This is a private group for participants in OPM’s pilot “Performance Management for HR Practitioners” training.
Week 1 Discussion: Meeting Gone Wrong
November 16, 2012 at 9:32 pm #172536
Take a look at the two scenes from a meeting gone wrong, below.
After you view the videos, engage in the discussion through the Comments and Reply sections below! Be sure to hit refresh on your browser to see new comments.
Feel free to give feedback on other people’s comments.
Explain Scene 1 from the point of view of both the employee and manager. What went wrong?
What additional information do we get about the situation from Video 2?
- Does the manager in this scenario have a hope of improving his relationship with the employee?
- Explain the situation from the perspective of the HR Practitioner. What did the HR Practitioner do to guide and counsel the manager?
Provide your answers below by typing your response in the text box below and hitting “Add Reply.”
February 28, 2013 at 5:05 pm #172684
Jeanette Guardia-de JesusParticipant
Video 1 – the manager did use good communication skills. He did not listen to what the employee had to say nor took her reasons for not participating in the training. She tried to explain her use of time management and he did give her any assistance on how to complete her work load. Management was wrong to tell her “you have to figure this out on your own.”
Video 2 – could not get sound from this video.
February 28, 2013 at 6:56 pm #172682
Scene 1 – Jeez, where to begin! The manager clearly did not want to be bothered with having to do this progress review. He minimized the importance of it through everything he did, e.g., he was not prepared, he allowed for interruptions, etc. He made it quite clear that talking about the employee’s performance was not important to him. He also gave no detailed examples of how her work needed improvement. He also seemed unwilling to entertain an answer from her as to why she might have missed a deadline. He offered her no support whatsoever for improving her performance. If I was the employee, I probably would have shut down at the beginning of the meeting because it was clear the manager did not want to help her succeed.
Scene 2 – I thought the HR practitioner did I good job of asking relevant and specific questions. Unfortunatley, even with the direct questions, the manager still didn’t “get it.” While the HR practitioner was off to a good start, I think he would have done even better had he asked him exactly what examples or poor performance, etc. he gave the employee. Maybe then, he could have helped the manager realize he really didn’t didn’t give appropriate specific examples after all.
February 28, 2013 at 7:02 pm #172680
Laura- good analysis of how the manager in the first video did a bad job of not taking the progress review too seriously. Its important that supervisors take these things seriously if they expect the employees to do so.
February 28, 2013 at 7:02 pm #172678
Laura – how would you improve the meeting?
February 28, 2013 at 7:03 pm #172676
I’m confused, I guess. Do we just share conversation here as our 2:00 Thursday meeting?
February 28, 2013 at 7:04 pm #172674
I am trying to find the online chat but can;t seem to find it. How do I participate in that? thanks.
February 28, 2013 at 7:05 pm #172672
Yep – just leave it here. What’s your thought on videos above? And questions?
February 28, 2013 at 7:05 pm #172670
Hi Teri – That is correct. Feel free to share your responses to the videos and comment on other participants’ comments.
February 28, 2013 at 7:06 pm #172668
Ah, ok. I didn’t understand either. Thanks for clarifying.
February 28, 2013 at 7:08 pm #172666
Oh…thanks. I didn’t realize this was the Thursday chat location. Thanks.
February 28, 2013 at 7:08 pm #172664
OK. I just figured out that I need to refresh my screen in order to get new messages.
February 28, 2013 at 7:10 pm #172662
He certainly should have had everything (paperwork) ready for when she came in and cleared his calendar for the meeting. He also should have had specific details as to why her perfromance was lacking. He also shoudl have appeared more open to listening to why she did not make deadlines, etc.
February 28, 2013 at 7:10 pm #172660
This is a good question. Furthermore, how should an employee in this situation address the problem? The supervisor went to more senior leadership to discuss their side of the employee’s performance. Does it make sense for the employee to do so as well?
February 28, 2013 at 7:12 pm #172658
I found it interesting that the supervisor was critical of her organizational skills when he clearly has the same problem. His lack in that area seems to be a frustration for his staff.
