Why They Don’t Know What You Expect
Glenn had just finished describing his year-end performance review process and how each person had reacted. He paused and said:
“I’m so frustrated! After all these years of working together, many of the people who met with me still don’t understand what I expect from them.”
Performance review discussions are more than grading exercises – they are unique opportunities to have substantive, one-on-one dialogue with each person who reports to you. The objective of the discussion is to minimize the difference between your employee’s perception of their performance and yours.
Performance is largely about behavior. You want to discuss how the job was accomplished and how the goals were achieved (or not!). If your company has core values, you want to connect these values to your expected behaviors. How?
For each core value, be explicit. If your value specifies superior customer service (and whose doesn’t), then define behaviors that you require, i.e. respond to customers within 4 hours, send proposals within 24 hours, etc. Make your core values live by connecting them to well-defined behaviors. What do you mean by “teamwork,“ “initiative” or other core values?
Clarify that expected behavior equals average performance – it’s how you expect them to fulfill their basic job responsibilities. To be above average or superior, they must behave occasionally or consistently better than expected. Specifying examples of behaviors makes your expectations objective and more clearly understood.
What sample behaviors define your expectations?
How can you enlist your staff to develop a behavior dictionary?