Let’s say you’re the boss of an investment banking firm and in order to make your investors happy you need to have good employees. You need to evaluate your employees and have a meeting with them to tell them what they need to do to improve or what they are doing correctly and well. This can be a hard thing to do, and there are many things to avoid as well as many things that you must do to ensure that the process goes as smoothly and as well as possible.
Make sure that all the people working under you have a copy or have or have seen what their job descriptions are. It will be difficult to hold a meeting with someone to improve their work when they do not even know what they are supposed to be doing, and this way they will know what they are being evaluated on and against. If you give the employee a blank copy of the performance evaluation to let them rate themselves before you rate them and have the meeting, then they will have another chance to defend their ratings and their job performance, as well as give them a chance to see the meeting as less of a unilateral ultimatum than an opportunity to discuss possibilities for improvement on even neutral ground. You should also make sure you set a time and place to meet the employee that is private and quiet, because you don’t want to attract attention to the person and embarrass them in front of their coworkers or ridicule them in front of their peers. Time is important as well. You don’t want to make the meeting too short, because you may find that there are many issues that need to be addressed, that the meeting is more productive than anticipated, or that you are cut short before anything useful gets done. If you have an hour dedicated to the employee, it shows that you really care about their performance and their growth in the company, and lets them know that you’re on their side when it comes to keeping them on your team at the company. Before you get started, outline what you want to go over in the session, whether that is improving the person’s performance, reward them for performing well, or get some feedback from them or other goals.
Try not to do all of the talking in the meeting, you want to make it seem as even as possible, a fair discussion between two people. Ask some questions and let the person let you know their perspective and what they think they need. If there is a large disagreement, allow the employee to write their own point of view down so that it can be kept in their file. If you make your employee, the meeting will be unproductive, so don’t focus only on areas of improvement. If you spend equal time on what they are doing right as on what they need to improve on, they will be much more optimistic and agreeable about whatever improvements they need to make.