I also was unhappy with his conveying the attitude that PM is a chore that is a time-waster. He sees it as a burden; something he just has to suffer through. He made no attempt to prepare. The employee has every right to feel unvalued.
February 28, 2013 at 7:14 pm #172656
I am not able to hear the video.
February 28, 2013 at 7:14 pm #172654
yes, I just realized the same thing. I keep having to refresh every time I want to see if someone added a comment.
February 28, 2013 at 7:14 pm #172652
Scene 1 – The manager failed to set the proper tone at the beginning of the progress review. The manager and employee seemed to raise their voices to each other. Both could improve their behavior.
Scene 2 – The manager doesn’t appear interested in improving his relationship with this employee. The HR staffer tried to help by asking appropriate questions, but it appeared the manager wasn’t focused on thinking through the questions. The manager had a predetermined outcome in mind and wanted to focus on reaching his outcome.
February 28, 2013 at 7:15 pm #172650
Ideas on Video 1:
1. Give yourself more margin as a manager between meetings.
2. Be prepared for your meetings – plan ahead and have the materials ready.
3. Manage your emotions; even if you’re frustrated, strive to remain constructive.
February 28, 2013 at 7:17 pm #172646
Wow! Does this manager need a time management class? He was unorganized, unprepared, and unfocused on his task. The employee wasn’t much better, when the standards were written, she should not only have had a copy of them, she should have provided input into their creation. The relationship could inprove; maybe with some outside help.
Video two shows an HR Specialist giving no advice, listening attentively, but not really making suggestions or getting specific answers to problems
February 28, 2013 at 7:18 pm #172644
I agree with what you said in Scene 2. The manager decided the outcome and has his brain c
February 28, 2013 at 7:18 pm #172642
1) No, he definitely seems pretty set in his way that he cannot improve the relationship wtih the employee. His interaction and communication with her is extremely dismissive and unresponsive to her suggestions and needs.
2) The HR Practitioner was looking for incidents or proof that the manager took adequate steps to explain to his employee the expectations of her job and areas that needed improvement. I like that he asked the manager if he provided specific examples and what type of areas of improvement were cited during his conversation with his employee. If the HR Practioner believes that this is an issue where the manager is not doing their due dilligence, I would suggest that he has the manager write down specifically what issues occurred and the actions the employee took, providing documentation and emails as backup. Or if the HR Practioner believes the manager may need to improve their management,communicating/listening, etc. skills I would recommend that a coaching session on performance feedback should be provided.
February 28, 2013 at 7:18 pm #172640
Agree – doesn’t seem interested in improving. How would you as HR staffer tried to coach the manager to improve that?
February 28, 2013 at 7:20 pm #172638
Video #1. Everything was wrong…the manager did an absolute horrible job. For starters, he did not meet with her to issue and discuss the plan in advance. He did not prepare for the discussion in advance. He did not adequately list/discuss all elements of the performance plan. He would not give her an opportunity to explain and kept cutting her off. Because he did allow her to complete her comments, he does not know specifically what barriers prevented her from accomplishing her tasks. Additionally, he offered no assistance in helping her improve in the few areas discussed.
Video#2. I think the HR practitioner was great. He asked the right questions. It would have been interesting to hear the advice the manager was given as a result of this discussion.
February 28, 2013 at 7:20 pm #172636
Ideas on Video 2:
1. This is actually a bit scary to see how much the manager gets to frame a situation to HR (w/o the employee being able to represent their own situation). How does the HR Practitioner get the employee’s perspective without undermining the manager?
2. I didn’t feel as if the HR Practitioner was strong enough in pressing for more questions about the situation. How strong should they be?
February 28, 2013 at 7:21 pm #172634
You make a great point here, and it touches on something that I think other posts have alluded to. The supervisor himself seemed overworked and under prepared for the meeting. Employees that may find themself in the position where a supervisor has some of these tendencies could help alleviate and mitigate some of issues by keeping track of their own performance throughout the year and presenting it to the supervisor during feedback sessions. Document projects you’ve worked on and how that relates to performance standards you are required to meet.
February 28, 2013 at 7:22 pm #172632
I agree with the feedback above. It would be easier to ask what he did right. In terms of Scene 2, the HR Practitioner seemed more balanced, but he had very little to work with, without prosecuting the manager (which we all probably wanted to see).
