Performance appraisals – sometimes called job performance evaluations or reviews – are a powerful way to develop staff’s potential. These skills are important not just for HR (Human Resources) professionals, but for any manager or supervisor who has responsibilities over other staff.
For performance appraisals to succeed, however, it’s important that they are conducted in a structured way. In addition, it’s important that skill and diplomacy are used to handle the two main tasks of the appraisal – giving effective feedback and setting goals.
So this is the first in a two-part Business English Podcast lesson that focuses on structure, skill and diplomacy in performance appraisals. In this podcast, we will deal with giving feedback. In the second, we will handle setting goals.
This episode focuses on giving effective feedback that creates a positive environment and builds trust. These feedback skills are useful not only in performance appraisals, but also in any situation that requires making critical comments to someone about their work.
Wendy is a new hire at ConStar’s videoconference call center. She has been working there for about 10 months, including training, so now it’s time for her first six-month performance review. Derrick, the manager of the operations department, will be giving Wendy her appraisal.
As a “videoconference coordinator” for ConStar, Wendy’s job requires using special equipment to set up and connect videoconferences for Fortune 500 clients. ConStar’s customers hold regular remote meetings among multiple locations all around the world. Wendy’s job is to make the connections between locations and to solve customer’s problems when they call into the help desk.
What kind of feedback will Derrick give Wendy? She is really smart, but she tends to get hot under the collar when she works under pressure. That means, she gets upset when she feels job stress. Sometimes she loses her temper, and her colleagues have complained about it.
1) How many meetings is Wendy handling per day at the moment?
2) What’s the main issue that Derrick wants to give Wendy feedback on?
3) What advice does Derrick give Wendy to help her correct the problem?