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Make a Difference with Performance Reviews

by Bob Urichuck

When you conduct performance reviews, you have the opportunity to make a difference. That difference relates to your team members and their desires, which in turn translates to reaching corporate objectives. Allow me to explain.

The bottom line is a result of your employee’s ongoing behaviors. Those behaviors are effectively demonstrated via a self-motivated individual who has personal desires or goals. Alternatively, without personal desires or goals, an individual will not demonstrate the appropriate behaviors if they are not motivated to do so.

The best way to get appropriate behaviors demonstrated effectively is to make the performance review more personal in relationship to each individual’s desires, dreams or personal objectives, not the corporate objectives you expect them to meet.

One of the biggest problems in the corporate world today is that leaders at all levels of the organization teach team members about performance objectives, but not personal objectives. How can I meet corporate objectives if I don’t have or meet personal objectives?

How can I give you something if I do not have it inside to give away?

When you meet with individual team members, set the corporate goals or performance aside. Lead the discussion to be about them. What do they want out of life, outside of their career? Get to know their lifestyle dreams–for family, education, travel, cars, home, hobbies, etc.

From that discussion, ask them how they plan to realize their lifestyle dreams, beyond career desires, and how you can be of assistance to them. Recognize their values and strengths at this point and, if anything, build their self-esteem and encourage them to make their dreams a reality.

By doing this exercise, you are helping team members understand their internal motivation and why they are going to work. Compared to external motivation like money, which is never lasting, internal motivation is everlasting and the strongest of all motivation.

Now that you know where your team members want to go, how they are going to do it and how you can be of help, do you think they will be more motivated to assist you in reaching the corporate goals?

If you take care of your people, your people will take care of your bottom line. 

Next, you can introduce the corporate objectives and ask how your team members can contribute towards their accomplishment. Once again, recognize their individual values and strengths, and align the objectives in that direction.

This is also a good time to discuss what rewards, or consequences, would be involved for doing what they say they will do, or not do. In other words, you are looking for them to identify appropriate behaviors that should be rewarded, and/or penalized, if they are not conducted. This would apply to both personal and corporate objectives.

Keep in mind that people go to work to make money. However, it is not actually money—it is the lifestyle dream they have deep down inside. When you know where you want to go, you become more excited and motivated to go to work.

Work is nothing but a stepping stone to help you get where you want to go.

Your job is to help your team members realize their internal motivation for themselves—why they are going to work and where each day brings them closer to the realization of one of their personal, internal dreams. And that realization is the foundation to permanent self-motivation.

Be different and make a difference when conducting performance reviews.

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