HR is frequently put in a difficult situation because they have to advise people often more senior, and with very little initial information.
February 28, 2013 at 7:22 pm #172630
Double check your setting Deadra. Videos sometimes are “auto-muted” for people on Youtube!
February 28, 2013 at 7:23 pm #172628
Employee – was not prepared for the review. She did not request a copy of the plan, and she did not bring in notes to support her “case”. She blamed others for not providing information needed to complete her tasks. Made excuses for her poor performance.
Supervisor – Was not prepared for the review. Was disorganized. Did not have a copy of the plan. Did not listen to the employee. Did not agree on a plan of action. Has expectation that review only needs to be done twice a year. Did not provide feedback or recommendation on improving performance prior to her evaluation.
Yes maybe, if he is open to listening to the employee and perhaps asking more questions to understand why the employee is having difficulties. Though it would be hard, since he stated the employee has already shut him out.
The practitioner recommended digging deeper to get to the core of the problem, documenting her performance along the way, and providing advise on how to improve performance.
February 28, 2013 at 7:23 pm #172626
Deadra – We tried several computers here to make sure it was okay…do you use sound frequently at your workstation?
February 28, 2013 at 7:23 pm #172624
Alexis L. GarnerParticipant
Employer’s View – He was not prepared for the meeting. He also did not tell the employee what to expect ahead of time, nor did he give the employee a copy of her development plan. Was very persistent about the employee getting work done on time, but did not provide suggestions for how she could do it effectively. He was condescending and seemed to have a grudge against her.
Employee’s View – She was frustrated because the employer did not communicate several important things to her (i.e. needing a copy of her IDP) before the meeting. Each time she tried to explain why something happened, her employer cut her off and told her that they had to “keep the train moving.” Overall, she seemed intimidated by her boss.
-In this scene, the employer asks the HR practitiner for guidance about dealing with his employee.
-He thinks that his employee is upset because he didn’t give her a good rating. With this attitude, I do not believe he has any plan to improve their relationship.
-The HR practitioner asked questions to ensure that the employer looked at every angle of the problem. He wanted to make sure that he offered a solution to the employee before taking action for her supposed “poor performance.”
February 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm #172622
As a growing manager myself, I am learning that you need to be specific with employees. The more detailed you can be, the better…and that takes time. The key is to prioritize thinking ahead / budget into your schedule time to stay ahead of your employees.
February 28, 2013 at 7:28 pm #172620
What does everyone think of the videos?
February 28, 2013 at 7:28 pm #172618
Video 1- This meeting should have been rescheduled for another time where it could have been taken more seriously. Neither one of them were prepared, and the manager seemed like this meeting was interrupting more important things, and was a bit annoyed. The manager was very unorganized. He kept making a lot of excuses also.
The employee should have had some sort of documentation to show everything she has worked on and the status of it. It would have helped her case. However, she should have asked up front what the manager expected of her as far as deadlines and quality of work. She probably should have taken the training the manager had recommended also.
February 28, 2013 at 7:28 pm #172616
Right, Ryan – you really need to coach up to some degree, right? Come prepared yourself and adapt to the manager’s reality.
February 28, 2013 at 7:28 pm #172614
I totally agree!
February 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm #172612
I’m not sure there’s a class that can teach him how to improve! 🙂
They definitely would benefit from both of them sitting down with the HR Practitioner as a mediator.
Agreed on the HR person not really being proactive.
February 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm #172610
My comment for scenario 1: The manager was preoccupied with too many other things because he is not organized and therefore not an effective leader. He seems to need the time management course more than his employee. He is holding her accountable for failure, but not himself. He is not providing clear instructions nor any solutions to things that are out of her control. Who would want to work for someone like that? Not me! the manager does not have any hope, nor does he seem to care about improving his relationship with the employee!
Scenario 2: The manager went to the HR practitioner only focusing on the negative things he had in his mind regarding the employee. He basically was not truthful with his answers to the HR Practitioner, but I do believe he thought he was. the HR Practitioner was on point.
