To be an effective manager of people, you need to be able to communicate your goals, expectations, and criticisms in a manner that is equally authoritative and personal, without coming across as threatening or
demeaning. A facilities manager who understands their people and has confidence in their processes will be able to assess the ability of their staff, whereas an unprepared manager becomes reactionary and will tend to make sharper criticisms, often based more on emotion than logic.
Therefore, when it comes time for the quarterly, semi-annual, or annual review, it is critical that a FM approaches this process with a plan in place to effectively show areas of improvement as well as recognize successes and positive attributes. Here are some tips and techniques for maximizing your effectiveness in the review process.
Choose Your Words Carefully
“To be more helpful, try to use words that offer up specific, measurable assessments of each employee’s on-the-job successes and failures.” -HCareers.com
Sometimes, the key to a successful meeting with an employee all lies in how you say it as much as what is said. Instead of simply stating that someone is doing an excellent job or is great, make the comments more specific. What is it, in particular, that is so great? Choose language that denotes specifics; manages, possesses, directs, and achieves can be applied to certain traits or activities seen from an employee. Positive language, such as dependable, personable, dedicated or attention to detail can also show specific praise. “In most cases, the discussion of the positive components of the employee’s performance should take up more time than that of the negative components.“ Equally, problem areas can be highlighted, without sounding attacking. By pointing out specifics, a manager also shows that they are paying attention to the work being done and exemplifies the interpersonal connection you and your staff should be building.
What Do You Think?
Although the managers are leading the review process, i t is especially important for the employees to feel as if they are invested in the process, as well. It is advised to have employees give their impressions of their performance and feedback on criticisms. Make this a conversation in which the employee leads much of the discussion. As a reviewer, this can often give great insight as to how the employees see themselves in the workplace. This method of informative critiques also gives the employee an opportunity to express their thoughts and embrace the overall positives and negatives as stepping-stones towards more effective work practices.
Focus on areas such as quality and quantity of work, ethics, attitude, creativity, communication and planning, and overall growth for the review process. Make sure that you are guiding your employees towards success. You can’t simply give criticisms without some amount of advice or a plan of action for rectifying the problems. After all, your success as a facilities manager, or any type of manager, is reflected in the successes of your employees.
Reviews Can Be Fluid and Ongoing
Although there are usually set times for when the official review(s) take place, there is no reason your facilities team can’t be informed of their progress on a regular basis. Informal reviews can be extremely effective for redirecting a wayward employee or helping to invigorate the attitudes of the team. A directed positive comment can really make the difference for helping an employee feel that the work they are doing is meaningful and helpful to the overall process. And, for any problem areas, it is much easier to nip a problem in the bud, as opposed to trying to undo months of mistakes or underwhelming performance.
No Surprise Attacks
As stated in the beginning, clearly defining the goals and expectations of your employees is key to successful managing. Reviews are always good for reflecting on the processes of the workplace, but goals and expectations are what set the course for the staff going forward. And when the review process comes around, it is much easier to make connections to what was expected and what was actually accomplished.
It is also helpful to inform your staff of the tools and matrices being used to judge their performance. Make the rubric or review paperwork available for your employees to see, so they know exactly what they are being asked to do. Prepare your team for success and celebrate their victories during the reviews.
Although employee reviews are usually never at the top of anyone’s list to perform, they are necessary and vital to the success of your organization. Change your outlook to one of positive conversation for the purpose of maximizing the team’s success. Even negatives can be looked upon as advice mores than criticism, if properly conveyed. Make the necessary adjustments now to energize your next review process. For more information on how to get the most out of your FM team, download our e-book, 6 Steps to Build an Effective Facilities Management Team.