TEN TIPS FOR CONDUCTING EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
You’ve invested your time, your money, and all your energy into building your company. But no company can function for very long without a team of productive employees supporting it. It’s important not only that your employees feel appreciated, but also that they feel they’re progressing steadily in their careers.
One of the best ways to ensure this level of job satisfaction is by holding employee performance reviews at least once a year. However, as essential as these reviews can be for the growth of the company and the well-being of its employees, many small business owners remain uncomfortable with the entire process.
To make your performance reviews as productive and as painless as possible, follow these 10 tried-and-true suggestions:
Be prepared. First of all, make sure you are fully prepared before sitting down with the employee. Decide both what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it.
Lead with the positive. It’s important to reaffirm the employee’s strengths at the beginning of the review. Since job security is the number one concern of most people, the performance review is a good time to tell an employee how much you value their contributions to your business.
Don’t be confrontational. It’s also important not to criticize the employee in general terms. The goal is to evaluate job performance and not the person. A performance review that turns into a gripe session misses the opportunity to raise employee morale.
Keep it real. Human resource professionals recommend that you avoid detailed reviews that are too complicated and mechanistic, which can leave the employee feeling like a drone rather than a human being.
Be consistent. Make sure to handle performance reviews in a consistent manner. Top performers should hear affirmations from you regarding their exemplary efforts; weak performers need to hear that their performance requires improvement. A simple approach to review criteria is to evaluate work based on quantity and quality relative to the job requirements. Secondary considerations might be employee attitude, willingness to help other personnel with their work when appropriate, and the ability to get along with others.
Make it a two-way conversation. An effective performance review requires an interactive discussion with an open agenda. Try to formulate questions that seek the employee’s ideas and input. Remember, this will help the employee feel you value his or her opinions. The review should also be a forum for employees to voice their concerns.
Address what’s important to the employee. Since job satisfaction is the most important factor affecting an employee’s attitude (and therefore his or her level of performance and value to your company), an effective review should delve into areas that include issues most important to that employee.
Discuss work/life balance. The performance review is a good opportunity to show your concern for the employee’s work/life balance, and to jointly discuss solutions to improve that balance. It’s also a good time to create a plan for the employee’s career advancement and discuss what future opportunities might exist for him or her.
Be a good listener. Remember to be an active listener and to pick up on your employee’s verbal and nonverbal cues.
Review regularly. Reviews should be done proactively with the purpose of improving employee morale and productivity. When you conduct them on a regular basis, you avoid reviews prompted solely by the need to document an employee’s poor performance. This in turn can imply that the information is being collected as evidence to avoid litigation, should the employee ever be terminated.
The sign of a successful performance review is an employee who leaves the meeting feeling motivated and excited about his or her job. If the employee’s job satisfaction needs are unmet, it’s less likely they will be motivated to focus on your goals for the company. But if an employee feels acknowledged, appreciated, and fairly rewarded for past efforts, he or she will indeed become a valuable asset to the future success of your company.
1. Don’t Prepare
Not being able to answer the question “What do you know about this company?” might just end your quest for employment, at least with this employer. Background information including company history, locations, divisions, and a mission statement are available in an “About Us” section on most company web sites. Review it ahead of time, then print it out and read it over just before your interview to refresh your memory.
2. Dress Inappropriately
Dressing inappropriately can work both ways. You will certainly want to wear a suit if you are interviewing for professional position. When interviewing for a summer job at your local theme park or as a lifeguard, for example, dress accordingly in neat and casual attire. If you aren’t sure what to wear, visit the organization and watch employees coming in and out of the office to see what they are wearing.
3. Poor Communication Skills
It’s important to communicate well with everyone you meet in your search for employment. It is, however, most important to positively connect with the person who might hire you. Shake hands, make eye contact, exude confidence, engage the person you are speaking with, and you will let the interviewer know that you are an excellent candidate for this position – before you even answer an interview question.
4. Too Much Communication
Believe it or not, a recent candidate for employment, who, by the way, didn’t get the job, didn’t hesitate to answer his cell phone when it rang during an interview. Leave the phone behind or at least turn it off before you enter the building. Same goes for coffee, food and anything else other than you, your resume, your job application, and your list of references. They don’t belong at an interview.
5. Talk Too Much
There is nothing much worse than interviewing someone who goes on and on and on… The interviewer really doesn’t need to know your whole life story. Keep your answers succinct, to-the-point and focused and don’t ramble – simply answer the question.
6. Don’t Talk Enough
It’s really hard to communicate with someone who answers a question with a word or two. I remember a couple of interviews where I felt like I was pulling teeth to get any answers from the candidate. It wasn’t pleasant. So, even though you shouldn’t talk too much, you do want to be responsive and fully answer the question as best you can.