February 28, 2013 at 7:32 pm #172608
The HR Specialist did give advice and suggestions. (??)
February 28, 2013 at 7:32 pm #172606
There’s nothing worse in terms of eroding trust than a manager looking like he is not interested in an employee.
February 28, 2013 at 7:33 pm #172604
I do think the HR practitioner should delve a little deeper with the questioning and ask for specific examples from the Manager. This may help him realize the Manager is part of the problem and needs training on Effective Performance Management.
February 28, 2013 at 7:34 pm #172602
February 28, 2013 at 7:35 pm #172600
Exactly! The supervisor’s perspective is very different than an outsider’s perspective, and he actually believed the employee was at fault for performance issues. As an HR practitioner, what can an individual do to gain everyone’s perspective? Should they always take the manager’s side without consulting other sources?
February 28, 2013 at 7:35 pm #172598
Video 2- It seems like the manager is just trying to cover himself. He never provided any type of written documentation to the employee–he only asked “did you do this or that”. He never tells the employee what will happen if she doesn’t complete these things. He only tells her that he doesn’t think that she will get the rating she thinks she deserves. He says that she is upset, but has he bothered to find out why the employee is behaving that way?
I think the HR Practitioner asked most of the right questions. I believe that he could have dug deeper by asking what those examples were that the manager gave her, and for dates of coaching sessions–just to make sure that the manager was on the right track.
February 28, 2013 at 7:36 pm #172594
Scenario 1: The supervisor clearly does not understand the importance of setting aside time to prepare and have a performance discussion. It is also clear the supervisor has poor listening skills. There is little interest in what the employee has to share. The supervisor is asking closed ended questions that are preventing him from getting the information he needs to effectively support the employee and get the results desired.
Scenario 2: The supervisor fails to understand his role in the problem. He is providing little information to the HR practitioner and the information provided is inaccurate due to his ineffective performance management.
February 28, 2013 at 7:36 pm #172596
I agree Norma. He recommended the class to her, but he seems to have needed it as well.
February 28, 2013 at 7:38 pm #172592
+1 on Ryan’s question.
February 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm #172590
Exactly true – the supervisor doesn’t see himself as a coach or mentor for the employee. He fails to provide feedback that can remediate. Isn’t a purpose of PM to develop skills and use the employee’s talent to the fullest?
February 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm #172588
Clearly, the manager in video 1 needed to set some clear target dates and ask more questions of the employee.
February 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm #172586
they were well made; made you think about how badly things can go. I’m just wondering if the age groups were too close in the first video? I would think that cultural differences could lead to this happening, but wouldn’t age differences also contribute. Would be interesting to see if responses would change if there was an age gap.
February 28, 2013 at 7:42 pm #172584
Why does there need to be a “manager’s side” in this? It’s the organization’s side that matters.
February 28, 2013 at 7:43 pm #172582
Right on, Teri. When it’s more about the tasks vs. the people, you’re bound to have low morale and situations like this one. Relationships lead to results.
February 28, 2013 at 7:43 pm #172580
Exactly. It’s going to make it hard for her to ever want to talk to him about anything because of the way he cuts her off and talks down to her.
February 28, 2013 at 7:43 pm #172578
Video 1: Poor feedback session
– supervisor was not prepared for meeting as he had to search for the performance plan and related documents. This communicates the discussion was not a priority.
– employee did not even have a copy of the performance plan
– the supervisor communicated to the employee that the progress review was an administrative burden; not a good way to set the tone.
– perhaps this is overly critical, but the supervisor’s office illustrated the chaos present on his team. How can he and staff effectively communicate over stacks of papers, etc. This is an unnecessary distration.
– supervisor did not provide or offer assistance to the employee on how to meet quality and timeliness measures. He did not fulfill his role to coach/mentor the employee throughout the appraisal process.
Supervisor: does not show hope of improving relationship with employee
– was not honest re: the progress review with his employee as he 1.) did not offer her assistance/advice on how to improve performance — he told her to figure it out, 2.) did not ask her if there were circumstances affecting performance — she provided a few, but he dismissed them.
