After the dust settles.. reviewing your performance as a Manager in the performance review process.
As you look at your team, post review, what do you see?
Do you have a committed, engaged and motivated team ready to take on their next challenge?
Are there minor changes in behaviour based on the feedback?
For those who gained constructive criticism has their commitment waned?
Are there levels of discomfort and changes to attitude since the review process?
The annual performance review gives managers the opportunity to congratulate and reward excellent results and behaviour but, moreover, it gives managers the “air-time” to raise performance, behaviour or attitude concerns and where change is needed. And it is for this reason so many reviews can result in less engagement from your team. If you gained less than ideal results here’s how you can get the traction back from your team members and prepare for success next year.
First.. let’s look at the group that needed to hear a message that for you was difficult to deliver and for them difficult to receive. It is a common human reaction for individuals who receive criticism to retract or defend – it’s our “fight or flight” mechanism that remains until we feel comfortable or justified. As a Manager you can’t let this individual stew. Constant follow up (more than normal) is required. A competent manager will listen to this individual’s response to the feedback and instead of dwelling on the message or the feeling he/she will put in place practical building blocks and SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed) goals for this individual. As your employee hits the targets make sure you embellish them with praise reinforcing positive behaviours and commending performance improvements. As this happens the individual will become happier as they improve and hit their targets.
Second.. get the team together. When one member receives negative feedback and another gains a glowing report card some team members can feel isolated and that they no longer belong. Bringing the team together for a team building activity, a planning meeting, a bonding session, breakfasts or lunches allows them to come back to the fold. Sometimes just some reassimilation with their peers is all that is required to get certain individuals going again.
Third.. reflect and commit to improve. If your reviews were less than idyllic talk to your HR Manager or a HR Consultant www.harvesthr.com.au/hr-consulting and bounce the process off them. What went wrong and how to improve? Invest in further training in leadership or communication, particularly in communicating difficult messages. Furthermore, become more regular with feeding back regularly with your staff. It’s easy to put “that conversation” off to another time and..before you know it the review is on you and out it comes – several months of examples that hit your employee over the head. Don’t wait. Make a time for regular catch-ups with team members; weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Bring little issues to the fore as and when they occur and then you and they can correct the issue before it blows out to something more major. By doing this, when next year’s review comes around you are already on the same page and can focus on feeding forward to growth, opportunity and goals rather than digging up the past. The result is a truly engaged and committed team. Which is what every manager wants.
Article written by Maree Herath, Director of Harvest Human Resources.