Let’s start out with a general premise: everyone hates the performance review.
Why do they hate it? Opinions vary, but there’s just too much junk that’s a part of it. Too much noise. If you want it to matter, you’re going to have to strip it down.
Now let me give you an opinion. Employees don’t trust you as a manager unless your world view allows you to make the following statement, or have your actions aligned with the following statement:
“John, my job as your manager is to help you get better at what you want to do in your career. I’ve got to help you build your skills and knowledge up to the point where you’re ready for the next step. Now, if our company can’t provide that next step for you, then we’ve got to be OK with you leaving for the next step. Don’t tell HR or my boss I said that. But the prospect of you leaving isn’t going to stop me from helping you get to where you need to be.”
Is that your approach with your employees, either as a manager or (gasp!) through your performance management system? I call that philosophy Career Agency, and it’s like crack to the manager/employee relationship. The more you have that view as a manager, the more the employee is addicted to your approach.
Most people can’t do it. Some want to, but don’t know how. That’s why the May installment of the FOT webinar (sponsored by Halogen), “Get My Agent On The Phone: How Smart Managers Position Themselves as Career Agents Via Performance Management” (click to register), is available for you NOW. Join us on Tuesday, May 21st at 1pm EST, and we’ll hit you with the following ways career agency can happen in your company:
- Making sure the goals you set represent the Five Most Important Things (5MIT) for the employee in question. Smart managers skip discussing the busy work and get to what’s going to change the game – for the company and the employee. We’ll give you the 411 on how to do that as an agent for your employees.
- Offering up ways each of the Five Most Important Things might be measured in the months that follow. You want measurements – we get it. We’ll show you how to set the expectation your direct reports are going to be measured on, without actually taking performance or development off the table. PS – They’ll love you for this if you deliver it in the right way. Think “employee portfolio”…
- Having Thoughts on what “Good” and “Great” performance looks like in each area. That’s right – we’re going through a goal setting process not because HR told us we had to, but because it can set us up to be a great performance coach for the rest of the year, and help us get the employee where they want to go with their career.
- Including a section that details “What’s In It for Me?” for each area of focus. Being an agent is about talking about how chasing great performance in the area in question could be great for the employee’s career. We’ll show you how to frame this as the agent/coach. It’s the most important thing you can do.
- Putting it all in an easy to follow, informal format. If you go beyond one page, you’re making goal setting too complex. List everything we’ve described to this point in one page, and make the headers conversational in nature, and you win. We’ve got some formats to share with you.
You can be viewed as a career agent for your employees rather than a run of the mill corporate bureaucrat. Join us for “Get My Agent on the Phone“ and we’ll show how the secret sauce to goal setting and follow-up conversations can dramatically change the positioning of what you do in performance management.