– commented “I told her what I needed to tell her.” This is very telling as it illustrates the supervisor’s poor communication (1-way communication at that). In video 1, he was very dismissive of the employee’s comments. Supervisors should consider employee feedback (e.g. here – she was having difficulting getting what she needed from someone else; she was unsure of what the supervisor expected, etc.). He was very dismissive and communication was really just 1 way.
– asked appropriate open-ended questions to get the supervisor to explain the circumstances.
– did not see much evidence of the guiding/counseling the supervisor; perhaps that was to come.
February 28, 2013 at 7:44 pm #172576
Nice point – part of PM is to develop an employee. Telling an employee to take virtual training isn’t enough. The manager needs to take an active part in assigning developmental activities and assignments to grow their potential.
February 28, 2013 at 7:47 pm #172574
Nice response, Aisha. Very detailed points. Thank you.
February 28, 2013 at 7:50 pm #172572
When I train new leaders on PM, we do some scenarios. It always shocks them when I ask, “What is your culpability in this problem?” So often a leadership shortfall is the source of employee problems. In this case, the leader clearly demonstrates his inattention and disinterest.
The HR specialist – or, better, the supervisor’s manager – needs to hold him accountable. Ask questions about what course of action he has taken and WILL take to improve the employee’s performance. AND HIS OWN.
February 28, 2013 at 8:10 pm #172570
Unable to view Video 1 and Video 2. Must be the security setting on our server. Attempted to read the transcripts in the participant guide, a little to difficult to follow, especially since the transcripts are missing a vital element, non-verbal body language. Will revisit the transcripts and post someting later.
February 28, 2013 at 8:28 pm #172568
Video 1 – In the beginning of the scene, the manager itself was not prepared for evaluation of the employee. Manager is itself is un-organized and do not have time deal with his employee to give her proper performance review. The manager did not even give her employee a chance to talk and not even asking her what she need to improved her evaluation. Manager don’t have a planning strategy, what I mean performance evaluation was not even on the scheduled as one of the manager task of the day, he never monitor her performance, even follow up on the status of the project that manager assign to her. He even discourage her about communicating with other co-worker. By not waiting for other employee input on the project. What happen to “Teamwork” within the company? I cannot blame the employee, if she act like she does not care anymore. Which we can see from her reaction and the tone of her voice. Totally unprofessional scene.
Video 2- The Practitioner ask question on details about what happen, manager reaction is all negative about the employee. Manager needs a training on how to conduct the performance evaluation of the employee in professional manners and tone of his voice. He needs to learn how to plan, monitor, and development of the employee. How to couch the employee in positive way and learn to listen.
February 28, 2013 at 8:34 pm #172566
I think, Employee success is a Manager accomplishment.
February 28, 2013 at 8:42 pm #172564
do the employee had a rights to complain to HR Practitioner. or Can HR Practitioner question the employee about the evaluation?
March 1, 2013 at 11:33 am #172562
Paula A. GarrityParticipant
Scene 1 – My immediate reaction to this scene is that it would be easier to ask, “What went right.” This is the consumate example of why performance management fails in so many organizations. The manager clearly demonstrated his belief that performance reviews are a waste of time, which immediately set the tone for the meeting. He desperately needs training in Effective Communication and Listening Skills. His use of closed-ended questions shut down communication, and his unwillingness to listen to the employee’s answers prevented a constructive discussion of achievements, issues, and performance improvement strategies. Also, the appraisal should be based on the defined elements and standards but, instead, he repeatedly attacked the employee with questions regarding specific tasks. Specific tasks should be discussed on an ongoing basis throughout the year, while overall performance is reviewed on a periodic basis. In addition, the manager obviously expected negative responses. This is the pygmalion approach to performance management — a person will achieve or perform as he or she is expected to perform. He was also dismissive and demeaning throughout, and made it clear that he was unwilling to help her succeed, using statements like, “that’s your problem.” Most importantly, he failed to set SMART performance objectives to help position the employee for success in the next reporting period.
Scene 2 – I thought the HR practitioner did I good job of asking relevant and specific questions, but he accepted the manager’s superficial responses. Although it was clear that the manager still didn’t “get it,” the HR practitioner didn’t attempt to drill down to find out exactly what examples the manager provided of the employee’s poor performance, or what suggestions, tools, and support he offered to help her improve in the next reporting period.
