Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting expectations for the meeting, part of Performance Review Foundations.
It's very important that you manage your employees' expectations surrounding the employee review. There are three main ways to look at this. Managing their perceptions throughout the year, communicating with them in the weeks leading up to the meeting, and managing expectations in the actual meeting. The first approach deals with how to help employees think about and understand the employee evaluation process throughout the year. Remember, the more you choose not to talk about it, the more you make the yearly evaluation discussion A huge monster under the bed.
Don't do that. Instead, find ways to talk about it. For example, if there are changes to the companies competency model, the vendors they use, the actual instrument used, or the timing of the evaluation related activities, these all represent A great opportunity to engage in formal dialogue with your team. Believe me, they'll talk about it when you're not around. So it's smart to give them that option with you as a part of the discussion. Next, keep your eyes open and look for accomplishments that are interesting and noteworthy.
This might be a personal goal that achieved. A team objective reached or a project that was wrapped successfully. Ask yourself which competencies from your model were clearly on display, and say something about it in emails, phone calls and especially in meetings and informal huddles. Bring a few of them up and point out how various competencies were on display. Each of these gives you an opportunity to help them start viewing workplace successes as being supported by the model underlying your review process.
Now let's consider the weeks leading up to the evaluation meeting. These are the weeks defined by various activities published in the evaluation schedule. Use the communication you put out about tasks and due dates to also help shape expectations for the upcoming meeting. Tell them to expect to hear about the 360 feedback, your evaluation, new goals, and new developmental activities if appropriate. It's also useful to remind them that you're open to, and expect, upward feedback about your performance, team policies, or larger company issues.
Here's an important addition, make sure they're clear that you won't be discussing pay or promotions. Give or take, half of all organizations do tie the discussion of compensation to the evaluation meeting. This is expediate in some ways, but it's not advisable. When the employee knows that you'll be discussing their raise or bonus, they tend not to listen effectively. They're just waiting for the monetary punchline. Similarly, the discussion of promotions isn't a good fit for evaluation meetings. Promotions don't happen at regular intervals like evaluation meetings.
They happen when there's a need and a qualified applicant, so that's when you should talk about promotion possibilities. Otherwise, just like compensation, it can be a distraction that detracts from the employee's ability to really listen to your feedback and think about performance. Finally, manage their expectations at the start of the appraisal meeting. To be specific, you want to remind them of the agenda, share with them the process you use to prepare and remember to encourage participation. The agenda can be as simple as sharing how you did your homework, discussing the 360, self ratings they provided, your evaluation and any big gaps.
Then the developmental part of the conversation, including any revised goals. Any role changes, and any training and development plans. Next, make sure they know how much you prepared for the meeting. You don't need to take more than 10 or 15 seconds to share what you did, and how much time you spent, but it's useful for them to know you did not walk into the meeting unprepared. While you'll be in charge of the meeting, ideally it should feel comfortable enough for them to speak up and ask for clarity when they feel like it.
The more they feel it is acceptable to speak up, the more they feel the evaluation as legitimate. So, as we begin to talk about conducting the actual performance review meeting, let's take these concepts a little further, and see them in action. I want to introduce you to Bridget and Elliott. Bridget is the manager of six sales associates at a large insurance firm. One of Bridget's direct reports is Elliott, a recent hire, who is now receiving his initial performance review. Let's have a look at how Bridget starts the conversation.
So it sounds like you had a nice vacation. >> Yeah, I did, it was good. Just hung out with the family and yeah, stayed at home. >> Well, good. >> Simple, yeah. >> Well, welcome back. >> Oh, thank you. >> So Elliot, I want to start today by sharing what I did to prepare for today's conversation. >> Okay. >> So I went over your self evaluation, my notes from the year. >> Okay. >> Our client reports. The 360 results, and, of course, my evaluation. >> Right. >> So today should be pretty straightforward. We'll go over your goals, the evaluations, the ratings.
Any signifigant gaps. And then we'll move into a discussion about, new goals for the next year. >> Gotcha. >> Okay. now, before I jump in, do you have any initial questions for me? >> no, I don't think so. >> Okay, great. But please know you're welcome to jump in at any time if you have any questions or comments. >> Sounds good. >> Okay great, alright. So let's start with performance against goals, okay? >> Okay. >> So when you started with us >> You can see that Bridgett immediately sets the context by informing Elliott that she's done her homework, and is prepared to have an intelligent conversation about his performance She immediately follows by sharing the basic agenda and goes even further by asking for questions.
In short, she demonstrated how to be positive, informative open and reassuring, a great way to begin an evaluation discussion. If you remember the advice we just covered your employees will feel in the loop concerning the evaluation process throughout the year and they'll be comfortable when it's time to sit down and have the actual conversation.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
The information contained in the following course is provided with the viewer's understanding that the course should not be used as a substitute for consulting a human resource professional at your company for specific guidance. Lynda.com and LinkedIn expressly disclaim liability for any damages, loss, or risk, incurred as a direct or indirect consequence, from the use and application of any content herein.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
- Describe why performance reviews are important.
- Explain why a manager might use informal feedback.
- Recognize when it’s important to have a witness present during an evaluation.
- Cite the benefits of performance improvement plans.
- Identify the primary goal of managing performance throughout the year.
- Describe when it’s time to discuss possible role changes for an employee.
- Explain the 360 review process.
- Cite ways to set expectations for a performance review meeting.