As we begin 2015, most of us make New Year’s resolutions. The question is how do we know how we are performing relative to these goals? Performance reviews are designed to focus on a person’s performance of a job or task. Though skills, abilities, personal characteristics, and personality play a factor in our performance, our ‘outcomes’ or ‘deliverables’ are the key elements that are evaluated in the majority of performance reviews. Just like at work where managers review your performance, try to do the same for yourself.
Imagine that you are doing your own review. This can be a review of how you think you are doing at your job, handling your relationships with family and friends, or even your progress on that New Year’s resolution.
Ever hear the saying “you are your own worst critic”? This is true in many aspects of life. People tend to be harder on themselves than anyone else might be. Will you make yourself look like a genius, or will you beat yourself up about all the things that you think you do wrong?
The number one rule to any performance review is “Do not take it personally.” While this seems like a rather inept statement considering you are doing a self-evaluation, it is still true. Yes, it is a review of how you are doing but not of you as a person. Remember that you are evaluating outcomes you have and have not achieved and to what degree.
To learn more about performance reviews, take the free course “Performance Review” at MyCourseRoom.com.
Join us in the Club Forum discussion on how you evaluate your own professional and personal performance. Does this increase your motivation to improve as well as set new goals? Look for the Club Forum section on My Hub.
With the holidays ending, kids clamoring for our attention, school and work schedules getting back into full swing, “keeping the romance alive” sounds heroic or impossible. Relationships tend to be pushed to the background rather than given the attention that they need. We all need love and attention, just as our kids do. If we’re happy and content, our homes will be full of mirth, and our children will learn by example and find happiness more easily.
The biggest part of “keeping the romance alive” is making sure that the other person knows that you still care. It really is the little things that prove this. Below are three ways to help keep the romance in our relationships even in the chaos of our day.
- Go on dates – It may sound crazy but take some time out and go on a date with your significant other. This allows the two of you to spend time together and get away. This can be something as big as a cruise or as small as a walk around the local park.
- Write to each other – This does not mean that you have to write poetry or a letter to be mailed. These are little notes left in unexpected places or a short email/text saying “I love you” or “let’s go out for hot chocolate this weekend.” These can be fun and even a bit flirtatious.
- Create rituals – These rituals can be things like making dinner together twice a week or going for a walk after dinner, going to the movies on Saturday nights or making time to have coffee together in the mornings.
These tips go beyond just making sure that your marriage is healthy or your girlfriend/boyfriend feels special. This gives you time to get away from the daily stresses and spend time doing something fun with someone you love. To learn more about balancing relationships, take the free course “Balancing Work and Family” at MyCourseRoom.com.
Join us on the Club Forum board How do you find balance, to tell us what techniques you use to show your significant other you still care.
With the new year fast approaching, most of us think about our new year’s resolution(s). We all know the old stand-bys:
- Lose Weight
- Get a Better Job
- Save Money
- Get Fit
- Eat Healthy Food
- Manage Stress
Why not make MyCourseRoom.com part of your new year’s resolution. With our catalog of soft and hard skill courses that are PMI, CPHQ and CPE/CEU certified, we can help you grow and learn. Courses such as: Stress Management, Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence, and Time Management can assist with personal growth. While courses such as: Understanding Organizational Behavior, Performance Review, Scope Management and Quality Management focus on professional growth.
Below is a wonderful testimonial about MyCourseRoom.com and our courses.
Hope you are doing well! This is actually to inform you I have completed the MyCourseRoom training program and it’s one of the best things I have gone through and learned at my company. I completed the following courses:
Conflict Management: The best thing I learned in this was to look at the facts rather than going with the emotions and listening to the other person and putting yourself in his/her shoes and then making an informed decision which comes down to one principle i.e. Respect.
Giving and Receiving Feedback: Here I got to know the importance of giving honest and timely feedback and always welcoming feedback with an aim to improve on a regular basis.
Time Management: This was the best one I would say. Prioritizing your work and applying different rules like 80/20 and Murphy’s law one gets to complete tasks on time and eventually feel rewarded about it.
Communication: Here I learned what medium to use and when (Email, telephone or voicemail) along with the importance of body language in effective communication.
Team Building: Now this was something that I felt good about as I went through many things that I was practicing myself such as assigning different duties to seniors and creating a bonding through effective seat adjustments and keeping them focused towards one goal.
