Blog

Delivering a Negative Performance Review – 4 Ways to Turn It Around

No one wants to critique an employee’s negative performance. And no one wants to get a negative performance review. But if an employee is slipping and hasn’t self-corrected, there is no way around it. 

Performance reviews boost productivity and drive engagement. A negative performance review can do that, too, if you frame it correctly.

Here are four ways to deal with an employee who is missing the mark without sending them into a downward spiral.

Start with a Self-Assessment

The worst part of a negative performance review tends to be the surprise with which it is met. If the employee thinks things are still going okay or if they’re trying so hard to tread water that they don’t see their performance, then hitting them with criticism can do lasting damage.

One way to ease into the process is to give your employee a chance to take a lead. A self-assessment gives you both a clear, honest idea of where they think they are and how they perceive their work.

Then, you can find places to naturally start a conversation. Plus, it allows you to see if their performance has less to do with failure and more to do with a difference in expectations.

Identify and Develop Strengths

No one is good at everything. Everyone learns and grows differently. These two principles are important to keep in mind during your performance review.

So rather than focusing solely on what’s going wrong, look for the reasons why, and start asking whether it’s an issue of you prioritizing your employee’s strengths.

Remember: you can’t ask a marathoner to sprint or vice versa without seeing a drop in performance. It doesn’t mean their not a good employee. It just requires realigning roles and expectations.

Use Your Emotional Intelligence

Your ability to deliver bad news has less to do with the message and more to do with your delivery. You’ll rely heavily on your emotional intelligence as you navigate the review.

One of the most difficult things you’ll learn to do is manage your own expectations when your employee doesn’t just have bad habits — they’re also a problem employee.

It’s important to stay calm and collected regardless of what way the talk goes. You don’t want to inflame the situation because no one wins.

Frame It as a Chance to Succeed

The only thing worse than getting a poor performance review is knowing that you’ve been doing something wrong for weeks — or even months — and no one told you.

So rather than framing a negative performance review as something ‘bad,’ reframe the whole experience as a chance to succeed. If you can reframe it in your mind, you will not only be able to better deliver the news, but you’ll dread it less and won’t feel as drained afterward.

Negative Performance Reviews Can Be Positive Opportunites

No one becomes a leader so they can dole out criticism all day. Unfortunately, it’s part of the territory. However, you can deliver these reviews in a way that creates an opportunity for growth for both the employee and the whole team.

Are you looking for IT professionals to join your team and execution your vision? RightStone is placing quality IT consultants right now. Get in touch to learn more about the RightStone 360 process.


Managing a Remote Workforce- Leading at a Distance

In 2019 and early 2020, articles about remote work were still in the ‘what if’ phase. Back then, 55% of businesses worldwide allowed for remote work in some shape or form — and only 4.7 million people were already working at home. 

If you find yourself leading from a distance, or are looking for a new leadership role in this climate, use these tips to help settle in and support your team as you all adjust to this new style of work.

Express Yourself Visually

What says “good job” more effectively? A short email that simply says, “good work” or a funny GIF or emoji? Very often, animations communicate feedback better than text because they pick up on the non-verbal communication you miss out on when you work remotely.

So, use emoji replies on Slack, send GIFs in an email, and do it consistently.

And don’t forget to reiterate your praise on video calls. It means more than you think.

Build in Time for Conversation

When you’re all at home, it seems prudent to hop on a call, talk about what needs to happen, and then get back to what you were doing. Running a meeting or call this way makes it very transactional, and that’s not good for your team.

You need to build relationships with your team members as people, so build time for chatting into your meetings. It will help you get to know your team, build rapport, and indicate what issues your team are having before they become problems.

Trust Your Team

If you don’t trust a member of your team, then you shouldn’t have hired them. But since they’re here, you should know you can rely on them.

You don’t need to rely on blind trust. Instead, set your expectations early and make them clear. Then, everyone is on the same page, and no one is left waiting for a deliverable.

Focus on Goals Rather Than Activity

A big problem managers face when leading remote teams is their emphasis on activity. They think: what if they aren’t working for eight hours? How can I tell?

The truth is that your on-site employees aren’t engaging in work activity for every minute they’re at the office either. The only difference is that you can drop in on them.

Rather than getting hung up on minutes worked, focus on goals. Is the work getting done? Is it on time? Is it of the quality you outlined in your expectations? If the answer to those questions is yes, then you have a productive team.

Get Ready to Lead Remotely

Today, everyone who can is by-and-large working from home, and leaders are leading from home. Learning to manage a remote workforce is very different from getting to grips with telecommuting tools. You need a whole new style that accounts for the lack of literal facetime.

