Jul 10, 2017
Despite the positive tone that managers will bring to the performance evaluations, there will occasionally be difficult situations. Maybe you have to review poorly performing workers, deal with insubordinate employees, or overcome personal conflicts. There are three key points for managers to remember when dealing with difficult situations.
Providing negative performance reviews requires managers to be even more prepared than for positive reviews. Managers need to be able to give specific instances to back-up any negative ratings or comments. To do this, managers should review all previous reviews and any disciplinary actions regarding an employee prior to the meeting. However, no “surprises” should be brought up in the performance review. Only issues that have surfaced and been discussed before with the employee in some way should be included as part of the review.
It is always important for reviewing managers to be honest with employees, even more so when dealing with difficult situations. Honesty is crucial for two reasons. First, it builds a bond of trust with the employee, even if the situation is less than desirable. Likely, a problem situation will have been discussed prior to the actual review, so being forthright with employees will appear “natural” to the process, while pretending that prior events did not happen will cause distrust. Second, the employee needs to hear specifically, and without confusion, how his or her performance or attitude comes across.
No matter what happens in a performance review, managers should always stay calm, and remember that they are in charge. Defensive or argumentative behavior by an employee should not distract the manager from delivering a complete and honest assessment. In those situations where the review process completely breaks down, it is still up to the manager to remain calm, handle the situation authoritatively, and be resolute in taking the next action steps.
How have you handled difficult employee appraisals in the past?