Annual performance reviews are just that, reviews. I mentioned in our last newsletter it is a chance to look in the rearview mirror, with ideally objectivity, award solid performers, and note those who lack.
The other piece of the review cycle is the forward looking Performance Development Plan (PDP). We complete these with vigor and optimism at the beginning of the corporate New Year. We celebrate our employee’s strengths, and seek strategies to help him or her grow.
Well, it is March, and have you forgotten it already? One of the biggest employee disengagers is when big plans are put in place and no follow-up occurs. I teach many customer service classes and ask, “How can we make a customer’s experience special?” The class almost always answers, “Follow-up.” That extra touch lets the customer know you care.
When PDPs are not put into action, you send an employee a signal that you don’t care about her. Absolutely, business needs run concurrent to being a manager. But just as you could not tell a customer, “Sorry, I didn’t do my best, I got busy,” the excuse doesn’t work with your employees either.
It is tough, but keep focused. At every one-on-one meeting, have the PDP on your desk and talk about it for a few minutes. Some questions to discuss: has any movement occurred with the plan? Can a learning event be scheduled to gain new knowledge? Is there a project or tasks to test this knowledge? One of the most powerful questions you can ask, “How can I help?”
Inspiring leaders keep on top of their employees’ PDPs. Make this an important part of your leader practice and watch those engagement scores soar!