Winnipeg Free Press - Section H - - CAREERS -

Meet the em­ployee — meet in a pri­vate lo­ca­tion where you can sit across from the em­ployee. Be ap­pro­pri­ately so­cia­ble and ex­plain the pur­pose and ben­e­fit of the per­for­mance re­view. Sprin­kle pos­i­tive ob­ser­va­tions and com­ments with those that rep­re­sent con­struc­tive crit­i­cism. Probe the em­ployee to en­sure a good un­der­stand­ing of your com­ments.

Con­front per­for­mance is­sues — if a re­view will be chal­leng­ing due to per­for­mance prob­lems, be sure to write your­self a script to fol­low. In­vite an­other su­per­vi­sor to at­tend with you if pos­si­ble. Think about the em­ployee ahead of time and de­ter­mine if you feel the lack of success is due to abil­ity, at­ti­tude or a lack of op­por­tu­nity. Iden­tify one is­sue at a time and ask the em­ployee for their thoughts on the is­sue. Out­line your ex­pec­ta­tions and specif­i­cally de­scribe the work be­hav­iour that must be ex­hib­ited in the fu­ture.

Es­tab­lish a feed­back cy­cle — the goal of any per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem is to help em­ploy­ees be­come and stay suc­cess­ful. Thus, while you will not have had a great deal of ex­po­sure to the em­ploy­ees you are now su­per­vis­ing, be sure to set up a con­tin­u­ous feed­back cy­cle. This will pro­mote on­go­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion and en­able you to un­der­stand per­sonal motivations, work styles, in­di­vid­ual ca­pa­bil­i­ties and to deal with any is­sues that arise.

Brush up on your coach­ing skills — as a su­per­vi­sor, your role now is to coach and men­tor your staff to excel at their job. This re­quires de­vel­op­ing good lis­ten­ing and feed­back skills, de­vel­op­ing the art of ques­tion­ing as well as the art of ef­fec­tively chal­leng­ing em­ploy­ees by iden­ti­fy­ing con­tra­dic­tions and help­ing them to see a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive.

Ex­plore devel­op­men­tal op­por­tu­ni­ties — your fo­cus needs to be on as­sist­ing the em­ployee to cre­ate success. There­fore, ex­plore strate­gies such as stretch as­sign­ments, job shad­ow­ing in or­der to learn a new skill, sec­ond­ments, job ro­ta­tion and/or reg­is­tra­tion in a for­mal train­ing pro­gram.

Demon­strate courage — per­for­mance man­age­ment is not sim­ply a one-time su­per­vi­sory task. In fact, as a su­per­vi­sor, you need to be mon­i­tor­ing per­for­mance ev­ery day. And this means con­fronting un­ac­cept­able be­hav­iour im­me­di­ately, cor­rect­ing and guid­ing be­hav­iour and deal­ing with is­sues at the ear­li­est pos­si­ble date.

Per­for­mance man­age­ment will more than likely con­tinue to be one of the most chal­leng­ing of hu­man re­source tasks and it is def­i­nitely not some­thing that can be learned overnight.

How­ever, as a new su­per­vi­sor, fo­cus on build­ing your skills, en­gage in self-re­flec­tion im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing each em­ployee meet­ing and ask for help from se­nior man­agers when you need it. Over­all, fo­cus on build­ing pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ships with your em­ploy­ees so that prob­lems sim­ply be­come learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ences for all con­cerned. On the other hand, be sure to show per­sonal courage when dif­fi­cult steps must be taken.

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