Employee evaluations done right: Part 1 of many!
Leave it to Sean Connery to provide as honest and straightforward feedback as was ever offered! For those whose recollections of 90’s action’s movies are a bit hazy Ed Harris was the recipient of this poignant line and didn’t take it very well. Seeing how this was their first face to face interaction maybe Sean Connery should have built up a slight rapport with him first?!
Giving employees feedback is tantamount to navigating a minefield, where the wrong choice of words can lead to an immediate obliteration of the relationship.
One of the most difficult aspects of the feedback process to "control" is the respect part. After all, people rarely listen to or take seriously, feedback from people whom they don’t respect. So, before any training about feedback is done, or any forms are filled in, as a manager you need to be brutally honest with yourself and think, “Do my employees respect me?”
How can you tell if your employees respect you?
1. They ask for unsolicited advice. Might be about their career or something as benign as what car to buy, but if they are asking you for an opinion, it’s usually a good sign.
2. They listen when you talk. We can usually tell when someone is really listening to us, or just nodding their head waiting for our monologue to end. Take notice of which category your employees fall into.
3. They bring their internal “problems” to you directly. Almost every team has some group dynamics issues which needs sorting out and chances are, your is no different. The respect comes in the form of do you hear about it directly from your employees or only from external sources.
4. They treat you like a rubber stamp. Do they ask for an approval and not wait on your response? Do they go over your head to your manager for important budget discussions? If the answer is yes, there’s a chance they don’t respect you.
5. They don’t give you honest feedback. Generally, when we don’t respect someone, we don’t bother giving them honest feedback. If your team members complain about you behind your back, but not to your face, it’s never a good sign.
Respect in this case isn’t about ego, as in “I am the manager and all my employees should respect me.” Respect rarely comes due to a title or position. It’s about knowing if they will care as to what you have to say when it comes time for that employee evaluation or will your words be going in one ear and out the other. So before you start evaluating your team, best to start with evaluating yourself!