ADMS 3015 Professional Communication in a Canadian Context
News of the Week Report - week 4
Knight, R. (2011, November 3) Delivering an Effective Performance Review [Web log post].
Retrieved from: http://blogs.hbr.org/hmu/2011/11/delivering-an-effective-perfor.html
Performance review process guidelines for managers.
In “Delivering an Effective Performance Review,” Rebecca Knight discusses strategies of
conducting effective performance appraisals, which help managers to provide a productive and non-
stressful feedback to their subordinates.
Preparation is an important part of efficient communication process, so a manager should set
goals at the very beginning of performance management cycle considering not only organizational
goals, but personal career objectives and aptitudes of an employee. While preparing to the meeting
the manager should create a final report beforehand. The author recommends asking for positively
focused preliminary report from the subordinate, as well as requesting feedback from his/her
colleagues for memory refreshing and cultivating positive attitude to assessment. It is worth
providing a copy of appraisal report to the employee at least an hour before the meeting to minimize
emotional reaction for unexpected assessment results.
Citing Dick Grote, a well-known performance management expert, Rebecca Knight suggests
using modified sandwich approach by prioritizing positive parts only for competent workers and
constructively discussing deficiencies with minor sugarcoating for marginal ones.
A strategy for coaching part of appraisal is to use “stop, start, and continue” model for both solid
and poor performers. The manager needs to connect employee’s competencies with particular job
responsibilities and to recommend techniques and methods of behaviour improvement based on
behaviour analysis. Usually salary merit increase and ranking are the most stressful issues for any
1 subordinate, while they are not as important and stressful for the manager. Rebecca Knight suggests
not leaving them for the last minute, as it might decrease the efficiency of assessment and coaching
parts of performance appraisal. Finally the article describes two cases demonstrating ineffectiveness
of redundant sugarcoating, which makes the message unclear and leads to further problem increase.
The article addresses the issue of managing employee performance by discussing strengths and
weaknesses and assessing performance results and behaviour. So the goal of communication in this
case is to increase employee’s productivity through providing constructive and efficient feedback.
In business communication course we have discussed the efficient communication strategy that
includes preparation and goal setting,