Eric Jacobson

Archive for the ‘Performance Appraisals’ Category

How To Discuss Poor Performance With An Employee

In Performance Appraisals, Performance Reviews on October 3, 2016 at 6:00 pm

As a leader, the time will come when you will have to speak with an employee about his or her poor performance. Here are six steps that will guide you through that process:

  1. Tell him what performance is in need of change and be specific.
  2. Tell him how his actions negatively affect the team.
  3. Let the discussion sink in.
  4. Set expectations of performance improvement and timeframe, and get his agreement on the desired outcome.
  5. Remind him that he is a valuable part of the team and that you have confidence his performance will improve.
  6. Don’t rehash the discussion later. You made your point. Give him to make his improvement.

How To Discuss Poor Performance With An Employee

In Performance Appraisals, Performance Reviews on February 24, 2016 at 8:24 pm

As a leader, the time will come when you will have to speak with an employee about his or her poor performance. Here are six steps that will guide you through that process:

  1. Tell him what performance is in need of change and be specific.
  2. Tell him how his actions negatively affect the team.
  3. Let the discussion sink in.
  4. Set expectations of performance improvement and time frame, and get his agreement on the desired outcome.
  5. Remind him that he is a valuable part of the team and that you have confidence his performance will improve.
  6. Don’t rehash the discussion later. You made your point. Give him to make his improvement.

How To Motivate Employees During Performance Reviews

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Performance Appraisals, Performance Reviews on June 19, 2014 at 6:05 am

 

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When you meet with your employee during her annual performance appraisal take time to determine what motivates her when it comes to her career development.  Motivation changes over time and changes depending on where the individual is in her career.

So, to determine what motives her, author Paul Falcone recommends you ask her to rank-order her priorities in terms of the following six guidelines:

  • If you had to chose two categories from the following six, which would you say hold the most significance to you career-wise?

1.  Career progression through the ranks and opportunities for promotion and advancement.

2.  Lateral assumption of increased job responsibilities and skill building (e.g. rotational assignments).

3.  Acquisition of new technical skills (typically requiring outside training and certification).

4.  Development of stronger leadership, managerial, or administrative skills.

5.  Work-life balance.

6.  Money and other forms of compensation.

Then, do your best to match her next year’s goals and objectives with projects, duties, assignments, activities, actions tied to what motivates her most.

You’ll find many more helpful tips in Falcone’s new book, 2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals.

How To Discuss Poor Performance With An Employee

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Performance Appraisals, Performance Reviews on June 3, 2014 at 6:03 am

As a leader, the time will come when you will have to speak with an employee about his or her poor performance. Here are six steps that will guide you through that process:

  1. Tell him what performance is in need of change and be specific.
  2. Tell him how his actions negatively affect the team.
  3. Let the discussion sink in.
  4. Set expectations of performance improvement and time frame, and get his agreement on the desired outcome.
  5. Remind him that he is a valuable part of the team and that you have confidence his performance will improve.
  6. Don’t rehash the discussion later. You made your point. Give him to make his improvement.

What Your Employee Wants To Hear You Ask During A Performance Review

In Effective Communications, Employee Retention, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Listening Skills, Management, Motivating Employees, Performance Appraisals on May 12, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Here are five important questions you, as a manager and leader, should ask during employee performance reviews:

  1. What have I done to help – or hinder – your job performance?
  2. What can I do in the next review period to help you achieve/improve?
  3. What conditions here enable you – or make it hard – to do your best work?
  4. What do you want most from your job?
  5. How can I help you reach your career goals?

I speculate that most employees have never heard most of these questions from their supervisors on a consistent basis during performance reviews.

Thanks to Sharon Armstrong and Barbara Mitchell for these questions — just some of their great advice from their book, The Essential HR Handbook.

Don’t Delay The Tough Conversation

In Coaching, Disciplining Employees, Effective Communications, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Management, Motivating Employees, Performance Appraisals, Setting Goals on August 21, 2011 at 8:22 am

If you have an employee who needs to improve his/her performance don’t delay the tough conversation with them.

If you don’t address the issue right now, the employee has little chance to improve and you’ll only get more frustrated.

Most employees want to do a good job. Sometimes they just don’t know they aren’t performing up to the required standards.

Waiting until the employee’s annual performance appraisal to have the tough conversation is unhealthy for you and the employee. So, address the issue now.

  • Sit down with your employee in a private setting.
  • Look them in the eye.
  • First, tell them what they do well.
  • Thank them for that good work.
  • Then, tell them where they need to improve.
  • Be clear.
  • Be precise.
  • Ask them if they understand, and ask them if they need any help from you on how to do a better job.

