3 Tips for More Productive Performance Discussions

Regardless of whether its a public or private sector supervisor/manager, performance discussions can be a harrowing experience for most. Here are some tips that you can provide to your customers to help them smoothen the flow of their performance meetings:

  1. Have them set the stage.

It’s important for a supervisor to set the stage when preparing to review an employee’s performance. Selecting a neutral location, for example, a conference room as opposed to an office; will help employee’s feel more at ease during the meeting. A casual yet private location will encourage open communication and make employee’s more receptive to feedback.

  1. Keep the meeting positive.

A performance review isn’t the time to berate an employee for poor performance (if applicable). Supervisors should have been providing performance feedback to their employees throughout the course of the year, and mid-year reviews or an annual performance review should be a recap of items previously discussed. During the meeting, supervisors should emphasize to their employee’s that while they are reviewing the past, they are doing so in order to improve future performance.

Some focuses for supervisors during their conversations include:

  • Helping the employee determine the reasons for past failures and ways to avoid them in the future
  • Do not place blame – (What’s done is done – no need to cry over spilt milk, right?)
  • Focus on problem solving (but don’t solve an employees problems for them)
  • Offer suggestions to their employee’s about how to achieve improvement
  1. Monitor Ongoing Performance.

Hopefully the supervisor and employee have identified areas for improvement, together ; they can set benchmarks or goals and dates to review the employees ongoing performance. Remind your supervisors to update their employee’s objectives as conditions in the workplace change (i.e. project change/end). Most importantly, the issues discussed during a performance review shouldn’t come as surprise to employees, supervisors need to make the time to touch base often.

One final thought…as a supervisor, they must do their due diligence by keeping an accurate record of their employee’s performance (and include not just the bad stuff, but the good stuff as well).

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