Measuring Employee performance can be tricky

How are your employees performing? This is where you get the answers and the meaning behind the quiz. This is part of www.boss.camp. If you haven’t taken the quiz yet then join the program to get it. Otherwise you can get access the quiz at www.ManagerFoundation.com/performance-feedback-quiz. The quiz will let you know if you have an employee performance problem or not. PS no peaking at the answers below. I recommend taking the quiz first to get an unbiased result.

Performance Feedback that works

This module is part of the Employee Performance Feedback System. This is a system to improve employee performance by using feedback that actually works. You can get this system on the link below

COMM101 - Inspiring Performance Communication
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get the full video transcript here:

Quiz total, no’s and yes's

On a most basic level the questions test whether you can improve employee performance or not. If your employees are performing well then you can pat yourself on the back and buy yourself a nice treat. If you have more than four yesses then using an effective employee performance feedback system will increase your employee performance. You’ll get higher productivity, better work quality and less stress as a manager. The more yesses you have, the more potential there is to increase employee performance.

Additional Insight: Odd’s vs Evens

Getting people to change their behavior is difficult – maybe one of the most difficult things that you have to do as a manager. And many managers try to change employee behavior and then get frustrated when they don’t get the result that they wanted. Understandably this can lead to managers doing less performance feedback.

Evens:

If you had a lot of Yes answers for the even numbers, your employee performance is below standard. This is causing you unnecessary stress and taking up management time.

Odds:

If you had a lot of Yes answers for the odd numbers, the way you do employee performance management isn't working. This means that changing the way you give performance feedback will improve employee performance and save you time.

Even more: What does each question mean?

Each question is carefully chosen and this is more about why and what this means to you. Firstly the even numbers are typical indicators of poor performance. The odd questions are much more insightful so I explain them here:

1. When you speak to a staff member about below standard performance do you often use a question such as "Why did you do that?"

This is one of the most common mistakes. It includes working with employees to figure out what went wrong, why it happened and what to do about it. This is especially common if you are a highly analytical person like me. And you want to figure out the reasons for everything. You want to figure out if the "mistake" is reasonable or not. But don't do it because it's a trap. As I explain in the myth busting section of Effective Feedback this causes more problems than it solves. It’s time consuming, reduces employee engagement and results in you getting more problems to fix. As a quick side note, if you find yourself fixing a lot of employee problems then  

3. Do your staff pushback when you give them feedback, including giving excuses for their performance?

Performance feedback is stressful. No one like criticism. And the last thing you have time for as a manager is to get into a long heated discussion about employee performance. For employee performance to work, the first stage is that your employees need to listen to your message and understand it. You can be sure that if they are pushing back and arguing then your message is getting lost in the process. Plus if someone argues with you – do you think they are going to willingly make the change you wanted? No I don’t think so either!

5. Do you avoid/ delay/ dread giving staff feedback because of the effort (including the potential for conflict/ disagreement)?

The problem with employee feedback is no one likes being told what they’re doing wrong. So staff argue and pushback. If I say the words “Employee performance management” immediately bad things happen. You can practically hear the sphincters of managers and employees tighten up because it’s got such a bad name. I understand that giving feedback is stressful and takes time. I’ve sat on both sides of the table. But it’s time to wake up and realise that it doesn’t have to be that way. We can’t carry on doing what we’ve done in the past thinking it’s going to get better. That’s why the feedback system is quick, low confrontation and low effort. It’s surprisingly easy when you know how. And I now even use this system not just with my employees but to communicate better with people all around me

7. Do your staff tend to not take you input onboard? This could mean that you feel that staff don't listen to you and you have to repeat yourself often. They fail to meet the standards you set.

Ha – we’ve all been here. Undertaking the unpleasant task of speaking to employees about their performance and then nothing happens. It’s like they don’t listen or don’t care or maybe they just don’t respect you! Talk about frustrating. There’s no point in doing employee feedback if people don’t change! But obviously getting people to change is hard. The key here is to make your feedback heard, understood and motivational. I’ll show you how in the performance feedback system.

9. Is the performance system (performance reviews/ objective setting etc.) more focused on acheiving a required standard than on increasing performance to a standard of excellence?

When we manage by exception we often fall into the trap of fixing errors. What you end up with is performance management that is only about achieving the bare minimums. If you get there, this isn’t a bad place to be but you’ll be constantly fighting just to keep your head above the water. If you ever get the feeling that you’re drowning under a pile of issues because as soon as you fix something, something else breaks, this is what’s happening. And you’ll missing out on the upside that you could get by exceeding instead of meeting.

11. Is the performance system (performance reviews/ objective setting etc.) only used periodically (for example quarterly performance reviews)

I often say that managing is like driving a car. The smoothest journey is the journey with lot’s of small corrections. Waiting until the car is seriously off course or worse has gone off the road is to continue the analogy “making for a bumpy ride”. In fact as I explain in the power of positive feedback managing by exception is ruining your relationship with employees and quite possibly making your employees hate you. Now I understand that the last thing you want is for me to tell you about another thing that you should be doing. Busy bosses don’t have time to add another thing to their to do list. And people think that employee performance management takes a long time. That’s why it’s important that a good system doesn’t take up much time. That’s why the Manager Foundation feedback system is designed to save you time.

Conclusion

Wow ok that’s a lot that can go wrong with employee performance management. If you’ve filled out the form then I will know what is causing you problems with your employee performance and I can recommend appropriate solutions. It’s not too late to go back and do it now. PS this is part of www.Boss.Camp.  Want to be a better Boss and make managing easy? Sign up if you haven’t already. Specifically this topic is improving employee performance with effective performance feedback.