In my previous blog posts, I provide some beginning, intermediate, and advanced fields for a manager to maintain in tracking performance and behaviors of the manager’s team members. The idea is that creating and managing a log on your employees will improve the way you provide feedback, understand individual performance, and help you remember all of the stuff that happens over the course of the year, as it’s easy to forget.
While there are many reasons to keep a log, there are also some reasons not to keep a log. Let me go through them and provide some ways to address these objections.
The Manager by Design blog advocate that people managers should keep some sort of log, easily created in a spreadsheet, that tracks the behaviors and performance of their employees. I provide a few reasons to do so here. In my previous posts, I provided the “beginner” and “intermediate” fields that ought to be in the log. These beginner-level fields focus on documenting the specific behavior using behavior-based language and the intermediate fields focus on providing performance feedback. Here are the fields:
|Item num-ber||Date||Name||Title||Con-text||Ob-served behavior||Pre-ferred behavior||Impact of ob-served behavior||Feed-back pro-vided||Feed-back date||Actions agreed to by employee||Actions agreed to by manager|
In today’s post, I provide additional columns that can be added to your employee performance log to further increase the usefulness and effectiveness of creating and managing such a log. Consider these the “advanced level” fields. So in addition to the fields above, here are the next set of recommended columns for your employee performance log: Read more
The Manager by Designsm blog advocates that people managers should keep some sort of log, easily created in a spreadsheet, that tracks the behaviors and performance of their employees. I provide a few reasons to do so here. In my previous post, I provide the initial fields that get you started in the log. These beginner-level fields focus on documenting the specific behavior using behavior-based language. Here they are:
|Item num-ber||Date||Name||Title||Context||Observed behavior||Preferred Behavior|
In today’s post, I provide additional columns that should be added to your employee performance log to increase the usefulness and effectiveness of creating and managing such a log. Consider these the “intermediate level” fields. So in addition to the fields above, here are the next set of recommended columns for your employee performance log:
In my previous post, I provided five reasons a manager should keep a log that documents an employee’s behaviors and performance. The log does not have to be exhaustive, but having a log is better than not having a log. The easiest way to get started is to use a spreadsheet. If you can handle creating your own spreadsheet, here are the fields that you should add to the log. This is the beginner version. In my next blog entries, I’ll provide some intermediate and advanced fields.
Here’s something I rarely observe managers do, but is immanently useful and helpful: Keep a log of the employee’s behaviors and performance.
Here are a few reasons why it is useful:
1) It will help you remember all the stuff that happens over the course of the year
A lot of stuff happens of the course of the year, and it is hard to remember all of the details about what happened, what you said, what the employee did, and what were the results. A week after an event, it’s easy to forget that something ever happened. And when the situation is complex, it’s even harder to remember. If you have a team larger than three people, which describes most managers, this is especially useful.
The Manager by Designsm blog advocates for a new field called Management Design. The idea is that the creation of great and effective Managers in organizations should not occur by accident, but by design. Currently, the creation of great managers falls under diverse, mostly organic methods, which create mixed results at best and poor results at worse. This is the latest of a series that explores the existing designs that create managers in organizations.
Today’s design: Promote the one who asks to become the manager.
In this “design”, the person who asks for the promotion to manager is the one who gets it. You know the scenario: A member of the team consistently asks for the promotion to management in their one-on-one discussions; a member of the team states that they expect to be director by the end of the year; a member of the team self-identifies as the one with the most leadership potential.
Using this “design” to generate managers, the hiring manager skews toward the one who has the most moxie, drive, ambition, confidence, and apparent leadership ability. After all, let’s look at the opposite. Those who don’t ask for the promotion apparently have less moxie, less drive, less ambition, less confidence and do not appear to have leadership ability. Case closed—hire the one who wants it the most – the one who asks for it.
But what are the down sides of this design? Plenty. Read more
The Manager by Design Blog provides helpful tips for how managers can improve their people management skills and team management skills. The blog also advocates for the new field of “Management Design,” where managers are created systematically rather than placed into an arena where they have to perform without systematic help.
But is this really needed? Aren’t managers performing well already? Do managers need to improve how they perform?
Here’s a survey of some recent articles that discuss this very topic. Warning: It may not be pretty.
Poor Managers may cause illness and heart attacks: According to a recent study in Sweden, poor management increases both the amount of sick leave and creates a greater risk of heart attack. Conversely, those with good managers had less sick time. More info can be found here.
Poor Managers hurt productivity and profitability: In 2004, an ongoing Gallup survey that indicates poorly managed workgroups are an average of 50% less productive and 44% less profitable than their well-managed counterparts. (Cited here and here ) and in the May 1, 2005 edition of HR Focus.
In today’s post, I’ll discuss how to perform the feedback conversation with your employee when the situation is complex.
This is the latest in a series of posts describing how to approach a situation where the employee appeared to do something wrong, but it could be that there are greater forces that shaped the employee’s behavior, and it is uncertain what the right thing to do is. But you, the manager, has to address it. The example used from previous posts is when an employee ambushes a VP (or the VP tells you, the manager, she feels she was ambushed). I call this a “complex feedback situation.”
In the previous post, I offered five questions to ask prior to having the feedback discussion with the employee. Doing this preparation makes the conversation more sympathetic to the employee’s position, and also sets you up better for the feedback conversation.
So here are the steps to take during the feedback conversation when it’s not clear what the right employee behavior is.
Step 1: Acknowledge that it is a tough situation and try to get the employee’s perspective
In my previous post, I discussed the scenario where an employee’s behavior is poor, but it is plausible that the employee acted consistently and as one would expect him to behave, so it really isn’t clear that the behavior is poor. The example I used was the case of Jacob, who makes a tactical error of taking efforts to get around resistances and get in front of the VP to get her attention on a proposal. The VP turns then turns around and asks you to rein in Jacob, although this tactic has worked before for Jacob. What do you do?
Do you tell Jacob that he did a bad job, that he upset the VP, and to not confront the VP anymore? Do you ignore the request by the VP to “rein in Jacob?” In this post, I’d like to discuss a way to analyze the situation. In the next post, I’ll describe how to approach the conversation with Jacob.