I can see every Manager I know wincing with anticipation. No one likes to give performance reviews. Why is that?

Some say it is because there are no clear cut performance metrics and the review process is a time for the Manager to share his or her opinion about the employee's performance, however the Manager's opinion is rarely measured against a key performance indicator and the key performance indicators are rarely connected to the companies overall objectives. 

Others say it is because most Human Beings avoid conflict at all costs; and the performance review is a time of conflict.

And then there are some retired executives that I know that say the source of the avoidance of performance reviews and key performance indicators is the lack of accountability in our society.

I have to agree with all three theories.

Most employees I speak with resent having a Manager who knows little or nothing about what it takes to do their job evaluating their performance. Most employee's I speak with would rather be measured against standardized operating performance metrics, high performing on the job behaviors and goal attainment. They say when they know what right looks like and they know how to get there, as well as what they need to do better to achieve the results faster, they feel they are set up to win.

Seems to me that open communication, beginning with the end in mind and speaking about bottom line specific performance outcomes would have everyone winning.

The following questions are generic questions pulled from several of our performance management and employee self evaluation forms.

Selfassessment What ultimately are you accountable for?

Define your core responsibilities in your job? 

What behaviors do you emphasize to get your job done?

What aspects of your job really jazz you?

What job functions would you like do more often?

If you could off load an aspect of your job that you are not thrilled with, what would that be?

In what function do you feel that your talents and abilities and strengths could be utilized at the company?

What resources do you need from us to get your job done better?

Where do you want training? How would that training impact your job? 

Where would you like to take your career in the next 2-3 years?

When are you operating at your maximum effectiveness? Tell me about that.

This is just a start and remember it is not just the words that come out of your mouth, it is who you are being when you are saying those words. As my first coach in business used to say, "It's never about the message, it is always about the messenger." There is something to that.

Best of Success,

Margaret