Open Communication? Try Coffee Talks
I my view, the main problem with annual performance evaluations is the lack of open honest communication. I have found that having regular open conversations throughout the year is paramount
I try to accomplish this through near monthly 'coffee talks
' with everyone who reports to me and everyone who reports to them.
I give each person a week or so notice and ask them to send me a meeting request that fits both our schedules.
These coffee talks always happen away from our normal work area
and are generally positive, though not always.
Over time, as we get to know each other, team members seem to look forward to their turn
. They save ideas to talk to me about. They get used to me asking probing questions. And, most importantly of all, as long as I maintain the moral courage to be truly honest, the annual performance evaluation becomes a mere formality.
Funny thing is, I don’t even like coffee.