performance evaluationThe typical performance evaluation discussion is one-sided.  You talk and the employee listens.  As a result, everyone walks away from the encounter feeling disengaged and unempowered.

The annual performance evaluation conversation CAN be a very productive and positive experience if both parties fully engage in the conversation.  In fact, Painless Performance Evaluations are based on this important principle: The employee should talk more than the manager during a performance evaluation discussion.

To turn the tables and encourage employees to participate in the conversation, you must be armed with open-ended questions.  Here are a few that will get you started:

What did you think about the performance evaluation?  What surprised you about the evaluation?  

What pleased you most about the evaluation?  What accomplishments did you have this year that were not included in the evaluation?  What do you like most about your job?  What challenges you or frustrates you most about your job?  What could we do next year to make your job more challenging?  

What could we do next year to make your job less frustrating?  If you could do one thing to change your job, what would it be?  

How can I help you do your job better?

Before your next performance evaluation meeting with an employee, think about how you can involve them in the conversation.  Asking a few thought-provoking, open-ended questions might be the answer to getting them involved in the process.  It might be the first step to a more engaged and motivated employee.

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