Overcoming the Myth of the Paper Trail #2

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    As mentioned previously, overcoming the myth of the “paper trail” requires building a performance culture. In my last post, I discussed some first steps in creating the culture. Setting the stage requires involving employees by engaging in two-way communication and involving them in achieving company and department goals. Another step in creating this culture is by providing constant feedback to employees while encouraging them to share ideas and engage actively in this process as well.

    Below are some suggestions for providing feedback. Organizations that have successfully created a performance culture easily communicate and provide feedback. These organizations are also usually very open to the feedback of their employees. Further, they typically focus on the individual development of their employees.

    What other ideas can you add?

    Ongoing Performance Management

    Give Feedback Often

    • Hold periodic update meetings to discuss performance. This can be in the form of weekly, bi-weekly or monthly touch base meetings. (Be sure to document these discussions)
    • Provide positive feedback and developmental feedback.
    • Have a two-way conversation with the employee. Ask them for ideas on improving areas of opportunity and development areas.
    • Seek out the employee’s career goals. Incorporate those into their personal development plan.
    • Address performance as it happens. Give the feedback that explains both the facts of the situation and the results achieved whether negative or positive. Record this feedback on the appropriate company form and keep a copy to use for the formal review meeting
    • Keep a log or journal of each feedback
    • Focus on behaviors (Instead of saying, “you’ve been lazy lately. Say “You’ve missed the last two deadlines.”)
    • Don’t jump to conclusions about poor performance. Examine facts and engage the employee in questions. Ask their input on correcting issues. For example, instead of saying, “I can’t accept any more reports with errors.” Ask, “What steps are you going to take to ensure your work is free of errors?”
    • Feedback should be specific and sincere
    • Avoid overwhelming the employee with too much feedback. Focus on the most relevant and important observations
    • Keep your emotions in check
    • Clearly identify the payoff of the positive behavior change (even if this is developmental or positive feedback).

    Your comments are always encouraged!


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    Sheri Mazurek is a training and human resource professional with over 16 years of management experience, and is skilled in all areas of employee management and human resource functions, with a specialty in learning and development. She is currently employed as the Human Resource Manager at EmployeeScreenIQ, a global leader in pre-employment background screening.