March 1, 2013 at 6:39 pm #172560
Video 1 – From the start the manager didn’t seem to prioritize the meeting or value the process. He also presented a bad attitude toward the other employee in his office. Once the performance review started the manager did not allow the employee to actually share her thoughts on her performance, what she feels she needs in terms of support or ask for advice or guidance; The manager on the other hand did not facilitate an open conversation and shut down the employee and likely made her feel like she couldn’t open up.
Video 2 – The manager seems to really feel he did everything he could. The HR manager asked good questions but didn’t ask the manager to elaborate and tell him “what proof of poor performance” or “what advice was offered”. The manager could use some coaching on how to better facilitate the conversation.
March 1, 2013 at 7:25 pm #172558
From the employee’s point of view, every message she is getting from her supervisor is that this process isn’t something to take seriously. Here is how I would interpret this as a subordinate: This performance stuff is so stupid and a waste of my time. It is just one more deadline to meet. He already has very little credibility with me at this point. He didn’t schedule his time well, he wasn’t prepared, and he didn’t have any feedback prepared and he has the nerve to tell me I should be prepared. How can I have a copy of my standards if he hasn’t given them to me? How can I tell him what he needs to know when I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing? Instead of helping me improve my performance at the mid-level review, it seemed one-sided; he isn’t modeling the performance he expects me to have and he won’t tell me what successful performance looks like. Here I am standing in his door, trying to get his attention because he forgot about our meeting, and I hear him he was telling someone he couldn’t do his work if other people didn’t do whatever, but then he told me it was not acceptable when I can’t do my work because of other people. What a hypocrite! Nothing helpful came from this. Every time I tried to tell him something, he either tells me why that isn’t okay, why it shouldn’t matter, or he cuts me off before I can finish talking. He has no idea what I’m doing or how I’m doing it, or what I’ve done right, and he doesn’t know what kind of performance rating I expect to get. I didn’t expect this meeting to go well, I don’t expect to get a good rating from him and I don’t think I can ever get a good rating here. This is so unfair. I tried to finish that training and I didn’t get a chance to explain why it was impossible to finish, but it doesn’t matter because apparently I’m supposed to figure it all out on my own.
This is especially relevant to me because I’m trying to do online training at work, and it is hard to understand what the priorities are sometimes. When we have budget conversations, training often gets cut. The unwritten, unspoken message can be training is a nicety but not a necessity. I saw this in my earlier job as well. We were transitioning over to USAStaffing and we had certain training assignments designed to assist us in the transition. We weren’t given any guidance on how this tied into our normal workload or deadlines. The people on my team who were having the most problems with the new software were also having the most problems actually getting to the training because everything, training and work, took them longer to complete. The people who needed the extra practice the least were the ones who were actually getting it the most, because they were the ones most likely to be able to complete their work in time to get to the training. We had a real lack of understanding about our priorities and we were getting conflicting signals from supervisors and management about how to do our work (quality over timeliness was a big issue). The people who didn’t “get it” right away were incredibly stressed, and the way our performance was measured tied into this as well.
I’m relatively new to employee relations and I’ve already had conversations like Video 2. I’m reminded of the W. Edwards Deming quote “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” In our office, we typically won’t go very far into a performance management advisory session without collecting information first. We start by asking for a copy of the performance standards. I don’t think people give instructions as clearly as they believe.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the supervisor is modeling the behavior he saw in some of his supervisors and is using some of the same language he hears in his performance conversations.
From the supervisor’s point of view, he probably doesn’t think the process works anyway. No one takes it seriously and it is just one hoop the employee relations specialist is making him go through to deal with this employee who has a terrible attitude and isn’t performing. He may be thinking that his subordinate should just be happy to have a job and wishes the problem would just go away because he doesn’t have time or energy for hand-holding someone at her grade. He may ask himself why the employee can’t take ownership of her problem. He may think that she is blowing off his instructions, doing nothing but making excuses, and adding to his already heavy workload. He may have other employees who are easy to supervisor; they do what he needs them to do without making excuses and just know what is expected. He may feel he is doing what HR is telling him to do (provide training, hold a mid-cycle review, ask all the right questions) but it isn’t working for him. He may not be able to tell his subordinate how to prioritize or manage her workload when he feels he doesn’t understand what is expected from him. He may have had very little supervisory training or he may have been selected for his position because of his technical skills rather than his ability to supervise. He may see supervising others as a necessary evil to punch his ticket so he can get to the grade he wants or get to the type of higher level technical work he prefers.
