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Flashcards in Ch. 9 - Interviewing Deck (37):
1

Ch. 9 - The Performance Interview:

- reviewing the performance it employees is very important for modern organizations
- today everyone has the same computers, technology and buildings, so the major difference in people are their creative contribution. my job is to attract, develop, empower, and retain the best minds and creative spirits that I can find.
- an important key to developing, empowering and retaining employees is the performance review.
- Michael Gordon and Vernon Miller said the despite the fact that the (the appraisal process) was created for good and valuable purposes, performance appraisal is the source of widespread dissatisfaction.
- many of its detractors have called for the elimination of the appraisal process. Gordon and Miller counter this argument by citing "serious literature that offers ample and persuasive evidence that performance appraisal is wroth the effort and is an indispensable management responsibility."
- it can be the most trying of management responsibilities
- the performance interview remains controversial

2

Ch. 9 - The Performance Interview:

- Gordon and Miller's key principle is the concept that the appraisal interview is a conversation about performance, what they refer to as the defining moment in the appraisal process.
- they also claim, however, that the interview remains the Achilles' heel of the performance process and the greatest source of dissatisfaction with the process.
- a major cause of this dissatisfaction is that few parties in performance interviews are trained in conducting or taking part in these critical conversations
- the interview is the key to the performance review.

3

Approaching the Interview as a Coaching Opportunity:

- a new vision for orgs with an emphasis on developing, empowering and retaining the best talent is coinciding with a new vision of the performance interview, or in the words of Gordon and Miller, "conversation about performance."
- Management consultant Garold Markle calls this vision "catalytic coaching"
- a comprehensive, integrated performance management system build on a paradigm of development. its purpose is to enable individuals to improve their production capabilities and rise to their potential, ultimately, causing orgs to generate better business results. it features clearly defined infrastructure, methodology and skill sets. it assigned responsibility for career development to employees and establishes the boss as developmental coach.
- catalytic coaching is future rather than past centered, places responsibility on employees rather than the supervisor and deals with salary indirectly.
- the supervisor is a coach rather than an evaluator. Markle declares that this approach spells the end of the performance review as we have known it.

4

Approaching the Interview as a Coaching Opportunity:
(continued)

- when we reviewed several performance review models designed to develop employees and enhance performance, the notion of coaching-effective communication in a nonjudgmental atmosphere-was the centerpiece of each
- former pro-football coach Don Shula and former pro-football player Ken Blanchard have developed a set of basic principles that appropriately spell out the word "coach"

- Conviction Driven: never compromise your beliefs
- Overlearning: practice until it's perfect
- Audible ready: respond predictably to performance
- Consistency of leadership: consistency in performance
- Honesty based: walk the talk

- they emphasize the importance of commitment to excellence, honesty, responsibility, and teamwork that result in effective interpersonal communication, a review that provides meaningful feedback, and an enhanced level of performance.
- the philosophy of coaching rather than judging performance has heightened the need for more frequent and improved performance interviews, discussions and development.
- frequent com. between supervisors and employees results in more favorable job-related performance ratings.
- Kenneth Wexley claims that if a manager provides coaching on an ongoing basis the appraisal interview becomes a review of issues that have already been discussed by the manager and employee in the past.

5

Approaching the Interview as a Coaching Opportunity:
(continued)

- organizations are conducting various forms of performance interviews on a more frequent basis and are connecting them closely to developmental and coaching plans.
- employees prefer a supportive climate that includes mutual trust, subordinate input, and a planning and review process. create a supportive climate that involves the interviewee.
- they want to be treated sensitively by a supportive, nonjudgmental interviewer. they want to contribute to each aspect of the review, get credit for their ideas, know what to expect during the interview, have the ability to do what is expected, receive regular feedback, and be rewarded for a job well done.
- above all, the employee must see "fairness" in the performance interview, and it's the nature of the communication that takes place during the appraisal interview that is especially critical in creating a sense of fairness about the process
- you can create a relaxed, positive and supportive climate by continually monitoring the employee's progress, offering psychological support in the forms of praise and encouragement, helping correct mistakes, and offering substantial feedback.
- base your review on performance, not on the individual. provide performance-related info and measure performance against specific standards agreed upon during the previous reviews.
- employees see supervisors as helpful, constructive, and willing to help them solve performance-related problems when these supervisors encourage them to express their ideas and feelings and to participate equally in performance review interviews.
- "too seldom" is a common complaint
- providing feedback on a regular basis can avoid formal, once-a-year tooth pulling reviews dreaded by both parties.
- evaluate poor performance immediately before damage to the organization and employee is irreparable. avoid surprises during the interview causes by withholding criticisms until the formal review session. conduct as many sessions as necessary to do the right job.

