Developing Your Talent

Coaching Conversations

By JC Heinen on May 11, 2012

A Wall Street Journal article, “Performance Reviews Lose Steam,” reported that performance reviews are falling out of favor in many organizations due to manager and employee dissatisfaction with the process.  Measuring performance and identifying opportunities for development is critical.  But what can we do to improve the “process?”

While we continue to look for innovative ways to manage workforce performance – with or without formal performance reviews – managers and employees need to be comfortable giving and receiving feedback. This feedback is critical to the development of employees – and to the performance of the organization as a whole. 

Managers should receive performance appraisal coaching to conduct more meaningful career discussions and develop strategies for engaging employees in regular career-path conversations. Coaching also bolsters managers’ confidence and makes them more comfortable with the parameters of a performance and career discussion. 

These focused conversations between manager and employee should center on the employee’s career goals and how those goals fit into the organization’s talent and business needs.  For career discussions to be strategic, constructive and meaningful, managers need to:

1. Engage in regular career discussions
2. Act as a coach and mentor
3. Ensure employees understand the organization’s mission and strategy
4. Help employees understand how their roles contribute to customer needs and business goals
5. Assist employees to understand important organizational change issues
6. Create realistic and challenging development plans
7. Make sure work processes promote productivity and achievement of goals
8. Empower employees to contribute more meaningfully, encouraging greater accountability

What kind of conversations are happening in your organization?

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