Development Cooperation Handbook/Guidelines/Effective communication skills for the appraisal interview
After measuring the employee performance a fundamental step for Performance management is to providing feedback and to coaching employees to higher levels of performance so they achieve their potential. Besides written responses to written self evaluations (like monthly performance report), it is opportune to hold one-to-one meeting to discuss the ‘3 P’s’– progress, priorities and problems on the basis of the previously submitted reports. Interview topics can invlude:
- discussing the way you get your job done and whether it is meeting the standard agreed beforehand
- reviewing agreed objectives and priorities
- identifying problems and more effective ways of working
- giving and receiving feedback
- identifying poor performance and overcoming any obstacles hindering progress
The best technique for conducting a performance appraisal interview depends on the particular employee’s characteristics. In general, supervisors tend to use one of four methods, each of which has a slightly different objective.
- The objective of the tell-and-sell method is to provide feedback to employees about their performance, gain their acceptance of the evaluation and persuade them to follow their superior’s plan for improvement.
The tell-and-sell method tends to cause defensiveness, lack of trust and poor communication. This approach might be appropriate if an employee has been resistant to change when other approaches have been used or has little interest in participation.
- The objective of the tell-and-listen method is to communicate the evaluation to the employee and then let him or her respond to it. Supervisors describe their perceptions of an employee’s strengths and weaknesses and listen to the employee’s feeling about the evaluation without refuting an employee’s objections.
- The tell-and-listen method leads to a better understanding between supervisors and subordinates than does the tell-and-sell method, but it does not necessarily create employee commitment to improving performance.
- The objective of the problem-solving method is to help employees identify their performance deficiencies and encourage them to initiate a mutually agreed upon plan for improvement. Problem-solving interviews are best suited for coaching and development. Supervisors may need training on performing one.
- The mixed interview uses the tell-and-sell method for evaluation and the problem-solving method for development. The goal is to improve employee performance and superior-subordinate relations while setting clear goals.
Give feed backs
After measuring the employee performance a fundamental step for Performance management is to providing feedback and to coaching employees to higher levels of performance so they achieve their potential. Besides written responses to written self evaluations (like monthly performance report), it is opportune to hold one-to-one meeting to discuss the ‘3 P’s’– progress, priorities and problems on the basis of the previoulsly submitted reports.
Some managers and employees are ambivalent about the performance appraisal interview and avoid providing negative feedback overtly. Managers uncomfortable with providing criticism sometimes provide it between heavy doses of positive feedback and make only vague comments. They also may bury in small talk or humor, communicating negative feedback obliquely. The discomfort felt by the evaluators manifests itself in avoidance behaviors that obscure the message and merely skims the surface of performance appraisal. When receiving negative feedback, subordinates may become defensive as they feel their self-esteem threatened. They may try blaming their deficient performance on others or on external factors. They may minimize the importance of the appraisal, question the validity of the evaluation or may too readily agree to the feedback while internally denying its accuracy. The solution to managing reactions is to train managers how to conduct constructive feedback sessions. In an effective interview, the employee perceives the appraisal as fair, the manager as sincere and the climate as constructive. Therefore, the employee is more likely to leave the interview informed about his or her performance and how to improve and determined to correct deficiencies. When providing feedback, managers should focus on the employee’s behaviors, not personality. Summarizing an employee’s performance by labeling him or her as “lazy,” for example, is not helpful and will lead to defensiveness. It is more beneficial to focus on what a person does rather than what that person seems to be.