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Great Changes Ezine #16: How to Review Employees
October 16, 2012
Encouraging Changes People Desire
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Issue #16: October 16, 2012
Reviewing employees can be one of the most important and productive things an employer or supervisor can do. Done properly, it will improve the employee's performance and attitude, potentially helping the organization in numerous ways.
A more productive and happy employee may be worth greater compensation while, at the same time, help increase the profitability of the business, a win-win. The review process, when done professionally, can help transform a business, improving its corporate culture, and make it a great place to work.
What I learned about reviews: Having started my first business shortly after graduating college, I had no experience doing reviews, nor even really knew why to do them. And guess what? That business came very close to failing. Fortunately, we hired an outside management consultant to help us learn to better manage the business, including doing employee reviews.
Hearing what an employee says and giving honest feedback to that person can be a tremendous opportunity to learn, brainstorm and create a go-forward plan. When the review is complete and successful, both parties will have a clear understanding what the employee's career path has become over the foreseeable future.
So what should the review process include?
The review process: I have created a 6-step process to do reviews. The steps are: 1) Discuss the positives, 2) discuss problems or challenges, 3) discuss other things that are neither positives nor problems, 4) ask and answer questions, 5) create goals, and 6) discuss their compensation.
1) The Positives: It's normally a good thing to start off a meeting on a positive note. Discussing the positives, things the employee does well, and other positive attributes she has, accomplishes this. Try to have a list of at least 5-10 positives about the person's attributes, including accomplishments they have recently achieved.
2) Problem Areas: Many managers have problems discussing problems with their subordinates. But if the manager doesn't bring up problems, no one else likely will. If no one discusses problems, 1) the employee may never know what they are doing that are not desirable, 2) the employee is unlikely to improve their weak areas and 3) both the business and the employee suffers, by not reaching anywhere near full potential.
When bringing up problem areas for the first time, it is normally best to do so in a calm, caring, empathetic, or a matter of fact way, rather than in a critical way. Explain how the problem is holding back progress, or what it's costing the business in terms of money, lost time and production, material wasted, etc. And then make a plan to improve the problem, or agree to do so at a later time.
3) Discuss relevant things that are neither positive nor negative: These things can be worth bringing up for various reasons. Some topics could be discussed: 1) for educational purposes, 2) to improve your understanding or relationship with your associate, or 3) to show that you are paying attention to the details of what has been happening, and that you care.
This concludes Part One of "How to Review an Employee". Part Two will include: 1) Step 4: Asking and Answering Questions, 2) Step 5: Setting Goals to Attain before the next review, 3) Step 6: Compensation, 4) How often to do reviews, and 5) How long should a review take?
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