Learning from the past is one thing that distinguishes people from rats. No, wait; rats learn from the past. Perhaps it’s: conscious reflection to extract the lessons from the past, to avoid repeating mistakes and get more, sooner. No, wait; some would argue rats do that too. Maybe what distinguishes people is that we don’t learn from the past.
Performance Reviews may well be the most valuable activity in your business next to making a sale and increasing efficiencies. Yet people seem to dread them. When they recount their experiences with Reviews, I can’t blame them. It needn’t be that way.
The secret to Reviews that are welcomed is to conduct them in the context of a performance partnership. Without this two-way exploration of insights to make individuals, teams and organisations smarter, they are a waste of time and potentially (even frequently) damaging.
Where you have a performance partnership, the reviewer is there to:
- prompt a performer’s self- and team-awareness
- accelerate their discovery of new and better ways to get results
- remind people what they are capable of and accountable for.
The reviewer is not there to do all the thinking and talking. (The one who is doing the talking is doing the learning.) The responsibility for demonstrating performance is the employee’s. (Just as well they are adults and don’t require caretaking.)
Problems occur where there are:
- Unrealistic expectations
- Fuzzy communication
- Unclear demands
- Confusion about either role
- Inappropriate dependency by one and/or control by another
Develop self-management and staff-driven performance by using questions to stimulate insight, clarity, learning, commitment and accountability. Here are some:
What went according to plan?
What are you pleased with/disappointed about?
Why’s that? (What’s the lesson in that?)
What else could you have done? (What could you have done differently?)
Why didn’t you…………………….? (Curious tone not judgemental)
What do you want to change next time?
What would be the impact of that?
What can you commit to, to fix that?
What about if you’d tried……………..?
What I think you could’ve done is……..
What I’d like to see is…………….and so on.
Maybe calling work “the Rat Race” is insulting to the common rat. You pay so handsomely for experience – use Performance Reviews to make it pay back!