I don’t see this as a bad supervisor or bad employee scenario. I see it as two people who are both struggling with their own performance and a performance management system not addressing either of their performance issues.
March 6, 2013 at 12:48 am #172556
Video 1 – Shows a supervisor who is over his head. Obviously, he has not been provided performance management training, specifically coaching, clearly communicating performance expectations, active listening, and providing constructive feedback. Performance plans should be kept in a separate file (preferably locked) with specific notes tracking the employees performance so that when quarterly and/or mid-year review are schedule, the supervisor and employee can have a productive discussion about performance, barriers, and ways to overcome challenges.
From the employee’s point of view, she was never provided with a copy of her performance plan. She should have taken the initiative to request a copy and schedule a discussion to clarify any standard or element that she did not understand. In terms of suggested training, the supervisor should have discussed the training with the employee and provided adequate time for her to complete the training. He has essentially, created competing priorities and has not supported his direct report with prioritizing, understanding the impact of missing deadlines, and managing time.
The relationship is fractured and the supervisor doesn’t seem to understand his contributions to the miscommunication and conflict that is building up.
Video 2 – Confirms that the supervisor has not processed his contribution to his perceived lack of performance from the employee. He does not have notes, and can’t provide specific details as to why the employee should be placed on a performance improvement plan (PIP). The employee has not reached the highest performance level, but she has not been told that she failed any critical elements. By having an honest discussion with the employee, the supervisor may be able to gain insight as to why her performance is lacking.
Communication is very important in the performance management process. Jointly planning and discussing performance plans, expected outcomes, levels of achievement and barriers/challenges can facilitate a positive performance cycle, and meeting performance goals. The supervisor in the video was not very attentive or cared that his conduct contributed to what seems to be a high stressed, reactive work environment that contributes to performance issues and lack of employee engagement.
March 10, 2013 at 8:12 pm #172554
Patricia G AlexanderParticipant
video 1 – the manager is not prepared for the meeting. He is impatient with the employee. It’s clear the meeting is not a priority. The employee does not have a copy of the performance standards. He doesn’t listen to the employee’s response for not completing the project or training. He did not offer positive feedback on how to get things accomplished. He talked about negative past performance.
video 2 – the HR practitioner asked relevant questions. The manager did not have any specifics of poor performance and what has been done to improved the performance before a PIP.
March 14, 2013 at 6:26 pm #172552
Explain Scene 1 from the point of view of both the employee and manager. What went wrong?
It was clear the employee did not know how to prepare or what to expect during the meeting. She was frustrated with the lack of support being received from her manager. Additionally, the manager appeared to be more concerned about her “keeping the train moving” versus the quality of her work and the missing input from another employee.
The Manager was not prepared for the meeting. He did not offer any concrete suggestions or recommendations to the employees concerns about the barriers she faced in completing her assignment and the training.
I send each employee a meeting scheduler using outlook at the beginning, middle and end of the perfromance cycle. In this email, I communicate what the employee should be prepared to discuss and suggest them to bring any supporting documentation. At the beginning of the performance cycle, I ensure each employee is aware of the perfromance management system and how it works. The other two meetings consists of delivering feedback of performance, offering suggestions for improvement and seeking feedback from my employees on our working relationship and what they need/want from me.
Video 2- Does the manager in this scenario have a hope of improving his relationship with the employee? Explain the situation from the perspective of the HR Practitioner. What did the HR Practitioner do to guide and counsel the manager?
He can improve the relationship with his employee, however, he has to alter his communication style, he talks but does not listen. Managing requires listening skills as well. He needs to be able to hear the needs of his employees, be able to offer suggestions and coach them up to perform adequately.
