When recommending improved employee performance, be sure to align the suggestion with the challenge. Here is an example of failing to link the two:
Area for Improvement: During staff meetings, Karl does not effectively summarize problems, causes, impacts, and recommended actions.
Recommendation: Karl should improve his oral communication skills.
The area for improvement is vague in that it fails to give specific examples for the employee’s reference. Also, the recommendation is too general because one can improve communication skills in some areas (e.g., articulation, poise) and still fall short of the desired improvement (i.e., purposefulness). Below is an improved version:
Area for Improvement: During staff meetings, Karl does not effectively summarize problems, impacts, causes, and recommended actions. For example, when discussing the Lafayette Commons production delay, he needed several prompts from managers to explain the nature of the problem. At the follow-up meeting, he was unprepared to detail the corrective actions taken to resolve the problem.
Recommendation: Karl should be prepared to respond on demand to management or contractor concerns about his projects, including their status, problems, root causes, organizational effects, and recommended short-term and long-term actions.
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