1. Describe your process for conducting a performance interview.
[Answer] In the ideal case I would keep notes on each employee throughout the year. When the time comes to write the annual review I then have the notes to draw from in the writing of the review.
2. How do you ensure that your performance interviews are unbiased?
[Answer] I try to focus on the issue/facts and not the person.
3. How often do you give perfect scores on the interviews?
[Answer] I do not give perfect scores on reviews. We all have weaknesses and have room for growth and improvement. I will give perfect scores in specific areas that merit such a score but not a perfect conglomerate.
4. How do you determine an employee’s performance? Do you have a certain scale or rubric you use?
[Answer] We have work instructions for our department. We also have a chart that outlines each employee’s roles and responsibilities. In our industry an indolent employee’s performance will boil to the surface quickly. The company also has a code of conduct that is reviewed by each employee following that review a document is signed stating that they received the required training.
5. How do you determine the criteria for the scale or rubric? If you don’t create your own, who does?
[Answer] For the company the code of conduct is crafted in conjunction with HR and the residing corporate officers. For our department it is based on managerial judgement.
6. Do you use the same scale or rubric for all employees, or is it tailored to different roles and responsibilities?
[Answer] We would expect all employees to be to work on time, take only the allotted time for lunch and do their personal best in executing daily tasks. However; we cannot expect the engineering performance from those among us who are not trained in that discipline. So it is tailored to different roles and responsibilities.
7. Aside from interviewing the employee, do you do things like observe the employee or ask other employees to weigh in on the appraisal?
[Answer] The only time I would ask for input is when there is a problem child among us. We work hard to not hire those who would not integrate well with our group. We attempt to stem this by allowing other employees to interview the candidate in a group setting of two or three people.
8. Do your employees have specific goals to achieve that determine the outcome of their reviews?
[Answer] Specific goals have been established as a department where all employees in our department are expected to meet the established timing. Some of these things would be:
Releasing design change documents to the plants in a timely manner.
Getting quotations completed in the specified time.
Addressing OEM concerns in a professional manner.
9. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from doing performance interviews?
[Answer] Let the facts speak for themselves.
10. How often do you prefer to conduct performance interviews, and why?
[Answer] Annually (because they can consume precious time). These can be a double edged sword. Reviews are good because is causes you to better understand where each employee’s ability lies and so see current limitations. This requires time that could be spent otherwise. However, in not addressing those limitations the company would therefore be hobbled in its ability to deliver required/necessary services.
11. How would the ideal performance interview go?
[Answer] Discuss the employee’s performance. Have the employee acknowledge anything that has been pointed out and set goals based on that discussion. In this way each employee can increase in their ability to confidently execute their assignments. This in turn helps the company to perform better.
It’s definitely interesting as I compare and contrast class learning in comparison to the interviews I’m doing with leaders outside of Nursing. Not that leaders in other businesses don’t care, but it seems to me that nursing leaders are more caring? It just so happens that I’m interviewing an engineering leader and his answers seem more upfront and blunt. But, I think that’s because the mindset of an engineer is constructed and logic based so, the leadership style tends to reflect that. However, I did really enjoy what he said about allowing others to have input into the evaluations.
Something that I do with my older brother a lot is play games. This ranges from video games to board games and anything in between. It just so happens that he majored in computer science with an emphasis in game design. So, this is what we do. But, a commonly used strategy employed by many is the strategy of ‘king making.’ When a player realizes they can’t win the game early on but realizes that they can create an ideal scenario for someone else to win, who they might know and like, they make the rest of their remaining moves, decisions, and choices based off of what we’ll propel that individual to win. Now, if this happens in games why shouldn’t we assume that this could happen in real life?
I think that it does happen. I think that there are so many people out there playing king maker that it’s outrageous. It’s not a bad strategy as both parties will benefit. Even if you’re not the one at the forefront the person you put there will recognize what you did and you tend to benefit as well. In the case with the games we play as a family my wife gives me a big kiss and hug because I put her through the finish line first. In the case of government, lobbyist get tax exemptions and are allowed to continue in their unchecked ways. In the case of an organization king makers are promoted to middle management positions because managers realize what they’ve done.
So, as the engineering leader, Clark, said, “Let the facts speak for themselves.” The more you incorporate into an evaluations the more biased it becomes. You remove the king maker’s allies and all you see are the cold hard facts. Of course it’s great to have team input, but just like medicine, no news is good news. If, people aren’t actively complaining about the employee to management and all the work is getting done then one can safely say that the employee is doing the right thing.
Once again principles from gaming are applicable in the real world. BOOM!