Keeping Your Employee Engaged

A positive, productive performance review will be more effective when you, the supervisor, have laid the groundwork of trust that shows you want the employee to succeed, that you value them, and you will assist them in their development.

Do Four Things Consistently

Provide Clear Expectations

Ensure that staff know what is expected; they are clear what “commendable” performance is in their position and have regular opportunities to discuss and reflect with you.

Provide Regular Feedback and Coaching

Schedule periodic opportunities to provide feedback to your employees.  The Center for Creative Leadership’s SBI Model (Feedback in Performance Reviews, E. Wayne Hart, 2011) is an effective way to give positive and corrective feedback in the form of situation, behavior, and impact. Here are some examples of that model in action:

Supervisory Message - Continue that Action

“Chris, at the end of the team meeting this morning (situation), you gave a summary of the key action steps we had discussed (behavior). I was really glad you did that (impact on me), and it seemed to bring a good sense of closure to the meeting (impact on the process).” (Instead of “Chris, you were really effective in the team meeting today.”) (Feedback in Performance Reviews, E. Wayne Hart, 2011)

Supervisory Message - Change that Action

“Pat, during our conference call yesterday afternoon (situation), I noticed that you interrupted others and me on several occasions (behavior). I felt frustrated at times (impact on me), and I noticed that the others started arguing and cutting each other off (impact on others).” (Instead of “Pat, you were really rude yesterday.”) (Feedback in Performance Reviews, E. Wayne Hart, 2011)

Use Effective Recognition - Get to Know What Motivates Each Person.

Ask these questions during a feedback meeting/discussion:

How do you like to be recognized for your efforts?
Answers vary a great deal and may include: a personal note, a public statement at a meeting or on an intranet, notify the department head, a note in personnel file, time to attend training, opportunities to learn new skills, etc.

What do you like to be recognized for?
This answer will assist you in the future and may include: problem solving, going beyond job duties, volunteering to help the team, creativity, longevity, productivity, assisting the team with conflict, etc. Knowing what is important to an employee affords you the opportunity to place that person in situations where they can excel, and then you can show appreciation for their efforts.

Collaborate for Individual Staff Development:

“A talent conversation builds on a relationship based on rapport, collaboration, and mutual commitment, which engender trust and enable one person to influence another toward improved performance, development, and positive outcomes. Therefore, at its core a talent conversation is a mutual endeavor. A talent conversation is not done to someone, but with someone.” (Talent Conversations: What They Are, Why They’re Crucial, And How to Do Them Right by Roland Smith and Michael Campbell, Center for Creative Leadership © 2011 Citation)

It is in the best interest of the University, each department, every supervisor, and every staff member to plan and act for their career development. Here are some questions to guide the talent conversation:

  1. What developmental opportunities are available?
  2. What opportunities are realistic?
  3. What performance goals need to be met, and how will they be met?
  4. How will the individual’s goals be aligned with the organization’s goals?
  5. What obstacles do I anticipate the individual will have to work around or move through in order to achieve these goals?

(Talent Conversations: What They Are, Why They’re Crucial, And How to Do Them Right by Roland Smith and Michael Campbell, Center for Creative Leadership © 2011 Citation)

Examples of development goals that would be of value for an individual and for their area

Skill: To be able to market a new program

Action Plan

  • Apply for UI Professional Internship Program experience.

Skill: To lead a meeting effectively

Action Plan

  • Watch and/or read lessons available in myquickcoach on topics such as agendas, accountability, follow-up and keeping meetings on track.
  • Assign them as the leader of a subcommittee and collaborate on plans to lead each meeting and reflect on processes.

Skill: To make process improvement a part of the unit’s culture.

Action Plan

  • Attend a Lean Process Improvement session through Learning and Development. Collaborate to develop and implement a plan to use process improvement with unit challenges.

Skill: To understand how staff may experience a future change.

Action Plan

  • Attend a Learning and Development session or read Managing Transitions, Making the Most of Change by William Bridges (available through the Learning and Development Resource Center). Collaborate to use this information to help guide staff positively.

Skill: To orient new staff using a buddy or mentor model.

Action Plan

  • Collaborate to plan and implement what a front-line employee could do to welcome new staff.