CRG emPerform recently sponsored a great webinar hosted by Marnie Green of the Management Education Group. The Webinar was aimed at providing a guideline for Conducting Painless Performance Evaluation Meetings. A recurring theme in the presentation was that it is vital that the employee be the focus of the meeting.

In order to encourage dialogue during the meeting, employees should  know that they have the manager’s full interest and undivided attention. This is accomplished by ensuring that the meeting is conducted in an environment that has no distractions and by the manager asking thought-provoking and insightful questions that encourage the employee to do most of the talking. This is easier said than done and Marnie offered some great pointers for engaging employees to participate as much as possible in the conversation. Here are some of those tips:

Use as many open –ended questions as possible. Questions such as ‘Do you like your job’, and ‘Are you happy’ are common questions asked by managers in performance evaluation meetings; however, they often solicit one word responses which are not very useful at gauging any degree of employee satisfaction and don’t encourage employees to elaborate. Marnie recommends asking as many open-ended questions as possible during the review meeting to ensure that managers get the most feedback and insight as possible. Open ended questions also offer a platform for the employee to express their true thoughts and viewpoints. Questions such as “What do you like or dislike about your job” and “What aspects of your role do you see particularly challenging” are likely to encourage more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response.

Use conversation starters: Marnie recommends that manager do their best to keep the conversation flowing throughout the entire review. Ways to do this is to keep a list of conversation starters in your back pocket and use them whenever the conversation begins to dwindle. Common examples of great conversation starters include:

“ Go on…..”

“Tell me more…”

“Why do you say that..”

“How do you mean…”

“Can you give me an example…”

“What else…”

Make sure the employee has read the review before the official meeting: Overall, employees are more likely to talk more in their evaluation meeting if they have had time to plan their responses. By ensuring the employee has read and digested the performance review beforehand, the manager is guaranteeing that there will be no surprises in the meeting and is equipping the employee with time to process their thoughts. emPerform actually allows managers to view the date and time stamp of when then employee has read their appraisal. If the manager notices that the employee has not read their review, they can easily send the employee a reminder to do so before the official meeting.

The full Webinar: Conducting Painless Performance Evaluation Meetings is available for FREE download on the emPerform website. Click here to download now.