Are you looking for your next leader, or needing to hire for a remote team? Get in touch to learn about our fine-tuned process for placing skilled IT professionals.


How Long Should I Wait to Follow Up After an Interview?

You walked out of the interview feeling optimistic but naturally hesitant. What happens next? 

The anxiety of waiting by the phone (or constantly thinking you feel it vibrate in your pocket) is part of the interview process. However, you don’t need to sit and wait for the phone to ring for weeks on end. A follow-up call is in order, and it can help you prepare for what comes next.

So how long should you wait to follow up after the interview? Use this guide to help you plan your post-interview timeline.

Follow the Timeline Given by Your Interviewer

In today’s world, good practice dictates that HR will let you know a timeline at the end of the interview. It lets everyone know what to expect and puts everyone on even footing.

Whether you’re successful or not, you’ll know by the date given.

If HR or the hiring manager gives you a date, stick to that date before you think about a follow-up. If you don’t hear back by the date given, give them an extra two business days to get back to you, particularly in today’s climate where businesses have to manage changes at a rapid pace.

Tip: if you had a great interview and want a few extra bonus points, send a quick email simply thanking the team for their time and the opportunity.

What If You Have Other Interviews Lined Up?

Hiring managers will assume you’re actively job hunting, so there’s no pressing need to let them know about other interviews and deadlines at the interview or when you follow up.

The only time you might let the team know you’re being actively considered for another role is if you have another offer in hand and you want to use it to negotiate a better deal.

Otherwise, Wait One Week to Follow Up

If they don’t give you a timeline, and you haven’t heard anything after 4-5 business days, then you are free to follow up. If your interview is on Monday, wait until the following Monday before you call.

Usually, a rejection or confirmation comes quickly after you follow up.

Remember that HR doesn’t always have answers. They can only push the decision-makers so much. So, if things are slow at the top, then it will trickle down.

Use the Follow Up as a Chance to Reaffirm Your Interest

The waiting game is part of job hunting, but you don’t need to wait around forever. If you don’t hear anything for a week (or within the timeline), give HR a call and ask them when you might expect to have a decision. Calling will reaffirm your interest, and it will help you plan your next steps.

Are you looking for your next role? RighStone is placing IT professionals with quality jobs now. Get in touch to learn more about what roles are available.

 


Back in the Game – Relaunch Your IT Career in a COVID-19 World

Whether you’re employed or looking to get back in the game, the current job landscape is full of uncertainty. Everything from where to how we work has been impacted by the last six months. But the uncertainty doesn’t mean that it’s not a good time to relaunch your career.

Here are a few tips for getting back in the game in a COVID-19 (and hopefully the soon-to-be-post-COVID-19 world).

Use Self-Analysis to Start

Everything around you has changed, and if you’re like most, some of your circumstances changed, too. So, now is a good time to check-in and re-establish what you’re looking for.

  • Are you able to return to your past roles?
  • Do you want to return to past roles?
  • What do you value from work now?
  • Do you need a flexible part-time option?
  • What would you compromise to get the right working conditions?
  • What supports do you need to transition back to full-time work? Do you have them?
  • Are you looking to transition to a new role or career?

Keep Networking

Who you know is going to be just as important as what you know when you re-enter the job market. But networking isn’t just about getting your foot in the door of a new opportunity. It’s also a chance to strategize.

By keeping up with the people in your network, you’ll know what’s happening in IT. You’ll hear more about the better places to work, what to expect from salary negotiations — and of course, about vacant positions.

Networking also includes reading. So, dive into industry and trade media to keep up with dier trends. Then, when you walk into your first interview back, it will sound a lot more like you never left.

Tailor Your Application and Transferable Skills

Today is not the time to send out 100 copies of the same resume. There’s a combination of huge pools of talent and far fewer opportunities to stand out in the process thanks to virtual recruiting.

As you apply for jobs that interest you, take the time to tailor your application to the role. Don’t worry if you aren’t a carbon copy of the job description. You can use transferable skills to make your application stand out.

Take the time to think about your skills and strengths and wield them to show recruiters what a strong candidate you are.

Consider Contract Freelance in the Meantime

Being stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t re-skill and up-skill. Freelancing and remote learning are a great way to get this done. You can not only pick up new skills but put them to practice.

Plus, both options give you a chance to practice the skills needed for remote contract work, which was already growing before the pandemic.

 

Are you ready to get back out there and wondering if this is a good time to re-enter IT? RightStone is placing candidates like you right now. Get in touch to learn more about our current listings and how we pair the right client and candidate.


  • 4975 Preston Park Blvd #550, Plano, TX 75093
  • 972-895-2555
Military Spouse Employment Partnership Forbes America's Best Temporary Staffing Firms 2020