In part one of our interview with Emory Mulling (Chairman, Senior Executive, and Coaching Consultant with the Mulling Corporation) we discussed three responsibilities that managers have that can be a little overwhelming, no matter how big the company is. Today, the list continues with three more, starting with performance reviews.
Check out more interviews with small business leaders
Joe Gumm: Welcome back to the Atlanta Small Business Show. I’m Joe Gumm alongside Emory Mulling. He is the chairman and founder of the Mulling Corporation. We appreciate you joining us once again for part two of our discussion with managers and some of the tasks they have to do.
Emory Mulling: And there’s some that they don’t like to do.
Joe Gumm: There are some, and the fourth one is the one that a lot of managers struggle with. Why are performance reviews a challenge for some managers?
Emory Mulling: A well handled performance review includes strengths as well as developmental needs of the employee. Sometimes managers only talk about the developmental needs and that’s not good. Many managers avoid conflict. We discussed this in our first segment as the number one, one of the top ones that they don’t like to handle.
Emory Mulling: And when you don’t review developmental needs of an employee, you do not allow them to improve. Most department heads overinflate the employee’s ratings. If you have a rating from one to five, they’ll want to rate everybody fours and fives.
Emory Mulling: Then if you have a problem with the employee in the next three to six months, you gave me a five rating. What is the problem with my performance now? Performance reviews should not be a disciplinary session. You should tell them what their development needs but don’t wait for the performance review to give them a disciplinary session.
Joe Gumm: All right. This next thing. I can appreciate, because my kids try and do this with my wife and I. Number five on your list of 12 tasks that managers struggle with is reporting poor performance of an employee who reports to another manager. Their poor performance is affecting your area of responsibility. What advice can you give small business managers right now in order to make it easier to handle that type of situation?
Emory Mulling: This is another example where you have to handle conflict, which most managers don’t like to handle. And depending on the other manager’s receptivity to being challenged, you have to deliver the news in a well thought out manner. Don’t go in there and attack the employee of this other manager.
Emory Mulling: You need to state facts, not your opinions of the poor work performance. Everybody has an opinion. Stick to the facts. And don’t attack the employee. Attack their behavior. When you come in to me and attack my employee rather than the behavior, I more than likely am going to get very defensive.
Joe Gumm: Okay. Let’s talk about this then. Sometimes conflict arises between two employees reporting to the same manager. How would you handle that situation?
Emory Mulling: You must handle this conflicting situation for your own credibility. Most likely the poor performance of this person is affecting everyone in the department. Everybody knows it and if you do not appear to be taking sides with one employee over the other, you will certainly hurt your reputation. Explain the conflict resolution structure that you’re going to go through, and then address it with the appropriate people.
Joe Gumm: All right. Part two of our discussion with Emory Mulling. He is the chairman and the founder of the Mulling Corporation. Great stuff as far as the topic of managers and the tasks that they do not want to handle. Thank you.