Fellow leaders

Employees often describe performance appraisals as the most stressful time of the work year.

Leaders conducting performance appraisals barely take 30 minutes to review the employee’s contribution and seem to over focus on the not-so-satisfactory areas. Little or no time is taken to celebrate achievements – either at this time or throughout the months leading up to the performance appraisal. After the performance appraisal is over and the employee has had to “concede” (yet again) to the rating their leader thinks he/she “deserves”, many would like to pack their bags and never darken your door again. But, hey, you (and they) know they need the job, so they will be back. End of story.

But is it really the end of the story? Bill Hybels and his executive team knew that as part of changing the negative culture of their organisation, they needed to raise the level of honesty in the performance appraisals and answer the employee’s (often unstated) question: how am I doing; am I adding value?

Bill says they introduced the following three components in the bi-annual performance appraisal process and immediately saw a positive change:

  1. Start doing – clearly describe what you want to see.
  2. Stop doing – clearly state what must not happen again.
  3. Continue doing – clearly elaborate on the pleasing behaviour.

A beautiful model of the above components is found in Revelations 2 and 3 where Jesus Christ, does a performance appraisal of the seven churches in Asia.

Leadership Reflections

  • How much time are you taking now to commend your employees for pleasing work? (Double up on this for the next three weeks and develop the habit of positive reinforcement).
  • What do you need to stop doing as a leader?
  • Write down at least three things you can personally do to improve the performance appraisal experience in your organisation.

In the next post, we will explore how to get real serious about developing people who manage people.

To learn more about Bill Hybels, go to www.willowcreek.com

Be intentional about leader better.