Last but not the least I would like to thank you and my company for providing me the opportunity to see and observe myself and things around me in a larger perspective so that I could overcome my flaws, see my strengths, focus on my present, plan for the future and grow myself and emerge as a true leader with all its traits eventually prove to be beneficial for the company’s and my success.
All of our courses are free to take, and the only cost to you is if you choose to print credentialed certificates ($10 per year), get transcripts ($15 per year) or take any of the paid assessments ($35 per year). If you decide that you would like access to all three of these options, it is $40 for a full 365 days (a $20 savings).
All too often “delegation” and “empowerment” are used interchangeably. Delegation is not empowerment. Delegation is when someone assigns a task to another person and then checks to see if the task is done. Empowerment is about giving an individual the authority to make decisions and be able to follow through once a decision is made. For example, customer service representatives may be empowered to offer a credit to satisfy an angry customer. In many cases, delegation and empowerment overlap, but they are not interchangeable.
“It is important to phase the process of empowerment, giving increasing decision-making authority to people as their capacity, skills, and knowledge increases.” – Empowerment and Accountability, MyCourseRoom.com
Empowerment is a process and like any process will take time to develop. However, such processes have tremendous benefits for the individual, the manager, and the organization.
Some of these benefits include:
- Improved quality: If someone has the authority to make a decision, they tend to put more effort and more interest into the quality of what they are doing.
- Better decisions: People doing the job know more about that job than anyone else.
- Increased efficiency: Requests or questions are dealt with faster because there is little to no red tape.
- Improved motivation and commitment to getting things done: The more say you have in something the more that you care. For example, if a student can select the subject of a book report, they will be more motivated to get the job done.
- Improved self-confidence and development: If people feel that they have stock in something, they are more interested in the outcome which will boost their confidence.
By empowering those that you manage and/or teach, you are allowing them to become part of the process and own what they are doing. This will in turn give a higher degree of satisfaction and quality. To learn more, take the free Empowerment and Accountability course at MyCourseRoom.com.
“Performance Reviews are opportunities to refuel, re-energize, and rejuvenate. If you do this regularly, you will achieve your goals.” – Performance Review, MyCourseRoom.com
Whether you are an owner of a child care center, an educator, a student, or a manager in a fortune 500 company, performance reviews are an important and effective way to evaluate, identify and plan personal and professional development. Whether you are being reviewed or are the reviewer, these appraisals often cause anxiety. However, if done correctly a vast amount of knowledge and growth can result.
Similar to shoes, there is not a ‘one size fits all’ method when it comes to performance appraisal. There are numerous methods that are used and in both the formal and informal setting. It is up to the reviewer to find the best appraisal method. This involves looking at the various factors that are in play. Factors in determining the best method to use include:
· Number of employees
· Organizational philosophy
· Understanding level of employees
· Knowledge level of manager
· Time constraints
Below are four methods of performance appraisal. Each of these requires different levels of involvement:
· Graphic Ratings
The Graphic Ratings method is one of the most widely used methods. It is also one of the easiest to use and understand. Using either a numerical scale (1-5) or judgments (such as ‘poor,’ ‘average,’ ‘good,’ ‘very good’ and ‘superior’), the reviewer grades various aspects of the individual’s performance. While this method is easy to use and comprehensive, there is a possible major drawback. If you do not clearly define what each “grade” is, there is a limited chance of effectiveness.
The Rankings method involves ranking everyone in a section according to performance and/or value to the organization or team. These rankings are often reclassified into the ‘top one-fifth’ or ‘top 10%.’ This method is commonly used in larger organizations, sales-related positions, and also in education (top 10% of the graduating class, etc.). The advantage of this method is that all individuals are rated against each other, and it provides them with a benchmark that is obtainable. It also identifies individuals that have done an exemplary job and a model that others can strive to emulate.
· Critical Incidents
In comparison to the prior two methods, the Critical Incidents method requires the most amount of time and dedication on the part of the reviewer. This method involves recording behavior over a pre-determined period of time (e.g. 1 month, 6 weeks, etc.). The reviewer keeps a diary of examples of effective and ineffective performance and then provides this information to the person during the review. At this time, the reviewer would also provide recommendations for how to change or fix ineffective performance.
· BARS (Behavioral Anchoring Rating Scale)
In this method, the reviewer rates a person on specific behaviors derived from specific performance dimensions. Everyone that is being reviewed is evaluated using the same rating scale for the same tasks. While one of the greatest advantages of this method is that all individuals are evaluated using the same criteria, one of the greatest disadvantages is that each behavior must be prioritized when making any sense of the review.
