Three steps to better employee evaluations
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Three steps to better employee evaluations

New techniques with employee evaluations could transform workers into self-motivators

Many companies find employee evaluations demotivate workers.
Workers can feel they’re sitting on the sidelines and being judged, even by positive feedback.
One approach HR expert Gary Markle tries is called Catalytic Coaching. The idea is to get workers off the sidelines and into the game when it comes to employee evaluations.

Get workers involved in employee evaluations

To do this, the manager engages the worker in an informal conversation and uses positive language in three separate meetings. Each meeting focuses on one of three forms, each are designed to give workers control of their performance improvement:

    1. Use a Coaching Input Sheet

This is a one-page form designed to initiate an informal conversation with the employee by having the the employee do most of the talking. The manager’s goal is to seek clarification.
To do this, the form asks this series of questions:

  • What I’ve done for the company lately.

The employee includes his or her accomplishments and disappointments. This question is designed to reveal the employee’s perception of her performance. The idea is to see how the perception lines up with actual performance. And this input helps the manager design the catalytic coaching worksheet for the second meeting.

  • What I’ve done for myself lately (new skills, experience gained, and relationships built).
  • What are your career aspirations?

This can help you find out whether a worker is on the right career track. This can be a big source of conflict, especially for technical workers who seek higher salaries but have no
desire to manage others.

  • Other Important Things I’d Like You to Know as My Coach (mobility issues/pay issues/questions).

In between meetings: Managers can meet with their bosses to discuss the employee’s input.

    1. Coaching Worksheet

Now that the “coach” has absorbed the perceptions of his worker, he sets up a second meeting with the worker to discuss improvement. The manager filling out the form lists:

  • four positive accomplishments
  • four areas needing improvement, and
  • four development recommendations

The form uses positive ratings language like “performance impacting,” “potential enhancing,” or “job threatening” rather than “good” “fair” or “poor.”

    1. Personal Development Plan Sheet

The worker takes ownership of his own improvement by designing four personal improvement goals based on the manager’s feedback from the second meeting.

You might want to have a second or third coach involved during the process as well to reinforce the worker’s boss’s opinions.

Encouraging change with worker-initiated employee evaluations
With this technique, workers may look forward to improving because they’re in the driver’s seat with employee evaluations.

There’s less of a chance they’ll fear employee evaluations because managers won’t use the forms to talk about them but with them.

Markle recommends going through the stewardship process of catalytic coaching once a quarter for lasting change.

Based on a webinar by Gary Markle: “No More Performance Reviews-A Revolutionary Approach to Performance Feedback,” 3/30/06

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