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Chapter 9. Using Performance Management ... > The Important Parts of Performance M... - Pg. 89

Using Performance Management to Help 89 From the Manager's Desk When setting expectations or standards, try to make them as specific, clear, and measurable as possible. If you can't do that for everything, just keep in mind that there may be some "fuzzies" in there that will require judgment and opinions. The second benefit has to do with taking action during the year when and if a person doesn't fulfill the agreed-upon expectations. If you need to provide feedback on some bit of difficult behavior, it's a lot easier to do so if you have the agreement beforehand. You can use that agreement to validate your comment. By making reference to the agreement, your comments will seem less arbitrary and more fair than if you just pull a complaint out of the hat. For example, it's easier and more effective to say: "Paul, in January we agreed that all of us should refrain from interrupting each other at meetings. I noticed that last Monday, you were passionate about the subject at hand and broke into the discussion several times while Mary and Fred were speaking. I'd appreciate it if you would allow other people to finish before you have your say, and in turn we'll make sure you don't get inter- rupted." If you just pulled out this "rule" out of the blue, then it's going to be less effective. There's another very important issue related to performance planning and difficult people. When you have a record of agreed-upon expectations, it protects you if you need to take disciplinary action later on. There are two important requirements regarding disciplinary action. They are: · that there be communication to employee about expectations (and also about performance problems throughout the year). · that there be a record (or documentation) of both expectations and any communication between manager and employee about performance problems. Insider Secrets Many companies give specific forms managers are expected to use to do performance reviews. Many of those forms are useless, but you may still be forced to use them. Here's the solution. Regardless of the forms, make sure you always focus on the communication, face to face, with each employee. That's how you can succeed in spite of poor tools someone makes you use.