How to Improve Employee Success and Development

Posted by Julie • October 27, 2016 (Last modified July 29, 2018) • 5 min read

A performance management program that incorporates 360-degree performance reviews, and frequent feedback, benefits productivity and gives directions needed for employee success. PwC found that 72% of employees under 30 wanted feedback on at least a weekly basis. As a company, how do you ensure that you are conducting the proper review and giving the best feedback you can in order to help ongoing employee development? Here are a few steps and pointer to help you on your way:


Find out more: Why Performance Reviews Are NOT Going Extinct


Create A Trusting Relationship with Your Employees


Trust is the foundation to any relationship, especially in the workplace. Just as an employer needs to trust their employees to do the right work, the employee should be able to trust their employer to help them succeed. Trust makes feedback easier, and ensures the employee takes it to heart to truly work on and improve. In fact, according to Glassdoor, 90% of job seekers find employer perspective useful when learning about jobs and companies.


One essential way of doing this is by opening up the meeting, or feedback session, in a positive, constructive way. Start by thoroughly explaining why you have decided to meet with them and the overall purpose of the feedback you are providing. This can obviously differ person to person, and can be either positive or negative. However, being upfront with them and explaining what is going on will help you take a step in the right direction to build trust.


Try to get the employee to come to an understanding of any issues that may be happening. Be sure not to overlook or avoid certain issues just because you feel they are already understood. Take the time to describe what the issue is and why it is a problem. At the end of this, they should also be able to see their errors and agree there is room for improvement. This will show employees you are truly invested, and will give them the opportunity to reflect and get better, while having a full understanding of what not to do for next time.


Learn more about it: Implement SMART Goals in Your Performance Evaluation Software


Explore Possible Alternatives


This is something you can have the employee do additionally to create the best outcome. Explore any ways they feel the situation could have been corrected. Are there any alternative solutions? If they are struggling, help them out! One practical way to do this is by asking them to come to the meeting with a solution to the issue. Managers don’t enjoy confrontations and try to avoid giving the employee insight at all, much less ahead of the review. Not only does this make employees nervous, it can undercut any trust you may be trying to build.


Point them in the right direction and give examples on what they can do in the future. However, still make sure to let them work through it themselves. Ask for any additional suggestions and what they feel should have been done. Take the employee through a possible situation and ask them how they might respond. Discuss the options available in your workplace and then let the employee choose how he or she would like to proceed.


It’s important to allow the employee freedom to tackle this issue on their own (with your support or team support). If you select the solution for the employee rather than listening to their own ideas, you may be setting them up for failure.

Do It Yourself: Performance Management: DIY Style


Dealing with Excuses


Everyone has heard one excuse or another during their career, especially when it comes to review meetings. However, the magic is in how you handle them. Excuses are a natural reaction when faced with professional issues. As long as the meeting ends with the employee understanding their role in the issue, and you’ve heard and dealt with their excuses, they will feel valued and have the internal focus they need to start changing their behavior. The best way to deal with someone who has nothing BUT excuses is to keep meticulous records in your performance management system and to add supporting documentation when possible.

Read more: The Golden Rule of an Employee Evaluation System


Dishing Out the Final Feedback


If you are going to effectively help your employees develop, you need to understand and recognize the importance of continuous feedback in all its forms. Make sure this feedback is timely and is done as soon as you observe something that is either good, or bad. You also need to be as specific as possible to help them recognize what went wrong, or what they did great at. Sayings like, “You did great!” are too vague and show no direction for further development. This feedback shouldn’t be judgmental, but rather constructive so that they can continue to build themselves up continue to grow. Through all of this, make sure to be sincere. Avoid sounding angry or frustrated, but show that you are taking an interest and that you are concerned with their development.


Remember! Feedback doesn’t need to be formal to be feedback. For example, instead of tossing off a quick email, walk by their desk and ask them to pull up the project they’re working on and give feedback that way. If you’re normally face-to-face, try a bulleted list of easy wins for another employee.


Discover more: How to Avoid Bias in the Performance Appraisal Process


Following these tips to create a positive feedback experience can help to strengthen performance. These employees will now naturally go the extra distance to be recognized and will aid in their own development. 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were recognized. As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that they get this far, and continue on their career journey.


Set your employee up for success and you’ll be sure to see great results as well. Want to join in on the conversation? Find us on Twitter! @trakstar_hr

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