7. Fuzzy Facts
Even if you have submitted a resume when you applied for the job, you may also be asked to fill out a job application. Make sure you know the information you will need to complete an application including dates of prior employment, graduation dates, and employer contact information.
8. Give the Wrong Answer
Make sure you listen to the question and take a moment to gather your thoughts before you respond. Like the following candidate, you’ll knock yourself out of contention if you give the wrong answer.The interviewer had completely described a sales and marketing position to the candidate. She emphasized that cold calling and prospecting were the most important skills and experiences needed for the position. The candidate responded to the question about what she did or didn’t like to do in sales, with these words: “I hate to do cold calling and prospecting, and I’m not good at it.” That response ensured that she wouldn’t get the job!
9. Badmouthing Past Employers
Your last boss was an idiot? Everyone in the company was a jerk? You hated your job and couldn’t wait to leave? Even if it’s true don’t say so. I cringed when I heard someone ranting and raving about the last company she worked for. That company happened to be our largest customer and, of course, I wasn’t going to hire someone who felt that way about the company and everyone who worked there.
It’s sometimes a smaller world than you think and you don’t know who your interviewer might know, including that boss who is an idiot… You also don’t want the interviewer to think that you might speak that way about his or her company if you leave on terms that aren’t the best.
10. Forget to Follow Up
Afraid you didn’t make the best impression? Are you sure that you aced the interviewed? Either way, be sure to follow up with a thank you note reiterating your interest in the position and the company.
Finally, even if you do flub the interview, don’t take it to heart. I don’t think there is anyone hasn’t blown an interview or two. If it happens, look at it like it just wasn’t meant to be, learn from your mistakes and move on to the next opportunity.
Let’s assume that you’ve heard of a great opening that fits both your interests and abilities. You dig out the résumé, put together a cover letter, and you’re ready to fax it over to Human Resources. Right? Or is there something wrong with this picture?
Launch a research campaign
If you are an aware job seeker you will first begin a research campaign designed to significantly improve your chances. Don’t send out a cover letter or resume before you know anything about who’s going to reading them and what their needs are. Tailor that letter and that resume to the specific interests of the company, and you have a huge advantage before you even set foot in the door.
What kinds of things are important to learn about the company? First, you will want to find out their “corporate personality”, their style. Each firm is different, and these sometimes-subtle differences can have a strong influence on their hiring practices. You might also want to get a handle on their benefit package, salary options, and promotion policies.
It’s helpful to get information on your prospective position, too. How long has it been open, why did the last person leave, how much turnover has there been? If it’s a new position, you might want to know why it was created, what specific need will be met, or problem being solved. Was it a controversial decision to create the opening? This can really influence hiring decisions.
Discover the hiring process
Another area of interest for your research project: what is their hiring process like? You might want to know who will interview you first, how many interviews you are likely to have, and who makes the final decision. Any information you can get about these key players will be incredibly helpful.
Now, having mapped out your agenda, how do you go about getting all this helpful information? A good early step to take is to go to the corporate headquarters. Start by walking around the lobby; buy a magazine or a cup of coffee, read the directories and get a feeling for the atmosphere.
See how people are dressed. Do they look stressed out and rushed? Are people relaxed; are they kidding around and greeting each other? Can you see differences in dress and behavior that might correlate to different levels of management?
Be sure to take advantage of any public opportunities such as tours, open houses, workshops, etc. With this legitimate reason to be there, be sure and watch what goes on as carefully as you can. In addition to people watching, observe the office layout; how they divide up their space tells you a lot about a company.
Casually look at bulletin boards or notices. Visit Human Resources and pick up an application, or a brochure on their benefits package. If it’s a really big company, you might need to make a few trips before you’ve soaked up as much as you can from this kind of expedition.
Use the Internet
Next comes information gathering through the Internet and library. Check out their website, follow the links and get a feel for how they use this resource; are they comfortable with the web, do they keep their site up, how sophisticated are they in their approach?
What about the company’s history? How long have they been around? Have they been through a growth spurt of rapid expansion that may have had a big impact on their functioning? Who is their primary market? What are their goals and objectives for the future? Do they have a Board of Directors? If so, who’s on it? How big are they now, and how big do they want to be?
Many companies have a public information department that can give you material dealing with these issues. If not, it may be on their web site, or in the library. Look through old newspapers or magazines; you can find announcements and articles that flesh out a sketchy summary of who they are and where they came from.
Next do some basic financial checking. Read their prospectus, look up their Annual Reports, and see how they are evaluated by financial reporting sources. Would you buy stock in this company? What are their assets, how secure are they? Which departments are doing well, which ones are struggling? Any information about possible mergers, purchases, layoffs, or expansion plans gives you a better idea of what’s going on behind the scenes.
