Improving Job Performance

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Relative Performance Feedback (RFP)
Is It the New Performance Improvement Model?

"Relative Performance Feedback"....It's a data-driven, results-tested way of improving productivity among employees. It appears to have zero cost for employers.

The approach may be effective because it relies on a naturally occurring or internalized desire to be part of the group, not fall or be left behind, and possibly the desire to measure up to the standards of the group--a peer pressure effect--even when one's peers are not knowledgeable about one's status of performance.

Relative Performance Feedback -- read a collection of articles about this concept here:

Important Tips for Giving Feedback So It "Sticks"

Feedback is defined as the process of providing information to your employees about their past behavior in order to influence their future behavior.

Effective feedback requires mutual understanding. This absolute key. Employees must understand that its purpose is to help them excel, not find fault or shake their confidence. This takes "soft skill" know-how on the part of manager. It is not just an academic procedure.

To deliver feedback that influences employee behavior, you need to make sure it’s based on verifiable data. You may even want to survey (or observe confidentially) coworkers interactions with the employee, customers, vendors, suppliers or others who interact regularly with your employees.

It’s also important to establish productivity measures for your employees and educate them about how to meet or exceed these standards. Another critical point: Let everyone know that you’ll provide ongoing feedback based on their output as it relates to the measures and job expectations that you’ve set.
Precise communication enhances your feedback. By providing descriptions rather than rendering judgments, you enable employees to draw their own conclusions. Example: “Your report contained 12 typos and it was missing a summary page and evidence to substantiate your claims” is better than “Your report was sloppy.”

Your feedback thus serves as a supportive, non-threatening way to motivate the employee to improve, not a harsh criticism that triggers defensiveness. Also critical--and a big sore point with many employees--remove any ambiguity about what constitutes superior performance.

WARNING: Words such as “disappointing,” “inconsistent” or “poor” do not describe a person’s behavior, so avoid using them when giving feedback. Instead, cite observable or verifiable evidence without adding your interpretation or characterizing a worker’s motives.

Ask yourself--is this true or false for you: In a typical week, I give each of my employees at least one specific piece of clear, descriptive, non-judgmental feedback that’s either positive or negative.

If you're interested in 1) Improving relationships with supervisors; 2) Reducing risk that some supervisors may get the organization sued; or 3) Getting supervisors to address "ticking time bomb" employees, then explore 14 Vital Skills for Supervisors at

Daniel Feerst, Publisher

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