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The 2-Question Employee Review

iStock_000002769483XSmall.jpgIs there a simple, effective way to give meaningful employee reviews? A way that your supervisors can actually complete on time and your employees will appreciate?

Yes there is – and it only takes one page!

Years ago I adapted a novel critique technique for employee reviews. After recommending this innovative approach to clients countless times, it has now been endorsed by none other than Jack Welch, the legendary former General Electric CEO.

All your supervisors need to do is answer two questions in writing for each employee reporting to them.

  • What does the employee do well?
  • What can the employee do better?

It should take no more than one page.

This approach was taught to me by Bob McCulloch, a prominent Toronto management consultant. To create a critique for any program or event, Bob said to draw a line down the center of the page, label one side "Did Well" and the other side "Do Better." That's it. This was a technique he picked up from his days as a consultant with IBM.

After using this approach for all of my seminars and several civic and charitable events I organized, I realized it would work for employees as well. Complex, confusing, time consuming employee review forms can be replaced with these two simple, straight forward questions.

In the February 26, 2007 issue of Business Week magazine, Jack Welch offers the same suggestion.

If both a business lawyer and a preeminent business executive offer the same suggestion to a perennial problem, perhaps it is worth a try.

Please let me know how this approach works for you.


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Reader Comments (2)

I agree with the information but since it is a review shouldn't it have an area on goals relating to what they need to work on to improve. I have traditionally had a third area that addressed, "how to get there."
March 7, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSandra de Jonge
Sandra - Thank you for your question. You can add to the 2-Question Evaluation approach as you see fit. A "How to Get There" section is a great idea if it works for you. If the review is critical and immediate improvement is required, there are other things the reviewer should do. This will be covered in more detail in the next issue of LegalBriefs.

-- Alan
March 10, 2007 | Registered CommenterAlan Thayer

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