6

Preparing for the Performance Interview

- be careful of judging what you cannot measure
- training is essential for successful reviews. you must know how to create a genuine dialogue with the interviewee. be a good listener by not talking when the other wants to talk and by encouraging the employee to speak freely and openly. be an active listener by asking appropriate and tactful questions, not a passive listener who lets the other party talk with little guidance or support.
- avoid "why" questions that place the interviewee on the defensive bc they may intentionally or unintentionally communicate disapproval, disbelief or mistrust
- playing the role of evaluator reduce the two-way communication process and negatively effects your relationship.
- interviewees perceive interviewers who know how to handle performance-related information, assign goals, and give feedback to be equitable, accurate and clear during performance interviews, in other words to be credible.

7

Preparing for the Performance Interview:

Reviewing Rules, Laws, and Regulations

- there are no laws that address the performance review directly, but several EEO laws and guidelines pertain to the review process.
- you need to be keenly familiar with laws such as the following to avoid charges of unlawful practice during reviews: Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as emended, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 that forbid discrimination based on age, race, color, gender, religion, national origin, and physical or mental impairments.
- all elements of the employment process are covered by civil rights laws and EEO guidelines, including hiring, training, compensating, promoting, transferring and discharging.
- be careful of assessing traits such as honesty, integrity, appearance, initiative, leadership, attitude, and loyalty that are difficult to rate objectively and fairly.
- using unreliable and unvalidated performance appraisal systems may cause serious legal problems bc personal preferences, prejudices, and first impressions may lead to intentionally inflating or deflating performance ratings to get even, punish employees or promote them to another department.
- laws do not require performance reviews, but ones conducted must be standardized in form and administration, measure work performance, and be applied equally to all employees.
- scholars warn that communication btwn "superiors" and "inferiors" in the review process leads to ritual forms of address that are guided by commonly understood cultural and social stereotypes, traditional etiquette and gender-specific rules.
- if this is so, do not be surprised if you violate EEO laws and guidelines. The American workforce is increasingly older, and age discrimination is becoming the most prominent area of litigation even though older workers perform better than younger workers.
- all supervisors who conduct performance reviews must receive a detailed written guidelines and instructions and be trained in conducting all aspects of reviews, particularly the interview.
- they must follows these guidelines to the letter.
- have two or more staff review employees separately as cross-checks on accuracy and avoidance of bias
- be sure performance appraisals are reviewed with employees, making sure employees have the chance to offer suggestions and raise concerns before signing them. employees should have full access to all records pertaining to their work.
- age will play an ever-greater roles as baby boomers turn 50 and 60 in ever-greater numbers.

8

Selecting Review Model:

- theorists and orgs have developed performance review models to meet EEO laws and to conduct fair and objective performance-centered interviews applicable to different types of positions and orgs.
- their goals are to establish competencies, set goals and expectations, monitor performance, and provide meaningful feedback.

9

Review Model:

Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS) Model

- in the BARS model, skills essential to a specific position are identified trough a position analysis and standards are set, often with the aid of industrial engineers.
- typical jobs for which behaviors have been identified and standards set include telephone survey takers (at so many telephone calls per hour), meter readers for utility companies (at so many meters per hour), and data entry staff or programmers (at so many lines or entry per hour).
- job analysts identify specific skills and weigh their relative worth and usage. each job has specific measurable skills that eliminate game-playing or subjective interpretations by interviewers.
- employees report high levels of review satisfaction with the BARS model bc they feel they have greater impact on the process and see interviewers as supportive
- they know what skills they are expected to have, their relative worth to the org, and how their performance will be measured. however, not every job has measurable or easily identifiable skills, and arguments often arise over when, how, and by whom specific standards are set.
- Gordon and Miller have also discovered that raters distort the evaluation they make on subjective instruments in order to achieve goals other than providing an accurate assessment of the employee's performance (e.g., maintaining interpersonal relationships and group harmony)
- THE BARS model focuses on skills

10

Review Model:

