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iManage, Issue #24 -- 3 Steps to an Effective Management Performance Review
July 01, 2011


3 Steps to an Effective Management Performance Review

Are you getting the most out of your management performance reviews?

In past articles, I covered basic rules for using performance appraisal forms and conducting the interview.

Your performance discussion may go well, with the appraisee appearing motivated at the end of it. BUT if you are not seeing a significant positive impact on the job, then you need a different approach.

Here are three steps to management performance reviews that create real change for the better.

Step 1: Make it Different

If you do not look forward to conducting an employee appraisal, and just want to get it over with, then stop right there! Your attitude has a major impact.

Visualise the interview as an opportunity to shake things up, in a positive way. Help the appraisee think outside the box. Encourage them to come up with new goals that they feel passionate about.

Often small things can make a big difference in business, such as creating checklists to streamline workflow, or customer comment cards to get feedback. Your employees are likely to have lots of ideas for doing things better - allow them to get involved in making real change.

Step 2: Make it Measurable

When setting goals, picture where you want to be, compared to what you are doing now. What is the cost of doing nothing? Finding a metric is key. Are you losing x amount in sales? Are you taking x minutes too long to serve a customer?

Employees will need feedback on their performance to stay motivated. Feedback which states "thanks to achieving that goal, you have saved x amount this month" is much more effective than "you are doing a great job, keep it up!"

Step 3: Make it Supportive

Follow up coaching sessions are essential following a formal review. At the end of the review, create a list of action items that have to be completed by specific dates. Action plans can easily get forgotten. As a manager, it is up to you to keep the focus on what was agreed.

Provide positive feedback and praise where it is due. If the employee is not making the effort you had hoped for, consider if you are rewarding poor performance. It may be necessary, for example, to stop paying a team bonus until every individual has reached their agreed targets.

It takes courage to shake things up. It also takes skill, patience and practice to get it right - employees need to feel encouraged, not pushed, to make change. Yet if you do not take the risk, the management performance review may be just another wasted opportunity. Think about the cost of that..

Watch out for this month's free webinar on 14 July - where our guest speaker will be helping you to phrase effective questions when coaching your employees. Details to follow shortly!

For detailed advice on performance appraisal and staff motivation, download our workbook: How to Build Motivation in the Workplace for a step by step approach with lots of practical tips.

Best wishes

Ann Halloran

Practical Management Skills

Practical management skills advice for business owners and managers. Get best practice tips on a personal development and people management skills such as time management, leadership, communication, managing change and more.

Content based on 30 years management/consultancy experience gained in a wide range of business sectors.

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