As a professional HR Advisor in Manchester, we are aware that for many employers having a conversation with their employees is a great opportunity for managers and employees to be able to discuss how things are going in general, including things that are going well and things that are not going so well. We know from experience though that conversations like this don’t always flow this easily, and it can be the manager who ends up doing most of the talking which can be frustrating for both participants in the meeting.

We cannot stress the importance of empowering your employees enough, as it is really important for them to feel that they can contribute ideas and feedback to managers during performance feedback so that it is a fruitful conversation where everyone feels involved and committed to improvement.  One of the best ways we have found to help employees feel comfortable talking to managers about their performance is to encourage them to be prepared for the meeting.

There are many ways you can encourage your employees to be prepared for conversations about their performance, but here are our top three tips:

Think About the Process:

Many employees tend to focus on the outcome of what they have worked on and forget that they had to go through a process to get there, and a conversation about performance is an excellent opportunity to talk about this process. Managers should also remember that they will have more opportunity to provide meaningful feedback and coaching to their employee if they have a more in-depth knowledge of how a particular task or assignment is going. Therefore, managers should encourage their employees to complete a short self-assessment or make a note of their thoughts on their progress before the meeting. This sort of short exercise helps to ensure they have thought about the important things that they want to get across before the meeting, and so are better able to communicate with their manager about what exactly has happened to them performance wise since their last meeting.

Consider Learning & Development Opportunities:

Employees should be continually encouraged to discuss opportunities for learning and development with their managers so that they have regular conversations about this and progress can be monitored and reported continuously.  All staff members should be supported to ensure they are maximising any learning opportunities, and this can be done by ensuring they are trained on how to link performance objectives to learning activities and that they are aware that this sort of performance, learning and development connection will help the business as well as themselves.

Share Material in Advance:

We have dealt with a lot of managers and employees who are disgruntled about conversations they have had about performance as they feel it’s hard to predict in advance what might be discussed. This can easily be avoided if employees are encouraged to share their notes and thoughts with their manager before the meeting, as this will help both of them to prepare well and ends up with them having a much more meaningful conversation.

These are just three of the ways that managers and employees can get the best out of their next performance strategy meeting, but it is important to keep in mind that the best results will come out of these sessions where both parties are actively involved.

To find out more about the services we offer as an HR advisor in Manchester, please give us a call on 0333 050 3330 or you can send us an email to if you prefer.