1st - Prepare the Employee
Give the 4 questions to the employee about a week in advance.
Before you give the employee their questions, let them know you want to really hear their thoughts and ask them if they can agree to be open and honest with their thoughts.
In essence, you are asking them for permission to have an open and honest conversation. The psychology is unclear to me, but asking permission to speak freely and setting that expectation for the review will have a positive impact on the conversation.
Let them know you value the importance of thoughtful responses.
It requires a high degree of trust before the employee will be open with the employer. It is usually best to have a conversation about the process and how you will use the information at a time before they get their employee review questions.
When implementing this for the first time, expect the first responses to be light on depth.
This review works best when the employee and employer have built up a level of trust. When they both believe that the other wants what is best for the company and each other. When trust is high, both parties feel they can be open and honest without hurting the relationship.
The first time you do this, it is normal for the answers to be lighter in depth. So don't get discouraged. There is a learning curve on both sides of the conversation. Over time, trust can continue to build, and as everyone becomes accustomed to the process the conversations will become more substantial.
If, over time, you still get one-sentence responses it usually is an indication they haven’t thought through the question or don’t understand the purpose of the review.
THE 4 QUESTIONS for the EMPLOYEE
2nd - Prepare Yourself
Follow the PCP principle:
PRAISE - CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM - PRAISE
Employees need to hear both criticism and praise balanced otherwise it will be overwhelming.
These are the questions you should think about before the employee review.
Ponder which aspects of their job you want them to focus on. Then, as you are having the conversation with your employee, be as specific as possible and keep the areas of improvement to no more than three items. By pondering these questions prior to the review, you can be prepared to carry the conversation forward, even if the employee only gives one sentence answers.
THE 3 QUESTIONS for the EMPLOYER
A Final Follow-Up
Give your feedback time to sink in and wait a week before circling back to see if the employee has any questions or additional comments.
Some employees need time to process the information you gave them. They may have additional questions or want clarification, but will hesitate to ask. Following up with them a week later, is a great way to tie off the review in a respectful manner.
Don't forget to document
Keep a brief list of their strengths and what both of you agreed to work on. This is a great tool to use at thenext review. You can bring it up to see how much progress, (or lack of progress) has been made.