Make that call
The phone is a valuable tool that gives you information while you get to stay anonymous. Pretend to be interested in talking to the CEO; you won’t get him, but you’ll chat with a lot of secretaries on your way from the switchboard to his office. Be friendly, make some small talk, see what you can find out about the top levels and their accessibility. Leave a fake name but no number; just say you’ll try again later.
Compile a list of who’s who in your prospective department and Human Resources as well. You can say you need names and titles for a mailing list, if that gets you the access you need. While you’re getting referred from department to department, try to be as chatty as possible; remember that what you’re really after is information.
Follow up on any openings. If the secretary comments that a certain department head is on an extended leave, ask a few casual questions: “I hope they aren’t ill,” or “Who’s handling her work while she’s out? I bet they’re overloaded.” One or two good conversations with a bored receptionist can tell you volumes. Try calling at lunchtime, when a replacement is likely to be covering the phones; he or she may be less “loyal” and more willing to chat.
“Confide” in the HR receptionist; don’t tell them who you really are, but mention that you are thinking of applying at the company. If you’re friendly and sound a little nervous, she might help you out by giving some tips on who does the interviewing and how the process works. If not, don’t push; she’s probably busy and you may have caught her at a bad time. You can always call back.
Time to reflect
Next, take some time to sit back and assess what you’ve learned. Are their any gaps? Have you put together a pretty clear picture, or do you still have questions? There may be a lot of general information, but if the specifics about “your” job or department are still missing, it’s time for a final step.
Step out of the shadows
Up until now, your campaign tactics have kept you anonymous. Now, however, it’s time for direct contact. Send a letter to one or two department heads or vice-presidents in the field you’re interested in. Without mentioning any specific openings, say that you’re interested in the company and would like an appointment to talk about what’s happening in his area.
This kind of meeting is usually easy to arrange. It can lead directly to a job offer, or an invitation to future interviews; however, that’s not your primary goal. Here’s your opportunity to fill those gaps in your working knowledge of the company.
Without being too direct, try to steer your conversation into your areas of interest. Most people love to talk about their work and their involvement in office politics; be a sympathetic listener. You know enough about the organization by now to ask the right questions; use all that information to find out what you want to know. You can also use this meeting to get to talk to other company employees; ask for introductions if none are offered. The more people you’ve met, the better off you are.
Return to your resume
The campaign is over; now you need to put the information you’ve gathered to good use. Rewrite your resume, aiming it at the specific needs or preferences you’ve uncovered. Stress those areas of expertise that match up with weaknesses in their current personnel; and if you’ve uncovered any sensitive areas, don’t go there.
Your cover letter can now be directed towards a specific person, maybe even someone you’ve already talked to. Write to them, refer to your meeting, if any, and keep it as specific as possible.
Finally, when you get to the interview, you are in a great position. Use your knowledge to ask relevant questions and to give the impression that you will be a real asset to the company. Anything you’ve learned in your meetings or your phone chats can be brought out here; show the interviewer that you’re sympathetic to the organization’s problems and needs.
Your research has taken a lot of time and energy, but the results are well worth it. By taking the initiative, you’ve greatly improved your overall chances of getting hired. Just because you know what you’re talking about, you have a clear advantage over the other, uninformed job seekers who will be knocking on the same corporate door.
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Can Israel’s super-Orthodox discipline lady getting ‘immodest skirt code’ from the West Wall surface?
JERUSALEM – A keen Israeli woman arrived into the Weekend within Western Wall structure Retail center sporting only undergarments plus the term “Bibi” authored on her thigh, for the an apparent content for the nation’s Primary Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also to protest a current ultra-Orthodox statement one tries so you’re able to criminalize female to possess dressing up immodestly.
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Good Jewish girl protests rules put forth because of the Israel’s super-Orthodox activities to help you criminalize “immodest” top and you will non-Orthodox prayer at the Western Wall in the Jerusalem’s Old Urban area. New rules perform mandate 6 months when you look at the jail and you can a great great to own violators.
Law enforcement officers toward world escorted this lady out of the site and you will detaines their to own wondering
The woman’s protest try reaction to the super-Orthodox Shas party’s attempt the newest week prior to pass the thing that was nicknamed brand new “arm legislation.” The bill lies aside guidelines off carry out banning the use of any instrument and implementing a rigorous top password to the West Wall surface Mall. Read more
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?Que lo tanto les suena el pareja de novios? En caso de que desean averiguarlo sobre una forma entretenida, ninguna cosa preferible cual nuestro juego de el calzado. Se den cuenta sobre vayamos por partes radica esa activa que les sacara carcajadas acerca de la zapatilla y el pie casamiento.
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All women presented passion for love in addition to their ventures
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