Employee performance reviews. Believe it or not, they’re a task some business owners actually look forward to. It’s a fresh opportunity to remind your team what an appreciative guy or gal they work for. Warm feelings abound when you let your employee know in specific terms that you’ve noticed their best efforts.
But some of you may be procrastinating, all because of one or two “tough cases”. Maybe someone in your organization hasn’t been pulling their weight lately. Maybe there’s a personality clash with you or a co-worker. And you hate to exacerbate the situation by creating a confrontation.
I don’t need to tell you that ignoring a problem won’t make it go away. In fact, without your intervention, it may actually get worse – and it’s your business on the line. If an employee’s poor performance or bad attitude affects your bottom line, the responsibility is entirely yours. You’re the leader. You know this.
But here’s the good news. That inevitable conversation you’ve been ringing your hands over doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Try these tactics for creating a more productive and less confrontational meeting:
– Before the meeting, psyche yourself into this idea: your goal is to send your employee out of the room feeling pumped up about his or her job.
– Don’t pull him or her into your office without warning. Schedule your meeting in advance and give the employee a chance to prepare.
– Remember that blatant criticism is almost never helpful. Instead, take the employee into your confidence by sharing your goals for the company and how you envision that individual playing a role. Tie the employee’s work and results in to your vision, and discuss what could be done differently to reach a shared goal. Include the employee in developing his or her “plan of attack”.
– Always include some kudos. Even if you have to look really hard for them, find and acknowledge the positive aspects of the employee’s performance. You’re less likely to get the results you desire if you dwell entirely on the negative.
For those of you with small businesses in New Jersey, you’ll find a wealth of valuable information in my book Straight Talk About Small Business Success in New Jersey: How to Maximize the Growth, Cash Flow, and Profitability of Your Small Business.
Until next time,