People dread performance reviews mainly because they expect too much from them. Performance reviews are intended to be a summary of a year or six months of attentive performance management. Find out how a Totally Integrated Performance System can make performance management seamless.
To get the best possible results from employees, effective managers employ a system where every aspect of management is integrated. The Totally Integrated Performance System (TIPS) is a simple and powerful performance management system with six distinct processes consisting of:
The perfect time to clarify job descriptions is before you hire. When you fill a position, whether it's new or old, take the time to interview all the stakeholders to clarify the job description and the skills needed to fill the job.Too many managers are stuck trying to get the skill level of an unqualified employee up to the real need of the job, simply because the job description does't match the current needs.
Sit down with employees to clarify their performance goals. Make sure they prioritize the skills that are job requirements before developing auxiliary skills. If employees feel strongly that they should focus on other areas than the manager's main focus, review the job description to make certain it's still relevant to the actual job.
Track performance regularly. Make notes of exceptional performance and areas that need improvement on an ongoing basis. Address issues as they arise if appropriate. Whether you intend to give on the spot feedback or not, keep track of every detail worth noting.
Check in about performance monthly or twice monthly. Don't wait for the final review to check in. The advantages of interim reviews are,
Create a performance improvement plan when there is a performance issue. This puts you in partnership with your employee rather than sets you up as the enforcer. It also creates documentation of attempts to help the employee improve performance should improvement attempts fail and there be legal issues.
The previous steps laid the groundwork for painless, effective reviews. There should be no surprises at this point. Refer to the documentation and exchanges throughout the process and be sure to celebrate successes. Then review the job description to make sure it is still relevant, and review performance goals for the upcoming performance period.
If the organization doesn't support this style of review, don't let that hold you back. Do what you can with those you supervise. You might find other managers and execs ask you why you don't dread performance reviews like most people do.
An excellent resource for understanding the TIPS system in greater detail is Janelle Brittian and my book How to Say It Performance Reviews.
You can also hire me for my all day seminar: THE SPEAKSTRONG METHOD OF INTEGRATED PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: HOW TO CREATE A TOTALLY INTEGRATED PERFORMANCE SYSTEM (TIPS)