Management by Objectives (MBO) Model

- the MBO model invovles a supervisor and an employee in a mutual (50-50) setting of results-oriented goals rather than activities to be performed.
- advocates for the MBO model contend that behaviorally based measures can account for more job complexity, be rated directly to what an employee does, and minimize factors the employee cannot control.
- this model is designed to be less role ambiguous and subjective than person-based measures by making clear which behaviors are required for a specific job. it facilitates performance feedback and goal setting by encouraging employer-employee discussions regarding strengths and weaknesses.
- the MBO model classifies all work in terms of four major elements: inputs, activities, outputs and feedback.
- inputs include equipment, tools, materials, money and staff needed to do work
- outputs are results, end products, dollars, reports prepared, or services rendered.
- feedback refers to subsequent supervisor reaction or lack of it to the output

11

Review Model:

Management by Objectives (MBO) Model
(continued)

- when you act as a performance review interviewer using a MBO model, follow these guidelines:
- always consider quality, quantity, time and cost. the more criteria you use, the greater the chances that the measurement will be accurate.
- state results in terms of rangers rather than absolutes. allow for freedom of movement and adjustment.
- keep the number of measurable objectives critical to performance to not more than size or eight, and set a mutual environment.
- try for trade-offs between mutually exclusive aims and measures. an objective that is too complex may be self-defeating. for example, attempts to reduce labor and decrease cost at the same time may create more problems than you solve.
- when the value of the performance is abstract, initiate practices that make it measurable.
- if you can't predict conditions on which performance success depends, use a floating or gliding goal that enables you to adapt to changing circumstances. unfortunately, the strengths of the MBO model, including its interactive nature and adaptability to complex positions, have led many orgs to abandon it bc of the large number of meetings required and the amount of documentation necessitated. Gordon and Miller write that unlike other models, it can't be standardize to facilitate comparisons across individuals or organization units.
- the MBO model focuses on goals.
- applies four criteria to each position: quality, quantity, time and cost.
- do not consider too many objectives.
- beware of setting complex objectives.

12

Review Model:

Universal Performance Interviewing Model

- William Cash developed the UPI and tested it in more than 40 organizations
- the model begins with four basic questions that can serve as guidelines for fairness and comparisons among employees. interviewers must be able to specify what is missing or not being done well so they can provide feedback to institute change.

1. What is not being done that should be?
2. What expectations are not being met at what standard?
3. Could the person do it if motivated?
4. Does the individual have the skills to perform as needed?

- narrow each problem to a coachable answer. for ex, maybe no one has emphasized that getting 100% of customers' numbers at the beginning of calls is critical bc the customer number drives the system and makes it easier to access billing and other info under that number.
- maybe the employee knows that customer's number by heart and intends to place it in the correct position on the screen after the customer hangs up. the observation judgement dilemma has always been a problem for performance reviewers.

13

Review Model:

Universal Performance Interviewing Model
(continued)

- the four questions in conjunction with six key words shown in the figure enable interviewers to make several observations about performance. this model can be employed with others (such as the 360-degree review process) or with separate observations by supervisors, peers and customers (internal and external) that can be compared to one another for consistency, trends, and rater reliability.
- the six key words are (1) keep, (2) stop, (3) start, (4) less, (5) more, and (6) now
- a sheet of paper with the four q's in columns can provide the bases for coaching sessions that take place weekly for production workers and monthly for professionals.
- a summary session may be done quarterly with an annual review to set goals for the coming year, review progress and look at developmental needs.
- once you have answered the four basic qs start on the model with keep, the first of the six words.
- when an employee is doing something well, make sure the person knows you appreciate a job well done. then go to stop, followed by start, less, more and finishing with a time frame for improving performance.
- the word now emphasizes the importance of making appropriate changes immediately. define now specifically in terms of weeks or perhaps months.

