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Providing Feedback to Employees

Providing Feedback to Employees. Bernard L. Erven Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics Ohio State University. “How Am I doing?”. Nearly all employees want an answer to this question. Many employers and supervisors find it difficult to provide the answer.

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Providing Feedback to Employees

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  1. Providing Feedback to Employees Bernard L. Erven Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics Ohio State University

  2. “How Am I doing?” • Nearly all employees want an answer to this question. • Many employers and supervisors find it difficult to provide the answer.

  3. Who in your business now knows how they are doing? • No one. • Some do, some don’t.. • They can all figure it out. • The ones who most need to improve. • No one - I don’t want them asking for more money. • Everyone. I tell others and the word gets back to them. • They all know they are doing well because I tell them when they aren’t.

  4. “How am I doing?” is answered through performance reviews. • Communication is the foundation of performance reviews. • May be formal or informal. • A manager responsibility.

  5. Possible reasons to not provide feedback. • Good employees know they are good; poor employees don’t care how they are doing. • Employee reviews interfere with personal relations. • They make people unhappy and jealous of each other. • Some things are better not said. • Feedback takes too much time. • Supervisors don’t want to do it.

  6. Outline • Eight questions guide planning for successful feedback. • Target is farm managers who do not have feedback procedures in place. • Emphasis is on “what is right with the best employees rather than what is wrong with the poorest employees.”

  7. Eight questions can guide getting started with performance evaluations. • What are my objectives for performance reviews? • Who will be reviewed? • What will be the mix of individual and group reviews? • Will the reviews be formal or informal? • What will be the mix of objective and subjective measures of performance? • How often will the reviews be done? • Who will conduct the reviews? • What review processes will be used?

  8. 1. What are possible objectives: • Help employees improve their performance. • Help employees with their career planning. • Take advantage of employee insights for improving the business. • Identify training and retraining needs. • Encourage and motivate employees. • Promote teamwork and employee cohesiveness. • Provide information for compensation decisions. • Increase satisfaction with human resource accomplishments. • Identify needed changes in human resource management practices. • Provide information for the redesign of jobs. • Eliminate legally indefensible personnel actions.

  9. 2. Who will be reviewed? • All employees should be reviewed. • The top manager can set an example by starting reviews with the people who report directly to him or her.

  10. Gaining understanding of who will be reviewed. • Carefully build the case for reviews among members of the management team and with employees. • When starting with reviews for everyone is impractical, first focus attention on new employees. • Employees having learned the value of feedback during their first year will expect it to continue. • Long-term dedicated employees who have never had reviews must be handled with care.

  11. 3. Individual or group reviews? • Employee reviews typically are person-by-person. • Emphasizing individual reviews can detract from teamwork and cooperation among employees. • Contributions to teamwork can be made part of each employee’s review.

  12. 4. Formal or informal reviews? • Formal reviews occur on a regular schedule, e.g., twice per year. • Informal reviews occur on an as needed basis. • A combination of formal and informal reviews works best. • Not all performance review objectives can be accomplished by depending exclusively on either formal or informal reviews.

  13. 5. Mix of objective and subjective measures of performance? • Objective approach  Performance evaluated against specific standards, e.g., times tardy for work per year. • Subjective approach  Performance evaluation based on supervisor’s judgment, intuition, and feelings, e.g., employee’s cooperativeness. • Compared to subjective judgments, objective standards can more easily be explained, measured and adjusted as the job changes. • Important to combine objective and subjective measures.

  14. 6. How often to review? • Conduct formal evaluations at least once each year. • Do all reviews during a single month or spread out by scheduling on anniversary of employment. • Avoid scheduling formal reviews more than two times per year. • Stick to announced schedule.

  15. 7. Who conducts the reviews? • Employees’ immediate supervisors are most often in the best position to do performance reviews. • Supervisors can seek supplementary information from coworkers, other supervisors, customers and in some cases people supervised by the person being reviewed.

  16. 8. Process to be used? • Master a simple approach first. • Build on the supervisor’s and employee’s clear understanding of tasks, duties and responsibilities. • Insist on two-way communication. • Seek agreement on what has been accomplished since the last review, needed improvements, and longer run career goals and plans.

  17. Simplest approach Supervisor proceeds along the following general lines: • Review expected outcomes. • Observe performance, collect performance data and make judgments to be able to say to the employee, “I see your three most important strengths (contributions, accomplishments) as . . . “ • Ask the employee, “What do you see as your most important strengths (contributions, accomplishments)?”

  18. Simplest approach - continued • Say to the employee, “I see this (or these two things) as most important for you to improve during the next six months.” • Ask the employee, “What would you like to improve?” • Discuss what is needed for the employee to meet performance standards. • Summarize what has been agreed to. • Conclude with a positive note about the future.

  19. Advantages of the simple approach for getting started: • No forms are required. • It builds on existing positive relations with employees. • Emphasis is on helping the employee improve. • Compliments exceed criticisms. • Can be tailored to individual employees, i.e., the discussions with new employees and experienced employees can differ as needed.

  20. Graphic rating scale • A widely used alternative to the simple method. • Usually built around a 1-3 page form. • Employee is evaluated on each key performance standard that is in the job description. • Form is designed to identify specific strengths, areas for improvement and an overall assessment.

  21. Graphic rating scale - continued • Supervisors provide supportive details or comments on each task or performance area. • Specific examples of excellence or mediocrity (with date and setting) add helpful detail. • Two-way communication should occur between supervisor and employee.

  22. Tips for starting employee reviews • Train all supervisors to do employee reviews before they start doing them. • Strive for a positive attitude toward employee reviews among all supervisors. • Tell employees when their reviews will be done; don’t surprise them. • Stick to the announced schedule. • Explain the review procedures to all employees

  23. Tips for Starting Employee Reviews 6. Ask employees to think about their own performance, their questions and their career aspirations before discussion with their supervisors. 7. Discuss performance in private. • View employee reviews as an opportunity for open and honest communication. • Make the review communication two-way. • Make the annual or semi-annual formal evaluation a supplement to continuous informal communication. • Be prepared to deal with strong emotional responses from employees. • Spend some time on career implications. • End the review on a positive note. • Ask employees how the review process can be improved.

  24. Concluding notes • Employees and employers like performance reviews when they are win-win for both parties. • Employees will respond positively to well planned and conducted reviews. • The responsibility, however, rests firmly with the supervisor. • No matter how frustrating and slow early progress may be, the results will be well worth the effort.

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