure that you are utilizing the talent in your
organization that not only benefits the employee, but you and the company as well.So you can see, even though these types of appraisals are usually thought of as a waste of time for many
managers, there is some important underlying value.
In most cases evaluations have a set of
core job objectives and corporate values.The core objectives would
basically refer to the overall job performance expectations.The corporate
values refers to open communication such as working with others to produce the best result, a caring culture treating
others with mutual respect, or unmatched service & support taking personal responsibility for customer satisfaction.They are based on a scale of something like 1 to 5 with 5 being best.There can also be statements such as “exceeds expectations, meets
expectations, and below expectations.”These ratings would be for each
job objective and each corporate value along with an overall score.
Appraisals, at the very least, lets the
employee know that someone at work is thinking about their job performance.When
employees know they are working hard and doing a great job, they want it put in writing.Your employees should be well aware of what is expected of them as long as you put the lessons learned in this
course into place.This is because you have communicated, coached, and
guided your individuals and team to achieve their goals, objectives and values.This
will also make it much easier to create the appraisals since all of the goals, objectives, tasks, responsibilities, and
corporate values have already been well communicated to the team.
Hopefully because you have managed the
department so well, you will have mostly “meets” or “exceeds” expectations.However, this does not mean they all “walk on water.”If you
give a score of “exceeds expectations” or a “5 out of 5”, they truly need to be considered your star performers.A common mistake is rating people too high, know matter how they performed,
which does not give a clear way for improvement.It does not mean you
should be necessarily be giving more negative reviews, just keep it balanced.If
they truly are a star performer, give them top marks.
Be sure your supervisors also follow
these guidelines.If they are performing the reviews with their direct
staff, then they need to have the same mindset as you have.In most cases,
depending on the size of the company, you would review your supervisors and you supervisors would review their direct
If you expect or anticipate
complications with a particular employee performance review… You need
to make sure you have all documentation and data to back up your evaluation.If
they are confrontational, and indeed not happy with the appraisal or the amount of the raise given, make sure you stay
open and understanding.Prepare to discuss and stay professional at all
times.Do not be confrontational or take a hard line approach.You do, however, need to be decisively direct.Stay focused to the points at hand.Have the confidence that you
have truly previously communicated your vision, goals, objectives, and values to the individuals and team, and have
coached all you could have up to this point.Stand by the fact that your
appraisal will be fair and accurate, and that you're not coming across like you are on a witch-hunt.
If you have an employee who is
performing below expectations…You need to find ways to coach and
provide training for improvement.This could be because they are still
fairly new, were previously a good employee who is losing their way, or recently promoted and still growing.You might want to give a 30 or 60-day action plan to improve along with a follow
up meeting to discuss.If, however, you have an employee who is just
non-retainable even though you’ve coached all you could, repeatedly spoke to them about their bad attitude, or their
performance is just not acceptable anymore, it is time to terminate the employee.You
should deal with this as soon as possible.It does neither of you good to
prolong the issue.Lesson 5 deals with this subject in much more detail.
Whatever you do, make sure you complete
the performance appraisals on time.You should even strive to be
ahead of schedule if possible.It will not only make you look efficient as
a leader who cares about their department, it also makes HR and upper management happy.Some people really do care about these evaluations and work hard all year just for this moment.This is another time to really thank the good workers, and try to get the bad
workers to become inspired within themselves.The last thing you want to
do, is do an “11th hour” rush or miss the deadline.Whenever money is
involved, you need to do all you can as quickly and efficiently as possible.The
good news is if you are consistent and have communicated your vision and goals, you should be able to complete these in
a timely fashion.Most companies already have an appraisal form for you to
use along with directions.
It is better to focus on the positive
rather than the negative.Start out with the positive.People tend to take the positives lightly, but the negatives heavily.If you start off with a negative, the positive will practically be ignored and
forgotten.Only bring up the negative if it relates to the performance
review.If the negative is performance related, this would be a perfect
opportunity to coach the individual and create actions to improve.
When discussing appraisals, be sure to
tailor each one to each person’s personality.You should know what
makes them tick and to get the most out of the evaluation.A “cookie
cutter” approach just wont cut it…You want to stay consistent with the
documentation and expectations for all, but unique with the verbal presentation for the individual.See the managing different personalities section in this lesson for more
on how to deal with particular personalities.
Make an outline of the significant items
to cover.By creating a cheat sheet of sorts, you can be sure to hit
the important areas like:
·Important contributions the employee made to the company
·Making or missing a specific goal
·Potential growth possibilities
It’s a “bit of an art” to
encourage someone with poor performance.During the evaluation, when
you are dealing with a poor performance related situation, stay confident but not intimidating, serious but not scary,
and make your point but not be disheartening.You also cannot be sheepish
and intimidated such as hiding behind jokes, passing it off as no big deal, etc.If
you act like it’s not a big deal, even unintentionally, then your employees will think it is no big deal and will
continue to perform badly.