14

Review Model:

Universal Performance Interviewing Model
(continued)

- the UPI focuses on performance and work requirements.
- try to understand why performance is lagging.
- reviews must recognize excellence as well as problems
- play the role of coach that than evaluator or disciplinarian
- don't turn a mole hill problem into a mountain
- hint and suggest before correcting.
- the UPI enables you as a coach to start with positive behavior you wish the employees to maintain, followed by behaviors you wish corrected now. this begins the interview on a positive note. your stop list should be the shortest and reserved for behaviors that are qualitatively and procedurally incorrect, place an employee at risk, or are destructive to others in the workplace.
- you can present each of the four questions and the six words at different nonverbal and verbal levels, including hints, suggestions, and corrections. for ex., I want you to stop doing..., I want you to start doing...now, You must do more of..., You must do less of...
- Interviewers may spend too much time on the analytical end and too little time on a specific behavior to be altered and how.
- if you can't provide a specific alternative behavior, there is no need for a performance review.
- the purpose of every performance interview is to provide accurate feedback to the employe about what must be altered, changed or eliminated and when.
- most employees want to do a good job and the performance mentor or coach must provide direction for resolving the problem
- another part of the model, crucial in performance interviews, are the two Ss- Specific and Several
- performance interviews must not be a guessing game. the two Ss enable interviewers to provide specific examples to show the problem isn't a one-time incident but a trend.
- vague comments and suggestions may harm relationships and fail to improve performance.

15

Review Model:

The 360-Degree Approach

- this approach has gained widespread acceptance, particularly among fortune 500 companies
- it allows org members to receive feedback on their performance, usually anonymously, from all major constituencies they serve such as supervisors, peers, subordinates, subcontractors, customers and so on.
- each firm employs a somewhat unique 360 degree process, questionnaires and interview schedules, but we can describe the typical process
- an employee works with a supervisor to select a number of evaluators, such as a direct supervisor, staff at the same level as the employee, colleagues, and individuals from departments that the employee interacts with on a regular basis.
- this model requires a team and interpersonal skills. questionnaires covering skills, knowledge and style are sent to each of the evaluators.
- the completed questionnaires are summarize and in some cases scores are displayed on a spreadsheet.
- the manager selects individuals from the original group to serve as a panel to conduct a feedback interview.
- the interviewer/facilitator may take the raw data from the questionnaire and interview the evaluators.
- the employee receives the data in advance of the meeting. each participant comes with coaching or behavior change input. the purpose is not to attack or blame the employee but to provide objective, behavior-based feedback with suggestions where necessary for improvement.
- the employee may not need much improvement, so compliments are acceptable.

16

Review Model:

The 360-Degree Approach
(continued)

- the interviewer/facilitator may ask the employee to start the meeting with reactions to the data, then ask open questions with neutral probes.
- Tell me about your position in R&D; Tell me more; Explain it to me; Describe your frustrations with the consultant's training manual.
- If you were going to take on a similar project, what would you do more or less of?
- the 360 approach uses a group feedback interview
- employ open questions and probe into answers
- a plan for improvement is essential
- be aware of pluses and minuses of each review model
- once the feedback session is finished, both parties formulate a plan for improvement.
- the use of multi-source feedback for employee development works best in organizations that sue a goal-setting process from the top down.
- the 360 approach has a number of advantages. the questionnaires and interview provide objective data and feedback necessary for employee improvement and development bc this feedback emanates from multiple sources: supervisors, peers, subordinates, and customers. the employee not only has control over who gives feedback but is able to read, hear, and discuss the data that provides documentation for dealing with performance problems

17

Review Model:

The 360-Degree Approach
(continued)

- critics: although it is designed for employee development, it gets entangled with the appraisal process.
- multiple raters may increase the scope of info provided to the employee but not better information.
- anonymous ratings may be inaccurate, incompetent, and biased.
- quantitative and structured feedback on generic behaviors is easy to acquire, score and disseminate, but it may have a serious problem of accuracy, fairness and interpretations bc it is hard to control rater tendencies.
- involving persons in authority may taint the process and reduce its credibility.
- although most feedback reviews lead to improvement performance, 38% of effects are negative. they offer suggestions:
- use this system for development rather than decision-making purpose, help employees interpret and react to ratings, minimize the amount of info given to employees, don't have performance review team members evaluate employees in all areas, and use the 360 degree system on a regular basis rather than once or occasionally.
- different scores from raters, the involvement of raters that re untrained or inexperiences in areas they are rating, and the assumption that increasing the number of raters results in feedback quality.

