This is a pretty interesting take on how to manage people’s expectations.
Sadly, I have had some conversations with managers and leaders in which it seems like they have falled into the tricks of their Calvin-like employees. These employees cruise about their responsibilities for the entire year and then over-perform when the evaluation period is approaching, and give out the impression of exceeding their expectations. Unfortunately, most companies have one-year cycles in their evaluation periods and this allows them to get away with it.
How then can you avoid this?
- – Solicit feedback from co-workers who had decent exposure with the employee: Feedback from teammates who had a lot of exposure with the employee will have the tendency to focus on certain scenarios and other instances may get buried. On the other hand, feedback and comments from those with just the right exposure will often be more specific with possibly detailed examples, because there is less memory to filter.
- – Plan ahead: The best way to avoid this is to plan ahead and make sure that you have set individual objectives for each of the team member. Having SMART objectives set (although very time consuming) goes a long way in evaluating someone’s performance.
- – Keep a people journal: Personally, I use Springpad (but still thinking of moving back to Evernote) to keep notes about my team members. I take note of what discussed in our one-to-one discussions as well as email threads and other notes that stand out. Also, the SMART objectives set at the start of the period may need to change as the year goes along, so it would be best to have a record on why the changes were necessary.
Do you have other techniques you use when evaluating your team’s performance?
Ryan’s top five talent themes are:
Relator, Arranger, Learner, Maximizer and Individualization.
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