Do not compare the employee to other
employees.This is demoralizing, hurts teamwork and will not accomplish
anything but antagonism towards the compared employee.
Encourage open communication.You want your employees to always feel comfortable to be able to talk and share
any issues, concerns or ideas.You should welcome as much input as
possible.The same goes for you as manager towards your employees.Be open and not defensive if your employees make comments like, “I’m not
advancing quick enough” or “my salary is not at the level as the work I perform.”Use the skills taught throughout this course to be able to communicate efficiently, no matter what the topic.
Treat each appraisal with the same
mindset and professionalism of a job interview.You have to always keep
in mind about any possible anti-discriminatory issues that can arise.Although
they have already been through the interview process at one point, and you most likely feel much more comfortable with
them than you did in the beginning, you still need to be “politically correct” and careful on what you say and how
Stay on track and keep to the specifics.You have to know when to move on to the next subject once the point was made,
discussed, or debated.There is nothing wrong with a good debate, but when
you hit a brick wall or the subject has been exhausted, there is no use in continuing on with that particular
conversation.You need to make the decision to move on with confidence.Try to find a nice segue into the next talking point.
Focus on the significance of each
success and failure.This should be looked at as it pertains to the
company’s possible successes and failures.The importance you add to each
objective looking at the big picture adds more impact.
Always make sure the employee leaves
knowing what is expected in the future.This goes for both good and bad
performance reviews.Just saying something like, “Good Job, keep it
up,” is not enough.You need to embellish what is expected in the future
besides “keep up the good work.”You should have a plan to enhance the
individual’s goals and keep them wanting to continually strive to improve.You’ve
got to always be looking forward and never just settling on the “status quo.”
Always be sure you did everything you
could before terminating an employee based on the performance appraisal.Sometimes
it comes down to the point where there is just no saving an employee based on such poor performance.You do, however, truly need to make sure you’ve done all you can to coach the
person, help improve their skills, or help with any personal issues.If you
can look yourself in the mirror with no trepidations, then you know you did all you could and are making the right
Points to keep in mind:
If you have an employee who is
disruptive, has a bad attitude, or is a “bad apple…” you need to deal with the person as soon as possible.It only takes one bad attitude to spoil the team.You should never pretend this problem does not exist or hopes it somehow corrects itself.You will lose the respect of your team if you do not deal with the situation.Bring the person into your office without making a big scene, and make it as
private as possible.Be upfront and discuss what you are seeing and how
important it is to have the whole team working in “harmony.”This
also goes for the employee who is not performing up to standards.Don’t
wait until it comes to the point of no return.Many times issues blow over
without incident and things get worked out without intervention, however, you need to be aware of any growing concerns,
especially if it affects team performance.Lesson 5 will cover how to deal
with problematic employees in more detail.
Measure the goals and show proof.You need to visually show your staff on whether or not you hit your targeted
goals with statistical reports, customer surveys, or any other type of pertinent data.By showing the results in your weekly or monthly team meetings, the clear directions and specific time frames you
give to them will have more meaning.Examples of these types of
reports are shown in lesson 2.
Make sure they feel accountable and take
responsibility for their work.You want them to feel proud of what they
do, and not take any short cuts or perform sloppy work.You need to instill
into them that they should take pride in their work.They should also know
that poor work will not be tolerated and that they will be held accountable.
Lets face it; it’s mostly about the
money…When it comes to appraisals, sure it’s important for you to
get your point across, praise and encourage, and let the employee know what‘s expected in the future, but when it
comes down to it, it’s all about the money.If possible, it would be best
to be able to discuss the merit increase during the appraisal meeting.It
is usually an hourly increase based on the overall evaluation score, which is normally a certain percentage increase of
around 3% to 5%.It can be as high as 10%, or as low as 1%.Sometimes it is nothing.In many
cases you have to wait a few weeks after the initial appraisal to inform them about the merit increase.Just let them know to be patient and that you will get back to them the moment
you have the information.Also, always make sure you let each and every
employee know they should never discuss the increase amount with their fellow employees.This goes with their hourly rate as well.
LESSON 3 - HOW TO MANAGE YOUR EMPLOYEES AND BUILD A STRONG TEAM
The text of these materials, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, storing in an informational retrieval system or otherwise, except for students own personal use. The author does specifically disclaim any responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this course.
Example – Employee Appraisal Form. This is an example evaluation form that has the goals and objectives expected of the employee. In this case you can check whether the employee exceeded, was able to meet, or fell below targets and expectations. Each goal is also weighed by a percentage. This example just shows the goals and objectives. The full appraisal also contains corporate values, notes, comments, and a place for signatures. This should be presented in the beginning of the year, or appraisal period, so that the employee understands how and when their performance will be appraised.