18

Review Model:

The 360-Degree Approach
(continued)

- Garold Markle says that this model is extremely inefficient bc it is enormously time consuming on the part of both interviewer and interviewee and takes weeks or months in turnaround time.
- this delay may result in both parties forgetting what they had to say during the process.
- critics recognize it's strengths and weaknesses and recommend solutions to make it more effective and reliable
- use this model as a regular part of performance reviews and for decision making only. don't use this approach as the primary mechanism for delivering downward feedback.
- provide training and guidance for all raters, emphasizing objectivity in ratings to lessen bias and limit raters to their areas of expertise. don't assume that more raters equals quality feedback, and be careful of overloading employees with data.
- choosing the best model is important for the review process but the best model will fail if the performance interview isn't conducted skillfully and if neither part is dissatisfied with its nature and outcome.
- orgs often try one system after another and may adopt the system others are abandoning. the communication that takes place during the interview or interviews is critical in every system.

19

Conducting the Performance Interview

- study the employee's past record and recent performance reviews. review their self-evaluation
- understand the nature of their position and work. pay attention to the fit btwn the employee, the position, the org, etc.
- identify in advance the primary purpose of the interview, especially if it is one of several with an employee. prepare key q's and forms you will use pertaining to measurable goals
- know yourself and the employee as a person. from an appraisal perspective, you may see the interview as required and scheduled by the org, superior-conducted and directed, top-down controlled, results-based, past-oriented, concerned with what rather than how, and organizationally satisfying.
- by contrast, from the developmental perspective, the interview is initiated by individuals whenever needed, subordinate conducted and directed, bottom-up controlled, skill-based, now and future oriented, concerned with HOW, cooperative, and self-satisfying.
- select a developmental approach, Markle's "catalytic coaching" rather than an appraisal approach.
- understand the relationship that exists btwn you and the employee. research reveals that two or more reviewers often evaluate the same employee different bc their relationships differ
- schedule the interview several days in advance so that both parties can prepare thoroughly. prepare a possible action plan to be implemented following the interview.
- relationship influences both parties and the nature of the interview.
- select and understand the perspective of the interview.

20

Opening the Interview

- put the interviewee as ease with a pleasant and friendly greeting
- get the person seated in an arrangement that is nonthreatening and not superior-subordinate.
- fear of what performance interviews might yield interferes with communication btwn the parties and keeps the review process from achieving full potential
- establish rapport by supporting the employee and engaging in a few minutes of small talk. orient the employee by giving a brief outline of how you want the interview to proceed.
- if there is something the employee wants to talk about first, do it. an alteration of your interview plan is worth the improved communication climate.
- encourage them to ask questions, bring up topics, and participate actively throughout the interview.
- be prepared by flexible in the opening.

21

Discussing Performance:

- use all of your listening skills
- feedback is central in performance interviews
- communication skills are essential to successful performance interviews
- be aware of your own NV cues and observe the interviewee's NV cues
- it is not so much WHAT is said but HOW it is said
- listen carefully and adapt your listening approach to the changing needs of the interview, listening for comprehensions when you need to understand, listening for evaluation when you must appraise, with empathy when you must show sensitivity or understanding and for resolution when developing courses of action to enhance performance.
- be an active listener is good advice and common sense; but interviewers must know WHY they are listening actively: motives may include a desire to exhibit efficient appraisal behavior, to show a concern for the interviewee's well-being, or to collect evidence that may be used for or against the subordinate at a later date.
- the first two are positive, but the third may be detrimental to the interview and future interactions.
- maintain an atmosphere that ensures two way communication beyond level 1 by being sensitive, providing feedback and positive reinforcement, reflecting feelings, and exchanging information.
- feedback may be your most important skill. use a team of interviewers rather than a single interviewer. research shows that the panel approach produces higher judgement validation, better developmental action planning, greater compliance with EEO laws, more realistic promotion expectations, and reduced perception of favoritism

22

Discussing Performance:
(continued)

- make the discussion full and open btwn both parties with the goal of improving individual and org performance.
- keys to success are your abilities to communication info effectively and encourage an open dialogue.
- strive to be a coach in career management and development.
- discuss the interviewee's total performance, not just one event. begin with areas of excellence so you can focus on the persons strengths. strive for an objective, positive integration of work and results. cover standards that are met and encourage the interviewee to identify strengths. communication factual, performance related info and give specific examples.
- excessive praise or criticism can create anxiety or distrust. employees expect and desire to discuss their weaknesses.
- an employee that receives no negative feedback or suggestions of ways to improve will not know which behavior to change. discuss needed improvements in terms of specific behaviors in a constructive, nondirective, problem-solving manner.
- employees are likely to know what they are not doing, but unlikely to know what they should be doing. let the employee provide input.

