When managers and employees discuss and document clear goals, they have a reference point they can both look back on when approaching virtual feedback and performance appraisal conversations. In this video, learn how to have conversations with employees virtually to agree on their goals.
- There are a few things to make sure you do in advance of the performance appraisal itself. And the first is to make sure you work with your employees to set clear goals. Now notice that this section is called work with your employees to set clear goals, not set clear goals for your employees. The best way to get buy-in from people is to make sure they have a say in what they're agreeing to. I like to think of goals in two aspects; the what, what they're supposed to accomplish, and the how, how they should accomplish it. For example, if your employee is a finance manager, one of her goals might be to oversee timely and accurate reporting every month, the what. And you'd like her to do that in a way that feels collaborative to the group, and educate them about the process, the how. Or how about your sales rep? He's supposed to close sales obviously. And do this by using the consistent process and pitch that the team has agreed on. Your company may care about values or other things, include all of it. The what and the how of goals, values, everything you're going to talk about during the performance review in your goal discussion way before the performance review itself. So there's no confusion. You get that clarity with a two way conversation. And even more so in several conversations throughout the year. That way you'll know that you and your employees are crystal clear on the goals. Also, when you have this dialogue virtually, you'll practice having meaningful conversations, even when separated by a screen. Goal setting is two for one. You set yourselves up for success for the performance review itself, and also build good dynamics of virtual conversations. So to start, ask your employees to think about what they think their goals should be for the year of the quarter, whatever is the timeframe. Some of your employees might be able to do that independently, and some might need more structure and guidance. Then set up some time to talk. Get into the good habits you'll need later when you have the performance review conversation. Schedule is one hour and have a buffer in case it goes over. Find a time and a place where you and they won't be disturbed. Use your video and invite them to do the same. Make sure you have a well lit spot for your video background and that your camera is at eye level. Then, simply listen to their thoughts about their goals and share your own ideas. You might need another meeting to come to an agreement. Once you agree on what they're going to accomplish in this period, write it down in the shared doc. So you can both refer to it as the year progresses. Make sure it's in a place that's easy to find and edit. And remember to use it. It can be easy to forget to look at your digital docs. Make it a tool that serves your employees, and will facilitate their self appraisal writing later. Clarifying goals upfront in a virtual discussion lays the groundwork for strong performance as well as holding performance discussion virtually once the time comes.