Conducting the Assessment Discussion

Continue the momentum you have established throughout the year with your ongoing discussions about performance. You want to set the tone for an open and productive discussion. Outlined below are some steps you can take to make it as successful as possible.

  • Create a supportive environment by stating clearly the purpose of the discussion. Be as non-threatening and open as possible since the employee may be tense or uncomfortable.
  • Discuss key areas of responsibility and give examples of specific results. Have the employee go first, based on the self-assessment or the questions you provided in advance. Be sure to ask clarifying questions - if needed - to make sure you understand the employee’s viewpoints.
  • Readily acknowledge performance that reinforces the goals of the work unit.
  • Discuss what could have been done better. Identify your concerns and listen to the employee's explanations.
  • Focus on future performance.  Involve the employee in developing action plans, identifying problems and resolution options. This can help the employee identify where s/he needs to take responsibility for improvement.
  • Make sure you and the employee have a common understanding of future expectations regarding performance.
  • Discuss the employee's interests and potential new responsibilities. Discuss both of your roles in achieving new objectives while maintaining ongoing responsibilities.
  • Conclude on a positive note. Emphasize the benefits of your conversation and be clear that you remain available to respond to suggestions, questions or concerns.

Regardless of your efforts, there may be occasions where an employee will request that s/he have a representative present during the discussion. If that happens, please contact Employee Relations.