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Engagement Tip # 10 – Real Men Write It Down


Gallup’s survey question #11 states, “Within the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.” At first glance the statement seems easy enough to do. Just do an evaluation every six months, right? Here’s the rub. Tell me what your wife or child has done in the last six months. You see them every day, and you engage with them every day. The rub with most evaluations is the lack of concrete memory we have when the evaluator sits down to recap a six month period. Most of us remember only the high points and the low points and forget the daily incremental activities.

My solution has been to daily evaluate on paper, and then share the feedback weekly. The benefits of such an approach fit nicely with Gallup’s recommendations for increasing engagement.

  1. You notice more – Doing this daily increases your awareness of what really happens day to day and usually increases the employees’ awareness of your caring about their performance.

  2. You increase the opportunity to catch people doing something right.

  3. You decrease the probability of a small performance issue becoming a major problem.

  4. You increase the accuracy of any formal assessment.

  5. You decrease the anxiety which accompanies the term, “performance review.”

Here are three simple items I have supervisors (and employees) record each day. This takes about 1-2 minutes per employee.

  1. What went well today?

  2. What could be improved?

  3. What are insights today (what I learned for employee)?

Each week I have them sit down and go over for 10 minutes. This is a “Nothing major” meeting, just a conversation on progress. When done properly the end result is evaluations that have already been done, one week at a time. Gone are the anxiety and the subjectiveness of the semi-annual and annual review.

One tough supervisor responded to this plan by pushing back with, “You want me to keep a diary on each of my guys?”  I smiled and told him, REAL MEN WRITE IT DOWN.

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