• Aryeh Brickner

Never tell your team their evaluations are a nuisance!

Last week I concluded with, “A good manager will truly apply his or herself to provide an all-encompassing employee evaluation.” Let’s elaborate on that.

Many managers I have spoken with see the review process as an impediment to their actual work. It’s the HR team throwing a “Wrench” in their direction, forcing them to take time from their busy schedule to do some superfluous activity. Consequently, they put a very limited amount effort into doing it, and when it’s done, they proudly check the box off on their to do list. These aren’t necessarily “bad” managers, maybe just a bit misguided and a bit poorly trained.

Generally, an employee will take the feedback as seriously as they feel you are. Meaning if they get the impression it’s a burden or nuisance for their manager they’ll assume their manager put in a minimal amount of effort, therefore, why should they put much credence into what feedback they receive. So, when evaluations are announced, be sure to be positive about the messaging to your staff. “This is the last thing I need right now,” doesn’t exactly add a lot of credibility to the process. Also, try and avoid regurgitating company talking points, such as, “This is an important task and we need to all do these evaluations seriously.” Again, it doesn’t instill a lot of exuberance about doing them.

My suggestion is to combine the two sides with something like, “I know it’s a lot of work and effort to do these evaluations, but if they are taken seriously they can be an excellent growth tool for all of us, so you can be sure I am going to give it my all to do them properly.” Or something to that effect. Acknowledge the fact that it is indeed an enormous undertaking for you and your employees, but the payoff is also great.

Assuming, you as a manager believe an evaluation is an important milestone in an employee’s career it’s incumbent upon you to put as much effort as possible into it. When you perform a well-rounded review and provide concrete examples for growth areas, career development areas, and opportunities, you are sending an important message to your employee. You are saying, “I care about you and this company cares about you. Therefore, we are taking a meaningful and holistic view of your work and your potential within the company, and we want to ensure your continued success.” I know, it’s a bit of a mouthful! Even if the employee doesn’t agree with your every point, and even if they might be thinking about a different direction, they will sleep well, knowing someone is doing their utmost to look after them and is concerned with their professional development.

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