23

Discussing Performance:
(continued)

- probe tactfully and sensitively for causes of problems. on the other hand, don't heap criticism upon employees. the more you point out shortcomings, the more threatening, anxious and defensive the employee will be.
- as the perceived threat grows, so will the person's attitude towards you and the review process. it is often not what is intended that counts but what the other party believes is intended.
- Terry Lowe identifies seven ways to ruin the performance interview:

1. the halo effect occurs when you give favorable ratings to all duties when the interviewee excels in only one.
2. the pitchfork effect leads to negative ratings for all facets of performance bc of a particular trait you dislike in others.
3. the central tendency causes you to refrain from assigning extreme ratings to facets of performance.
4. the recency error occurs when you rely too heavily on the most recent events or performance levels. the length of service of an interviewee may lead you to assume that present performance is high because past-performance was high.
5. the loose rater is reluctant to point out weak areas and dwells on the average or better areas of performance.
6. the tight rater believes that no one can perform at the necessary standards
7. the competitive raters believe no one can performance higher than their levels of performance.

- summarize the performance discussion and make sure the employee has enough chance to ask qs and make comments before establishing goals. use reflective probes and mirror qs to verify info received and feedback given. use clearinghouse qs to be sure the employee has no further qs or concerns.
- develop a true dialogue with the interviewee
- strive for a balance between criticism and praise.
- use questions to gain and verify info

24

Setting New Goals and a Plan of Action

- focus on the future and not the past
- goal setting is the key to successful performance reviews and should constitute 75% of the interview.
- focus on future performance and career development. although it's important to evaluate on the basis of past performance, it is just as important to anticipate future growth, set goals and establish career paths
- review previous goals before setting new ones bc both parties must be able to determine when goals have been met and why
- make goals few in number, specific and well-defined rather than ambiguous, practical, neither too easy nor too difficult, and measurable.
- avoid either or statements, demands and ultimatums
- combining feedback and employee suggestions with clear goals setting-while avoiding intentional or unintentional impositions of goals-produces the highest level of employee satisfaction. decide upon follow-up procedures with employee and how goals will be implemented
- the interviewee must be an active participant

25

Closing the Interview

- close with the perception that the interview has been valuable to both parties.
- don't rush it
- be sure the interviewee understands all that has transpired. conclude on a note of trust and open communication
- end with feelings that this has been an important session for the interviewee, interviewer, and org.
- if you have filled out a required form sign off on the agreements. if organizational policy allows, permit interviewees to put notes by items they feel strongly about
- provide a copy of the signed from as a record of the plan for the coming performance period.

26

The Employee in the Performance Interview

- do a self evaluation before the interview, approach interview with a positive attitude, and avoid unnecessary defensiveness
- keep a completed, detailed accurate and verifiable record(s) of your career activities, initiatives, accomplishments, successes and problem areas.
- make a list of goals set during the last performance interview. keep letters and emails that contain positive and unsolicited comments from supervisors, co-workers, subordinates, clients, customers, and management.
- analyze strengths and weaknesses and be prepared for corrective actions with ideas to improve on your own. self criticism may soften criticism from others.
- at least half of the responsibility for making the performance interview successful rests with you.
- approach interview as a valuable source of info on prospects for advancement, a change to get meaningful feedback ab how the org views your performance and future, and an chance to display strengths and accomplishments.
- be ready to give concrete examples of how you have met or exceeded expectations. prepare intelligent, well-thought-out questions. be ready to discuss career goals.

27

The Employee in the Performance Interview
(continued)

- maintain a productive and positive relationship with interviewer and don't become defensive unless their is something to be defensive about.
- if the interviewer put you on the defensive, maintain direct eye contact and clarify the facts before answering charges. ask "how did this info come to your attention? what are the exact production figures for the third quarter?
- this gives you tie to formulate thorough and reasonable responses based on complete understanding of the situation.
- answer all q's thoroughly, ask for clarification of q's you don't understand, offer explanations-not excuses.
- asses your performance and abilities reasonably, with honesty to yourself and supervisor.
- realize what what you are, what you think you are, what others think you are, and what you would like to be may describe different people.
- performance interview is not the time to be shy or self-effacing. mention achievements such as special or extra projects, help you have given fellow employees, and community involvement on behalf of the org.
- be honest about challenges, or problems you expect to encounter in future
- correct any false impressions or mistaken assumptions and don't be afraid to ask for help
- if you're confronted w/ a serious problem, discover how much time their is to solve it. suggest or request ways to solve your differences asap
- the interviewer is not out to humiliate you, but to help you grown for you own sake and that of the org.
- keep your cool, telling off the supervisor may you give a brief feeling of satisfaction but will make the problem worse.
- don't try to improve everything at once. set priorities with both short and long range goals.
- during the closing, summarize and restate problems, solutions new goals, etc. in your own words. be sure you understand all that has taken place and the agreements for the next review period. be sure the rewards fit your performance. close on a positive note with a determination to meet new goals.
- a good offense is better than a good defense. leave your temper at the door.

