How To Take The Pain Out Of Performance ReviewsWritten by Lora J Adrianse
The Painful Approach For many years, "performance management" was of an annual event dreaded by both management and workforce. For a week or two every year manager would virtually isolate himself and ponder stack of review forms staring him in face. Chances are there was very little data tracked, so he'd try to rack his brain for past year so he could "evaluate" his employees. In meantime, a silent tension was building within each of employees. Always anticipating a "surprise", they had no idea what to expect. After all, "how far back could manager remember?" and "what will he remember?" Regardless of outcome, everyone would breathe a sigh of relief when it was over.
It's Different Today Today more than ever before, entire performance management process is in spotlight. Companies need factual, reliable systems to make tough business decisions. Performance management data is being used not only to measure individual performance, but also to measure benchmark strength, potential human capital, and performance of segments within company. It's all crucial today, and it's here to stay.
The timing is perfect for managers to optimize performance review processes and engage each employee in process.
The Possibilities Imagine what it would be like if annual performance review process transformed into an annual strategy session. No tension, no getting blindsided and no negative energy. A time for manager and employee to come together to reflect on past year, formally acknowledge accomplishments, strategize development opportunities and identify goals. Yes, there would still be a fair amount of time involved, but wouldn't it be worth it if both manager and employee could walk away feeling good about it?
Creating a partnership approach to performance review process not only produces powerful results, but also empowers employees. By proactively contributing to process, employees feel more in-control, and are motivated to perform better and achieve more.
How To Create A Partnership Approach To Performance Management
The First Ground Rule As with most new processes, communication is essential factor that can determine success or failure of your initiative, and especially a change. So, ground rule is, communicate openly, honestly, often, and completely.
Getting Started Start with communication to your team. Tell them what, why, and especially, what's in it for them. Then schedule a series of meetings with them to work through details as suggested below. It's extremely beneficial to get a volunteer to document outcome of each meeting. After meeting send document back to group to confirm and/or clarify agreements.
Create a Positive, Upbeat, "Can-Do" Workforce and Dazzle the Customer with Your Caring!Written by JoAnna Brandi
Given choice of dealing with a positive, upbeat employee with a "can-do" attitude or dealing with a disgruntled, distracted, uninterested one, which would you choose? No contest. Customers always want best experience possible; they want it to be easy and pleasant to do business with your company. Enter real challenge of "Relationship Management," relationships. Until all of our business is done electronically, and much of it might be, managers, in addition to making sure work gets done, still need to be concerned with performance of most important link in customer connection - people.
Whether answering phone, fixing equipment, selling a product or reconciling an unpaid invoice, quality of interaction between one human being and another is what will be judged by customer to determine how much you care about them and their business. If state of your relationship skills does not equal or exceed your sales and marketing skills, your "lifetime" relationship is in danger.
As a manager you should know that survey after survey reports that people prefer to do business with a positive, upbeat person. As a customer, you instinctively know that people want to do business with people who enjoy what they are doing, are having a good time doing it and genuinely care about being able to help you solve your problem, or achieve your goals. So, here are some tips on creating a more positive, up-beat, can-do work force.
1. Remember, best teacher is a good example. First examine your own behavior. Are you walking positive talk or are you mumbling beneath you breath, "3 more days 'til Friday." Take great care to listen to your own language. Do you frame things in positive, or do you often start your sentences with "No." Do you say "Yes, but.." a lot, negating first half of your sentence with your last? If so, purchase a copy of "Learned Optimism" by Martin Seligman for your corporate library and inhale it. Then pass it on. Optimistic people adapt easier to change, are more creative, have more fun and are healthier then pessimistic ones. They live longer too. Think about it, looking for innovation? Think optimism, that's one way to get there.
2. Learn (and teach) power of positive self-talk. Often our internal chatter is negative. Reprogram your own chatter and then listen carefully for signs of it in others. When you hear someone saying, "Boy am I stupid," gently coach them away from that attitude by replying with "Don't be so hard on yourself, you're not stupid. You may have made a bad decision, we all do, from time to time, let's talk about that, what you've learned, and how to avoid it in future." Our bodies respond to our self-talk, if we tell ourselves we are disorganized, we behave just that way. Tell yourself, with conviction, you are an organized person, and behavior will begin to change. Our brain responds literally, like our computers. Learn to replace negative programming with positive.
3. Ban Whining. One whiner in group can bring everyone down. A whiner is like an infection - it spreads. Put one strong whiner in a room and they can turn it into a pity party. Stop it at source. Learn to spot them during interview process. Don't hire them in first place, unless you are prepared to keep vigilance over their behavior and attempt to change it. Good luck. Whiners love whining. Put a "No whining" sign on your door.
4. Teach people art of "win/win." In our competitive society we have a win/lose mentality. This may be a good strategy to fill a sports stadium, not a good way to run a company. Help people to understand that thinking "Win/Win" opens up possibility for new solutions. Remember, in 21st century, it's innovation and creativity that will give us edge, innovation comes from open minds and "possibility thinking."