Why performance reviews are difficult conversations Performance appraisal can be a difficult conversation to have if relaying corrective feedback due to poor performance



Core Skills of Engagement

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The first step in building skills of engagement is to be fully engaged. It’s a vital step to determine employee engagement. Utilizing a performance appraisal system can be a crucial tool for not only the employee but most importantly documented for the employer. Performance appraisal also referred to as performance reviews or performance evaluations is a part of the managerial function where a formal assessment of the employee’s work is conducted. Performance appraisals aim at identifying the core strengths and weaknesses to be provided as feedback to employees and pinpoint ways of improvement moving forward. Typically, after the provided feedback is presented to employees goals for future performance can be set. Performance appraisals are carried out as frequently as possible or after specified periods for example annually, quarterly, monthly, weekly or when management sees fit.

Why performance reviews are difficult conversations

Performance appraisal can be a difficult conversation to have if relaying corrective feedback due to poor performance. Performance appraisals are a core part of making decisions regarding employees and can lead to discontent and worry about the safety of their future at the company. After an evaluation has been made, the performance appraisal conversation may be held to give positive feedback on excellent performance which is easy to do as there are no bad feelings in the end. Having a conversation with a poorly performing employee is more difficult as it involves criticizing the employee’s work ethic. The managers in such situations must employ top managerial and communications skills to positively criticize the employee and motivate or guide him on ways to improve his performance in his duties and responsibilities (Kondrasuk, 2011).

Introducing performance reviews

One of the cores skills needed to handle performance reviews is communication skills. A manager should be able to hold a real conversation with intentions of motivating employees to work on improving weak areas. A manager should be able to listen actively and identify any underlying issues that affect employees and work with them to solve any foreseen issues. Another skill that is required for performance reviews would be relationship building skills. A manager should have the ability to build a working relationship with employees in which they can guide and motivate employees to improve performance. Managerial skills are also required to acquire favorable outcomes from performance reviews. The manager should implement his skills to handle conflicts, resistance or own motivation to make improvements by the employees (Jha, 2016).

Three (3) core skills used and rationale for each

As stated in the text, the core skills of engagement are: telling the truth, self-disclosure, framing choices, extending goodwill, taking and supporting the other side, naming difficult issues, acknowledging doubt, anxiety, and guilt, and making promises and offering guarantees (Block, 2011). The three chosen core skills of engagement are telling the truth, naming difficult issues, and making promises and offering guarantees. The named cores skills will be implemented as stated through communication, relationship building and managerial skills.

Please expound a little bit more within the three listed below ensuring they provide explanation of the three and rationale for utilizing the three

Telling the truth. Managers can easily introduce performance reviews by telling the truth. In this case, the manager is honest to the employee about the results of the performance review which may also include disclosing the position of the company on how he is performing. Telling the truth may be trying for the relationship between the employer and employee, but it will be useful in bringing out desired outcomes of the performance review.

Naming difficult issues. Managers can also introduce the performance review by naming the difficult issues present for each situation. Conflicts and unresolved resistance within the organization can be harmful to the organization as it drains the employee’s energy, relationships and motivation to improve their performance. The managers should, therefore, be prepared to directly address the problematic issues that the organization is facing and guide the members on finding and implementing practical solutions.

Making promises and offering guarantees. Managers can also introduce the performance review with added benefits such as making promises and offering guarantees. After the evaluation is complete, the employer can be motivated to improve on weak areas by providing opportunities to look forward to if the performance improves. The manager can also make guarantees to the employee such as ensuring that job position will not be taken away to help the employee focus on improvement and not worry about losing the job (Block, 2011).



Block, P. (2011). Flawless consulting: A guide to getting your expertise used (3rd Ed.). San Francisco: Pfeiffer-Wiley

Jha, B., & Kumar, A. (2016). Employee engagement: A strategic tool to enhance performance. DAWN: Journal for Contemporary Research in Management3(2), 21-29.

Kondrasuk, J. N. (2011). So what would an ideal performance appraisal look like?. Journal of Applied Business and Economics12(1), 57-71.


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