Core components of an effective performance discussion

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To profit, a business must have efficient, affordable employees. To retain these employees, businesses must have effective performance discussions so as to set goals, mitigate laziness and introduce productive habits and policies. For every performance discussion, there are a few must-discuss items.

Inspect what you expect

Metrics can determine a lot: efficiency, customer acquisition ratio, core revenue impact, time needed, cost, quality of product or service and more. You set sales goals based on a gauge of your employees' skills, and now you must weekly determine whether the employee is adequately meeting those goals. Sometimes people need that carrot that leads them toward higher productivity. Steadily increasing their sales goals is that carrot.

Metric-based feedback

Now it is time to let your employee know what you have found. Base your comments on their performance. Some may need retraining on various topics and issues, and others only a few corrective measures. You should be distinct in your feedback; every employee differs, so they need comments and training programs tailored for them to lead them back into productivity or toward greater productivity. In the sales department, especially if your department does cold calls and customer interviews, you must coach each employee individually on how to deal with customers in their own way, so they are both genuine and sell the product.

Employee roadblocks

There will always be some issues with the company, and you must solve them. But before you can do so, you need to hear what those problems are, directly from your employees. When you have heard all the complaints, you ought to determine which are the most important so you can start fixing those first.

Some are simply not fixable; in these cases, you should try having employees see the problem in another way. Sometimes, something as simple as a reframing of the problem may have people think differently of it, and not mind it any longer.

Employees should not seek solutions themselves, because that reduces productivity. You play the part of the parent: Take care of the money, food, house and clothes, so your children can focus on getting As.

Engagement and performance

High levels of engagement made employees in a Gallup Organization study 22% more productive. Since increased productivity means greater revenue, your employees' engagement levels have a direct correlation to your money: the greater the engagement, the greater the gross revenue. Finding out an employee or two lacks engagement should not end in firing. Finding out the person's likes and dislikes to get the person to be engaged is a better road to go down.

Galileo, one of history's greatest scientists, said: "You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself." You cannot force your employees to be engaged. You can only use incentives and their likes and dislikes to get them to be engaged. Remember this the next time Kevin from accounting seems lackadaisical. There is no use in forcing the horse to drink.

Use these four points as pillars for your performance discussions, and they will be effective. When they are effective, your employees – especially the sales department – will be productive, and your business will rake in the revenue.

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