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Jun 08
Employee Performance Management

Employee Performance Management: A Positive Approach Pays Off

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June 08, 2015

Too often, performance reviews are missed opportunities. Supervisors who concentrate on issues that need to be addressed may find themselves facing a defensive employee who views them as an adversary. Those who simply acknowledge an employee’s competency encourage the status quo. Neither strategy is likely to spur success for the employee or the company. In order to be an effective employee performance management tool, these performance reviews must become engaging, positive experiences for both the supervisor and the employee.

As a supervisor, how do you make performance reviews valuable? Traditionally, a review has been an uncomfortable experience focused on identifying problems and discussing corrective actions. While troublesome issues need to be addressed, a shift in approach can reap major dividends. Rather than setting up a situation where you sit in judgement of an employee’s past performance, try reframing the performance review as a collaborative experience in which you utilize your coaching skills to help an employee look forward.

Employee Performance ManagementBegin With Vision

Lack of direction can be paralyzing. When people know where they’re headed, they can begin plotting the course necessary to reach their goal. By sharing the company’s vision for the future, you invite employees to be a part of it and create an opportunity to coach them in how to best direct their talent and energy. It’s even more important for supervisors to discuss the employee’s vision for their personal future. The best motivation is a compelling vision for personal success. Understanding an employee’s goals allows you to better support the individual’s professional development through mentoring and training, laying the groundwork for success that benefits both the company and the employee.

Continue With Assessment

Before charting their course, people must identify their starting point. Instead of simply telling an employee your evaluation of their job performance, try asking questions to foster self-awareness. What is going right? Why is it right? What isn’t quite right? What would be the ideal? What resources are needed to go forward? This approach short-circuits defensiveness while still allowing you to guide the employee through an assessment of their professional strengths and weaknesses. As an added benefit, it also lets you spot gaps that you might have missed when viewing the situation strictly from a supervisor’s perspective.

Plan for Future Performance

When a performance review is used to pinpoint where an employee wants to go and clarify their current standing, developing a plan to connect the two points becomes a natural next step. By functioning as a coach, you can inspire the employee to identify areas for improvement and methods for making it happen. It’s a perfect chance to work with them to set measurable goals that can be monitored and adjusted as necessary, furnishing fertile topics for future performance reviews.

When administered properly, performance reviews are a fantastic tool for employee performance management. By focusing on the positive and creating an environment that welcomes solutions, supervisors can play a vital role in assisting employees to build success for themselves and the company as a whole.

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