How to Improve the Performance of Employees
Getting Started with the Employee Overview Form
October 22, 2018
Managers are successful when they can help their employees perform well and perform well consistently. Ultimately, that is the number 1 responsibility of managers and supervisors: to help employees do the work well and to do it well over and over again. However, when managers are not able to help their employees perform well, everything begins to break down. The managers get frustrated then the employees get frustrated. Unfortunately, in many cases, the managers begin to use improper, unprofessional and sometimes hostile conflict techniques to try to get their employees to perform.
To do avoid these harsh techniques, managers and supervisors must have the correct tools, the correct process and the correct training to effectively help their employees perform well consistently. In this series, we will cover these one step at a time and dissect them as we make progress. So let’s get started with the first 4 steps in this journey:
- Move away from just having verbal conversations – When we ask managers and supervisors if they have written down the areas that they need their employees to improve on, the answers are most often “no” or “not really” or “sometimes” or “I’ve tried that but that won’t help.” What becomes clear is that they, as managers, have not been consistent in having the necessary conversations with their employees AND following up with the proper documentation. You have to make a mental commitment that you are going to write things down, you’ll talk with employees from your notes, you’ll track improvement in a written-down manner, and you’ll follow up your conversations with written documentation. This will help you be a better communicator and it will increase the ability of your employees to see the urgency to improve. Conversations as well as written documentation will help them get on the same page with you.
- Get started with our basic employee overview form – Getting started is the hardest thing so hopefully this next step makes it easier. Take 45-60 minutes and fill out this form on all of your employees. Even if it takes longer to fill out, it is necessary and worth it. Write down their name, title, the years with the company, the 3 areas where that employee is doing well and they need to continue, and 3 areas that the employee needs to improve. Then, rate them on a scale of 1-5. A 4 or 5 for those things they are doing well or excellent, and rate them 1, 2 or 3 on those things that they are doing poorly, below average or average on. Then enter any notes you feel could help to provide clarity.
- Review with your supervisor – Once you have completed this form, set up a meeting with your supervisor, and you share this with them, and you ask them for their feedback. You will be very successful if you can have a 30-45 minute discussion with your supervisor about all your employees, and get their feedback, insight and opinion on their perception of your employees’ performance. You adjust your ratings to reflect what you and your supervisor agreed on, and show your supervisor again the final version of this form. If you do this, your supervisor will support you when you start coaching and correcting your employees. But if you do not do this, it will be very difficult, actually impossible, for your supervisor to support you.
- Review with Human Resources – Once you have completed this with your supervisor, set up a similar meeting with your HR manager or Director. If you don’t have an HR manager or Director, then you would have to set that up with the person responsible for HR issues or the owner/top executive of the company. Ask them for their feedback, update the form, and share the final version of the form with your supervisor and the HR manager so that the 3 of you are on the same page and aligned.
Do not worry, you will NOT have to do this every time you want to improve your employees’ performance. You only have to take these steps this first time because you haven’t been consistent in reviewing their performance with your employees in the past. By starting this process and getting consistent, you won’t have to repeat so much alignment going forward. A word of warning: if you don’t do these steps, and you start talking with your employees about their performance without getting these people aligned with you, you are on your own, and those above you will not be able to support you. Take the time to do this. It shows management strength when you do this.