28

The Performance Problem Interview

- when an employer has problems with an employee, the situation may range from excessive absences, failure to follow rules/procedures, and insubordination with supervisors to actions that threaten the well-being of fellow employees and supervisors, the org, or customers/clients.
- the current practice is to handle all but extreme cases as a performance problem that requires coaching and to avoid the use of the term discipline that implies guilt.
- in many states, employers must show that there's just cause for disciplining or terminating employees.

29

The Performance Problem Interview:

Determine Just Cause

- just cause means a legally sufficient reason for action that a litigant can provide in court to the satisfaction of a judge.
- when it pertains to employment, just cause mans that an employer must have a sufficient justification for disciplining an employee to improve performance (rather than as punishment) or to terminate employment bc of misconduct irreconcilable or inconsistent with the contract of employment.
- the opposite of just cause is "at will" which means that either party may terminate the employment relationship at any time for any reason.
- in 1966 Carol Daugherty developed seven tests for Just Cause to be used in grievance arbitration between union workers and their employers. they have since become the standard criteria employed in both union and non-union discipline and termination actions. the following seven tests or criteria for just cause serve as a guide when conducting performance problem interviews.

30

The Performance Problem Interview:

Determine Just Cause
(continued)

1. what the employee given clear and unambiguous warning of possible disciplinary consequences for failure to follow a rule or directive? - follow an oral warning with a written warning within a short time.
2. what the rule or directive responsibility related to the orderly, efficient and safe operation of the org? - this rule or directive my be applied routinely and equally to all similar employees.
3. before taking action, what the alleged incident investigated timely to determine if the employee had in fact disobeyed a rule or directive? - timely usually means that an investigation occurred within 1-3 days.
4. was the investigation conducted fairly, objectively, and in an impartial manner? - did the employer interview all parties invovled and obtain all necessary proof and documentation?
5. what adequate evidence and documentation fathered to prove that a violation of a rule or directive had occurred? - write down the problem in detail and obtain necessary proof and records before arranging for a performance problem interview
6. were all employees determined to be in violated of a rule or directive given equal treatment? - each org. investigation of a performance problem must be conducted in exactly the same manner with no evidence of discrimination
7. is the penalty applied reasonably related to the seriousness of the problem and the employees total performance record? - penalties must be appropriate for the performance problem and progressive rather than regressive in nature.

- treat all employees fairly & equally, and the punishment must fit the infraction.

31

The Performance Problem Interview:

Prepare for the Interview:

- practice before doing the real thing. be prepared for common reactions and responses.
- take part in realistic role playing, the rehearsal can lessen anxiety and help you anticipate your role, employee's reactions, questions and rebuttals
- the variety of situations and interviewees encountered can help you refine your case making, questioning and responding.
- four common responses from employees that occurred in 93% of incidents:
1. Apparent Compliance: over politeness and deferences, apologies, promises or statements of good intentions
2. Relational Leverage: statements that they have been with the org longer than the interviewer and therefore know better, that they are the best and you can't fire or replace them or discipline them, reference to friends or relatives within the org, or reference to your close relationship to them.
3. Alibis: claims of tiredness, sickness, being overworked, budget cuts, family issues, it's someone else's fault, or poor instructions or info
4. Avoidance: disappearing on sick leave or vacation, failure to respond to memos or phone calls, or failure to make an appointment.

