Performance management, performance reviews or one-on-ones – whatever name you want to use- are all about the conversation. These conversations should be dual-sided rather than a monologue from the manager. They might be part of the formal performance review cycle or regular one-on-ones.
When catching up with your people, you should focus on their performance, goals and development. It’s also a chance for both parties to provide feedback about what’s going well and what could be better and work towards improving the relationship and, ultimately, the performance.
Depending on the relationship and the type of conversation (regular vs formal), a good starting point might be the position description (PD). The PD will give an overview of the employee’s responsibilities, which can form the basis for further questions.
It’s an easy answer when it comes to systems that facilitate these conversations – whichever system you choose needs to complement, not replace. Unfortunately, this is often not the case! From my experience, the same thing keeps coming up. HR will create forms, templates and systems in the hope that managers and their people will have performance conversations. However, ultimately, the most crucial thing is… the conversation itself rather than the system or tool.
Any tool or online system that you choose to use should have the conversation at the forefront. Sometimes managers want something that will actively avoid this, but that’s where the pot of gold lies, and ultimately, what people want from their leader. People want an honest, transparent performance review or one-on-one that is equally about what’s going well and what could be improved because that’s how we improve our performance.
With Mappit, this happens through a self-assessment, followed by an assessment of the employee’s performance by the manager. At this point, a report shows the commonalities and gaps. This helps both parties focus on the next steps and the future. Ultimately, the system is there to start the conversation.
Regardless of what system you use, it should only be a starting point and not a replacement for the conversation.
Managers should go into conversations with a coaching mindset when meeting with your employees by giving them your full attention, listening to them with an open mind, asking open-ended questions that allow the employee to arrive at their solution, and focusing on the solutions rather than dwelling on the past.
Having regular and timely catchups with your employees means you have a regular opportunity to improve and accelerate performance. Also, it gives you an organic opportunity to raise constructive feedback or performance concerns.
Any conversation with your people should be timely, regular, collaborative, constructive, supportive, and specific.