Explain to them that your taking the time to have the tough conversation means you care about them. You want them to do better. You believe they can do better. Explain that if you hadn’t had the conversation they would not have had a clear understanding about where they were deficient. And, they would not have had a chance to improve.

Have that tough conversation today. Don’t postpone it. Don’t let a poor performer make you so mad that over time you end up not wanting them on your team.

How To Talk To An Employee About His Poor Performance

In General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Management, Performance Appraisals on April 28, 2011 at 6:46 pm

As a leader, the time will come when you will have to speak with an employee  about his or her poor performance. Here are six steps that will guide you through that process:

  1. Tell him what performance is in need of change and be specific.
  2. Tell him how his actions negatively affect the team.
  3. Let the discussion sink in.
  4. Set expectations of performance improvement and timeframe, and get his agreement on the desired outcome.
  5. Remind him that he is a valuable part of the team and that you have confidence his performance will improve.
  6. Don’t rehash the discussion later. You made your point.  Give him time to make his improvement.

How To Prepare For The Next Recession

In Employee Engagement, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Making Decisions, Management, Performance Appraisals, Setting Goals on February 28, 2011 at 4:39 am

Even though the business environment is improving for some companies, don’t close the book on the recent recession until you’ve set a game plan for how you will lead your business between now and the next recession.  And, for how you will lead during the next recession.

Write down the lessons you learned over the past couple years and determine how you’ll apply each going forward.

You can also take note of the suggestions from savvy business leaders that offer this advice: 

  • You have to build trust with your colleagues before a crisis comes or no one will follow you when it does.
  • There is no substitute for preparation.   Access your company’s strengths and weaknesses at all times.
  • Conduct an annual risk review that encompasses both financial and non-financial risks.
  • When removing employees from your business, be courageous, quick and fair.
  • Pay attention to those who leave and those who stay.  And, for those who stay, remove work so the employees left behind don’t feel punished for staying.
  • Talk more about values more than rules.
  • Reward not only the performance, but also how that performance is achieved.

How To Avoid 8 Performance Evaluation Pitfalls

In Employee Engagement, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Management, Performance Appraisals on February 16, 2011 at 6:28 am

You’ll learn how to avoid eight performance evaluation pitfalls in what I think is the best chapter of the book, The Essential HR Handbook, written by Sharon Armstrong and Barbara Mitchell.

If you are a leader and it’s time to conduct an employee evaluation, Armstrong and Mitchell caution you to watch for these pitfalls when making your evaluation:

1.  Clustering everyone in the middle performance-rating categories
2.  Overlooking flaws or exaggerating the achievements of favored employees
3.  Excusing substandard performance or behavior because it is widespread
4.  Letting one characteristic – positive or negative – affect your overall assessment
5.  Rating someone based on the company he or she keeps
6.  Rating someone based on a grudge you are holding
7.  Rating someone based on a short time period instead of the entire evaluation period
8.  Rating everyone high, to make you look good

There’s other great information in this 250-page book that is valuable for any manager, and especially good for managers who are new in their leadership position.

Book Offers Tips For Listening, Asking And Suggesting

In Employee Engagement, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Education, Listening Skills, Management, Motivating Employees, Performance Appraisals on February 7, 2011 at 8:13 am

If you have a manager who isn’t the best communicator, you can suggest he/she read Jane Murphy’s and Khatun Huber’s book, What Could Happen If You Do Nothing?

Actually, it’s more of a handbook than a book, and it is best read by finding the section most applicable at the moment versus reading it start to finish. 

It’s filled with mini-dialogues that demonstrate the impact of engaged listening, deliberative questioning, and animating suggestions to facilitate change and action.

To me, the most useful section is the list of a dozen or so questions (for each conversation category below) to ask an employee to:

  • Start a conversation with an employee
  • Conduct a meaningful follow-up conversation
  • Clarify inconsistencies in what you are hearing from an employee
  • Build and further a conversation on what’s being said to move the conversation ahead
  • Wind down a conversation
  • Solicit feedback

Equally enlightening are these questions from which a manager can select to ensure all parties benefit from a performance review:

  • What have you learned from the reviews you’ve had?
  • What do you find challenging about reviews?
  • Is there anyone whose input you’d like to include whom you’d like me to talk to?
  • So how would you grade yourself on that?  What’s your thinking here?  How could you make this a ten?
  • Do you want to add any points you want to address in your review?
  • How can we talk about this in a way that works toward a solution?
  • What has been really working?  Where are there gaps?  What can you do to get past this roadblock?
  • Is there anything more I could do to make this review process more useful to you?

I receive about a book a week from authors to review, and I don’t recommend them all. This is one, however, that should be helpful to managers who need to hone their communications skills.

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