Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Closing effectively, part of Performance Review Foundations.
An otherwise useful employee evaluation can still derail late in the process if you don't know how to close the meeting effectively, and there are several crucial elements to consider. Let's start with the need for clarification for any parts of the conversation that simply didn't feel right. Typically in an employee evaluation, there are portions of the talk that both parties clearly agree on, and other areas where agreement wasn't quite as smooth. That's normal. It's useful after completing the review to briefly go back to the one, maybe two, areas that seemed a little more difficult.
This helps the employee gain clarity, and this also increases the odds the employee will see the review as fair, such that they won't hesitate to sign and accept the review. Next, it's helpful to have a short questions and answer session as part of the closing process. The employee might want to bring up some other aspect of performance, or inquire about relevant dates or some other aspect of the process. So it's good to be proactive, and give them the chance. Whatever isn't addressed in the Q&A is what you'll cover next. Typically, this involves stating what we've just completed.
Stating that the employee will be asked to sign the document. Reminding them that signing does not mean they agree, it only means they acknowledge they received a review. Informing them about any details surrounding employee appeals, and reminding them about any upcoming performance related events, including any changes in compensation. Let's watch Bridget as she wraps up with Elliot. Okay, that was a lot of information we just processed. >> Hm-mm. >> But in your case, I think I can summarize pretty easily. On our model, you met or exceeded expectations in every area except for one.
>> Hm-mm. >> But now moving forward, you have a better idea of how to address that. >> Mm-hm. >> In addition, your sales performance has been astounding so, keep up the good work. Do you have any questions for me? >> not, not. I think I'm good. Yeah. You addressed all my concerns, so I appreciate that. >> Great. Alright. We can wrap up by having you sign here. Now as you know, this doesn't mean you agree with everything. Only that you acknowledge receipt of today's review. >> Okay. No problem. This is really productive. So I really appreciate all your advice. Possibly one of the most difficult aspects of providing employee reviews is dealing with strong disagreements.
If you are an above average communicator, you'll likely find a way to get the person on the same page you're on. But sometimes that's not possible. Once in a while even the best leaders find themselves faced with employees who strongly disagree with how their performance has been assessed. After making a reasonable effort when this happens you tell the employee they do have the right to appeal your evaluation. In this case, you job is to tell them how many days they have before they lose the right to appeal, what documents must be used, and to whom all this information must be provided.
Every organization deals with this issue differently. In some, when a disagreement happens it's suggested that the two simply work out the issue And amend the review if needed. Some systems allow employees to simply add a letter to their review stating the disagreements, or other pieces of information, they wish to be reflected in the record. If this is not sufficient, some companies allow the employee to write a formal appeal. When that happens, it's possible an arbitrator will be appointed to help settle the matter. In other cases the appeal goes straight to a sitting committee or panel.
Typically they'll make a recommendation, and that's that. Let's go back to Bridget. What if she explained the performance improvement plan to Danielle, but Danielle didn't agree? Let's watch. >> As you know from our prior conversations, your sales have been low. Out further. As I look over the 360 data and how well it matches my evaluation, there's real cause for concern. Now that's why in your evaluation I've included the formal performance improvement plan. Now >> Hey, Bridget. You know, I, I don't agree with your statements.
I don't think they're fair. And I don't think the assessment is right either. My sales are off because I don't receive the same amount of support sales the rest of the sale team. You know, if i work with the same tools and resources that they had available, then my sale would be better. >> Well I'm not aware of the resource issues that your referring too. But I do want you to know that you are welcome to document them and include them in any appeal, if you do wish to appeal this evaluation. Now, you'll still need to sign this today.
But it only acknowledges receipt of the review, not your agreement. You'll then have 30 days to submit the correct paperwork to HR, and they in turn will receive a response from the appeal committee within another 30 days. Now, do you have any other comments or questions you'd like to make? >> Not at this time. Okay. >> So you saw how Bridget was interrupted by Danielle, but didn't let that bother her. Instead, she carefully acknowledged that she heard Danielle's complaint. She didn't let it knock her off course. Let's be clear. Sometimes the information employees give you might change your assessment.
But the vast majority of time, your goal is to stay on track. Because the assessment was completed before you entered the room. You've no doubt heard many types of simple useful advice for conducting employee reviews. Things such as always be nice. Don't say anything derogatory. Be timely. And be fair, by using the same standards for everyone. That's all terribly useful. But when it comes to the issue of appeals, there's one thing above all else you need - great documentation.
If you're going to formally record that someone made a mistake or performed poorly, you need to have solid evidence. At minimum, you must have specific behaviors and outcomes noted in your performance diary, with dates and times. So that if needed, you can have them verified by others. If you strongly suspect that you'll be facing a difficult evaluation, you might even consider additional sources. Including comments from relevant peers, other managers, a customer or vendor, video footage, or other sources.
The more solid your documentation, the less likely they are to appeal your review. The good news is that when you have a genuinely positive attitude and are attentive throughout the year, appeals are rare. When you prepare the way we've discussed, it's far more likely you'll receive gratitude and appreciation. Because when you prepare and deliver a useful, honest evaluation, your employees know you're not simply trying to evaluate them. You're actually trying to help them be more successful.
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- Understanding the performance cycle
- Setting performance goals
- Collecting performance data and feedback
- Writing the review
- Discussing performance with an employee
- Using a performance improvement plan (PIP)<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.