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Dear Workforce Which Questions Are Best to Ask Employees During Follow-Up Discussions About Performance?

By Staff Report

Aug. 31, 2009

Dear Solicitous:

The six-month (or three-month) meeting should just be a formalization and summary of the periodic informal follow-ups. I’d concentrate on the basics:

• Let the employee know well beforehand that the meeting is coming up and its purpose.

• Make the employee feel at ease.

• Remind the employee of what the goals are. (I presume that they are objectively measurable.)

• Review progress with objective data. You can ask the employee to gather the data and bring it to the meeting.

• Congratulate and encourage the employee on positive achievements.

• Identify areas for improvement.

• Identify roadblocks and actions needed to overcome them.

• Concentrate on the behaviors and targets, not the person’s character.

• Illustrate behaviors (wanted and unwanted) with concrete examples.

• Don’t diminish the importance of the negatives.

• Make it a two-way conversation throughout, often asking for the employee’s view before giving your own.

• Ask for feedback about your own performance as a manager.

• Be mindful of body language and “paralanguage” (how you say it).

• Remember: What you don’t say can be just as important as what you do say.

• Document the outcome and give the employee a copy.

SOURCE: Les Allan, author of From Training to Enhanced Workplace Performance, Melbourne, Australia

LEARN MORE: Find out how to use performance tools to keep employees motivated.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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