As for implementing a performance evaluation strategy that works, Russell advises IT managers to do the following:
- Set clear expectations on what you think qualifies as great performance, even if not all expectations are quantifiable.
- Determine and articulate the mechanisms for performance feedback, both formal and informal.
- Give feedback promptly. Great performance deserves recognition right away so employees are encouraged to do more, while poor performance warrants coaching and discussion so workers know they need to get better.
- Be precise and direct. Use examples of what went well and what didn't rather than giving ambiguous analysis.
- Be constructive. Russell advises: "Beyond just saying, 'This isn't what I wanted,' say 'This is what I would have wanted you to do instead.'"
- Deliver feedback face to face when possible, Russell adds, "so you can have a relationship-building performance-management conversation."
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