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The Performance Problem Interview:

Prepare for the Interview:
(continued)

- review how you know the employee has committed an infraction that warrants an interview. did you see the infraction directly, as in the case of absenteeism, poor workmanship, intoxication, harassing, or insubordination?
- supervisors tend to be lenient with persons they perceive as likable, similar to themselves, or possessing high status or exceptional talent. supervisors may avoid confronting a person if they know that person will "explode" if confronted. not confronting is the easy way out.
- next, decide whether the perceived problem warrants a review. absenteeism and low performance are generally considered more serious than tardiness and horseplay. determines the cause of the infraction bc this will affect how you conduct the interview and what action to take.
- review the employee's past performance and history. two basic reasons for action are poor performance or a troubled employee. when someone's performance gradually or suddenly declines, the cause may be motivational, personal, work-related, or supervisory.
- drops in performance may be indicated by swings in the employee's behavior. keep an eye on performance indicators such as attendance, quality/quantity of work, willingness to take instruction and cooperation.
- could have alcohol or drug dependency, marriage issues, child issues, depression, other emotional issues
- often neither party wants to take part and you may have delayed the interview until there's no other resource and issues have piled up.
- relational dimensions are critical in performance problem interviews.

33

The Performance Problem Interview:

Keep Self and Situation under Control

- don't conduct a PPI when you are angry
- you won't be able to control the interview if you can't control yourself. trust, cooperation, and disclosure are difficult to attain in a threatening environment.
- when one or both parties may have a hard time containing their anger or animosity, follow these suggestions:
- hold the interview in a private location. meet where you and the employee can discuss the problem freely and openly.
- whenever severe issues arise, consider delaying a confrontation and obtaining assistance. let tempers cool down. you may want to consult a counselor or call security before acting.
- include a witness. the witness should be another supervisor bc using one employee as a witness against another employee is dangerous for all parties invovled. follow the latter all procedures spelled out in the union contract and organizational policies.

34

The Performance Problem Interview:

Focus on the Problem

- deal in specific facts, such as absences, witnesses, departmental records, and pervious disciplinary actions
- don't allow the situation to become a tradition contest: "well look at all the times I have been on time" "how come others get away with it?"
- record all available facts. unions, EEOC and attorneys often require complete and accurate records. take detailed notes, record the time and date on all material that might be used later and obtain the interviewee's signature or initials for legal protection. establish a paper trail.
- don't be accusatory, avoid words and statements such as troublemaker, drunk, thief and liar. you can't make medical diagnosis so avoid medical terms.
- practice remarks carefully. begin comments with phrases such as according to your attendance report, as I understand it....I have observed, these force you to be factual and avoid accusing an employe of being guilty until proven innocent.
- ask qs that enable the employe to express feelings and explain behavior. begin qs with "tell me what happened..." "when he said that, what were you feeling...what did you..." "why do you feel that..." open ended questions allow you to get facts, feelings and explanations from employees.

35

The Performance Problem Interview:

Avoid Conclusions during the Interview

- a hastily drawn conclusion may create more problems than it solves.
- some orgs train supervisors to use standard statements under particular circumstances. if you are sending an employee off the job you may say: I don't believe you are in a condition to work, so I am sending you home. Report to me tomorrow at..."
- I want you to got o medical services and have a test made, bring me the slip when you come in tomorrow. I am sending you off the job call me tomorrow morning at nine an we can discuss what action I will take. etc.
- such statements give you time to talk to others, think about possible actions, and provide a cooling off period for all concerned.
- make sure you are slow to draw conclusions.

36

The Performance Problem Interview:

Closing the Interview

- conclude the interview in neutral. if discipline is necessary, do it. realize that delaying action may enable you to think more clearly about the incident.
- be consistent with organization policies, the union contract, and all employees.
- refer to orgs prescribed disciplinary actions for specific offenses.

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SUMMARY

- review an employee's performance on the basis of standards mutually agreed upon ahead of time.
- apply the same objectives equally to all employees performing a specific position
- research and good sense dictate that performance, promotion and problem issues are discussed in separate interview sessions.
- performance review interviews occur at least semiannually, while promotion, salary and performance problem interviews usually take place when needed.
- deal with performance problems before they disrupt the employee's work or association with your organization
- select a performance review model most appropriate for your org, employees and positions.
- for both employer and employee, flexibility and open-mindedness are important keys in successful performance review interview.
- flexibility should be tempered with understanding and tolerance of individual differences.
- the performance process must be ongoing, with no particular beginning or end. supervisors and subordinates are constantly judged by the ppl around them.
- by gaining insights into their own behavior and how it affects others, both parties can become better ppl and organization members.