As you can see, there are numerous methods for performance review. How you review people is based on your needs and restraints. To learn more about performance appraisal, take the free Performance Review course from MyCourseRoom.com. Simply log in or sign up for your free learner account, and you can either add the course to your Q or start immediately.
Whether you are conducting a meeting at work or for a community event, the key to the success of that meeting is how well it is organized and facilitated. Most of us have attended meetings where we felt that nothing had been accomplished. Setting clear objectives and communicating those objectives to the meeting participants is essential.
“Define your business goals clearly so that others can see them as you do.” – George F. Burns
Pin the tail on the donkey is a rather difficult game because you are disoriented and can’t see the target. Running a meeting without meeting objectives is very similar. You know that the meeting must accomplish something, but you do not have a clear idea what topics need to be discussed or in what order. The next time that you are setting meeting objectives remember the acronym M.E.E.T. Successful objectives are:
- Measurable: Just like any objective or goal, it is only effective if you know when it has been completed. When you discuss an objective during the meeting, make sure that the team members know what the desired outcome is and when it has been reached.
- Exacting:When you state an objective, use concrete and specific terms rather than vague, general and opinion-based concepts/words.
- Equitable:It is somewhat pointless to hold a meeting if the people involved do not understand the reason they are there. Very little will be accomplished. It is your job to verify that everyone at the meeting understands the project and the reason for the meeting. You should verify that all parties felt that they are heard. The team should achieve consensus, and the resulting decisions should be agreed to in writing.
- Time-bound: It is necessary to identify and agree to a reasonable time allocation, and it must be likely that the objectives of the meeting will be achieved within the given timeframe. Keep the meeting objectives practical.
If a problem cannot be solved within the meeting, create a splinter target group that will quickly meet and report back with a solution. If the timeframe of an objective is left open-ended without a definite path for resolution, the work required may never be completed! Perfectionists and lazy people alike have a hard time working without deadlines.
By setting the meeting objectives you are giving clear, verifiable tasks to be discussed and implemented. This will allow you to have a productive meeting. Do not have a meeting simply for the sake of having a meeting. Meetings should focus on things such as planning for action or making decisions. Having a meeting is not a goal in itself nor should your meeting be with the sole objective to educate people. To learn more about the effective facilitation of meetings, take the free course “Effective Facilitation of Meetings” at MyCourseRoom.com.
Whether it is organizing a community event or planning for the successful execution of a company project, you will need to arrange for a meeting where the people concerned can discuss how to go about the task at hand. The Effective Facilitation of Meetings course at www.mycourseroom.com will help you understand the intricacies of holding a successful meeting. Below is a quick overview of how an effective meeting is run.
Find the key people – The first step is to list the key people who will be executing the project and inform them of the place and time of the meeting. Provide them with a list of the issues that will be discussed so that they are prepared with their questions and ideas.
Prepare an Agenda – Preparing an agenda involves working out the various steps of the project and the milestones that need to be discussed during the course of the meeting. An agenda helps ensure that the goals of the meeting are met and time is not wasted in discussing irrelevant issues.
Allow all parties to be involved – Make sure every member is given a chance to air his views and opinions and that the meeting is not dominated by a few. Very often you will be faced with opposing views, but it is up to you to maintain a conflict-free atmosphere and keep the meeting on track.
It is not essential that an idea favored by a clear majority should be accepted. You should be able to focus on the objective of the project and take into consideration only those ideas that can be applied practically. Assign someone to record the decisions made at the meeting for future reference.
Clear instructions – As the meeting progresses, each member should have clear instructions as to the particular part he will be playing in the execution of the project. Assign duties in accordance with the members’ talents and capabilities.
Follow – up – Once decisions are made regarding the step-by-step implementation of the project, you will need to follow up with each member and make sure the project is progressing as planned.
We strongly recommend that all staff members sign up with MyCourseRoom at https://mycourseroom.com/signup.htm?lCid=&cType= and take this free course on Effective Facilitation of Meetings. Learners will be able to share your ideas and develop skills by interacting with other learners. The lessons offered by http://www.mycourseroom.com will present you with practical situations where you can practice the skills as you learn them.
Remember, MyCourseRoom provides you with credentials after completing the courses you take. Earn a certificate and plan and execute the perfect meeting.