This week we were asked to interview someone who was in charge of conducting performance reviews for their employees. I was able to interview J.P. who works at Smith’s. The following are our questions and J.P.’s answers, as well as my thoughts on the interview:
What is your least favorite thing about performance appraisals?
“Interviewing employees who I know that struggle and trying to not hurt their feelings but still give them feedback on how they can improve.”
How do you approach an interview with an employee who struggles performing their job duties adequately?
“I do my best to not seem condescending. I don’t shy away from telling them where they can improve, but I also try to be tactful and word things so I don’t make them want to hurt me. I often ask them where they think they could improve, and I usually agree and encourage them to act on those thoughts.”
What behavior do you look for in an employee AFTER their performance review?
“I hope that they would correct or improve the behavior that we had discussed initially, or at least show some sort of increase effort.”
What things do you focus on in a performance appraisal interview?
“I usually try to focus on the good and to let them know their efforts do not go unseen or unappreciated.”
How do you help your employees improve after a performance appraisal?
“Sometimes my employees need a little kick in the pants even after performance interviews. I am always reminding them of what is expected of them. My employees often have legitimate concerns regarding being effective, which I try to address in order to make our store more effective and our employees happier.”
How often do you hold performance appraisals for full-time vs part-time employees?
“We typically try to group our performance appraisals within the same time periods for all employees.”
How long do your performance appraisals last?
“Typically no longer than 20 minutes.”
What does your performance appraisal criteria look like and how is it implemented?
“Pretty standard stuff… we try to address areas where employees feel they do well, where they can improve, and we help them set goals for the next period.”
How do you prepare for a performance appraisal interview with an employee?
“When it comes time for performance appraisals, I typically try to spend more time out on the floor to see how my employees are behaving. I also rely on feedback from other manager and employees as to what I may need to address for each employee.”
What are two topics concerning job performance you like to discuss with employees while conducting a performance appraisal interview?
“Customer interaction/friendliness as well as reliability and completion of job duties.”
What tactics do you use to ensure employees actually learn from issues that are discussed during the review?
“Always reminding them about the goals they set with me during our performance review, as well as the importance of good customer service.”
What is the most common issue that comes up with employees during a review?
“Reliability is one of the main themes during an interview. We have a lot of students here and something that comes with that is a high turnover of employees. If I notice an employee starting to slack off I try to address it and get a better idea of what his/her long time goals are with the company.”
From this interview I learned that it is a common strategy to try to be encouraging during performance interviews. It is important to focus on the good and it can be helpful to have employees make suggestions on to how they can improve. It seems like employees that are recognized and appreciated seem to do perform better than those who are only criticized… however, it is important to learn how to communicate and give constructive criticism.