The HR practitioner asked good questions, however, he did not go any further. He needed more specific information from the Manager in order to offer assistance to guide the Manager in resolving the issue with the employee.
April 2, 2013 at 5:52 pm #172550
In Scene 1, the employee wanted to share her perspective on what went wrong; however, the supervisor seemed to unwilling to listen. He didnt seem to care about the obstacles the employee was facing, i.e. that the employee could not complete her task with the other employee’s work and pending training. The meeting was one sided. The supervisor did not support the employee and she not provide adquate feedback for the employee to improve. His main focus was the threat of her issuing her a less than fully successful rating.
in scene 2, the HR contact asked all the right questions; however, the supervisor did not honestly answer the questions. He focused on issuing a PIP.
April 3, 2013 at 1:38 pm #172548
Video 1 – The manager was not prepared to sit down with the employee, it was if the counseling was an afterthought, which sends a negative message to the employee. He did not take the time to listen to what her needs were and offered no advice on how to improve. He was verr curt and may have inadvertently discouraged a good employee.
Video 2 – The manager does not have a hope of recovering this working relationship unless he is willing to accept responsibility for his role in the employees failures, The HR Prationer was asking valid questions but the manager was not listening.
April 5, 2013 at 7:42 pm #172546
Video 1 – (Manager’s Perspective) – The manager is overwhelmed with his duties and not prepared for the meeting. He recommended training to the employee, feeling this would solve her problems of not getting things done. (Employee’s Perspective)-The manager really doesn’t want to have this meeting as much as she doesn’t want to be there. The manager is not listening to her.
Video 2 – The manager has no hope and feels his employee holds him (the manager) accountable for a previous poor rating. The manager feels she is just making excuses and that he has done all that he can do.
The HR Practitioner asked relevent open-ended questions to determine how best he could help the manager. He appeared to want to determine if the manager had done what he should do as a manager to help his employee improve performance. The HR Practitioner’s questions themselves revealed what the manager should have been doing.
April 9, 2013 at 1:46 pm #172544
Bonnie L. HaberParticipant
Communication was lacking on both the managers part as well as the employee. The manager was not organized or prepared for the meeting. It was perceived that he did not want to be bothered speaking to the employee about her performance. The employee was trying to explain and he did not want to listen. “You have to figure this out on your own” is not an answer that shows guidance or support to a newer employee.
April 10, 2013 at 8:22 pm #172542
Scene 1: The manager did not use active listening to hone in on the contributing factors leding to the employee’s inbaility to deliver reports on time. The employee should have just listened and not answer back since the manager was clearly unaware on how to conduct performance reviews, or give good feedback.
Scene 2: No, I don’t think the their relationship can be repaired until the manager takes intensive traning on leadership, communication, and performance management.
The HR practioner has a difficult task ahead since the manager seems to be oblivious to any wrong doing on his part.
April 10, 2013 at 9:06 pm #172540
Laura, I agree. While this manager did countless destructive/un-helpful things, the attitude that the performance management process was not useful or important is all too pervasive in the workforce. I think the attitude of “this [as in Performance Management] doesn’t really mean anything” can pervade the federal workforce and is viewed as “just more bureaucratic red-tape.” Unfortunately, that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If managers do not take the time to carefully set objectives, monitor and follow-up on those objectives, and tie ratings and awards to performance on those objectives, then employees are left to come up with their own guesses on what’s the most important and on what they need to do to get a good rating. If managers truly want to get their mission accomplished, they need to embrace and champion the performance management process.
April 22, 2013 at 7:55 pm #172538
Ina Odessa ShawParticipant
Scene 1 – the supervisor was not prepared and environment was not professional for the meeting. He was rude and was not accommodating the employee when she complained about the training was too long to complete during work. He could have accommodated her by reassigning the work until she completed the training, if deadlines were pressing. When she wanted to give her perspective on how to make it better he ignored her and kept on talking about what she was lacking. The meeting was one sided. The supervisor did not support the employee and would not provide adequate feedback for the employee to improve her performance. He only focused on issuing her a less than fully successful rating.
Scene 2 – HR gave constructive guidance to the supervisor but the supervisor failed to answer questions honestly..
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