When you’ve tried to communicate the problems you note with an employee’s performance, and the employee disagrees, ‘questioning’ is one recommended approach.
• Can you provide examples that’ll show me what is wrong with my assessment of your performance?
• What do you think it is that I’m misunderstanding about the performance that I regularly observed this quarter?
• The feedback that I’ve received from your coworkers, team members, and other managers is consistent with my observations. Consequently, I know that you disagree with my assessment, but I’ve not heard anything today that makes me want to alter it. For now, my assessment will stand. I’ll be happy to discuss your performance further in a month at our weekly meeting after I’ve seen evidence of improvement in these areas.
Another recommendation is to summarise the performance review with a closing statement such as: “Laura, will you summarise our discussion here today so that I know that you and I are on the same page?”
Express confidence in the employee’s ability to learn, grow, change, or improve: “I’m confident that you’ll be able to make the changes that we’ve discussed today. I believe that you’ll be able to make these improvements because you have the talent and skills needed for this role. I’m available to help you when you face challenges to your success or if you feel you’ll miss a due date or deadline. Just let me know when this occurs as soon as you’re aware of it.”
When you communicate clearly and avoid a defensive reaction, you can express your expectations in a way that the employee hears. Speak so that the employee listens, comprehends and improves. This is crucial when considering talent retention.
Written by Sahar Habib
Founder of Coach Wilson