Blog Post

Ratings are Out! Or Are They In?

Mike Carden

Vice President Small Business Operations

It’s almost impossible to talk meaningfully about someone’s performance as a whole ("Nicola, I thought you did great last year"). So instead most performance conversations are broken down into chunks - we call them factors - which might be a hard performance metric like sales, or a softer behavior like teamwork.

People typically get a rating on each factor, and there are a million different rating scales, which many smart people have put lots of effort into designing. But for the purposes of this coaching idea the actual rating scale is, well, kind of irrelevant.

Think of the Incremental Stuff

Imagine you have a rating scale from 1 to 10 (or epic fail to epic win: it doesn’t really matter), you’re dealing with a factor of teamwork, and your employee Nicola has rated herself a 5.

The best way to get to the absolute core of understanding how Nicola views her contribution to teamwork is not to ask her to explain why she is a 5. It’s to ask her why she isn’t a 4.

Why? Because that forces her to think about the incremental stuff she did: the things that made a difference. Which is a lot more specific, and a lot more useful. It also tells you the things that Nicola thinks are important for this factor.

Why Weren't You a 6? The Development Angle

The best part is that this then sets you up for the obvious follow up question.

Why is this a cool question? Because it allows you to start the development discussion. What are the tangible things that she could have done better? Can we work together to do those things from now on?

You don’t need to use this approach for every factor, but its particularly useful if you and your employee have a difference of opinion. If that ever happens!

Related Resources

Want to keep learning? Explore our products, customer stories, and the latest industry insights.

Employee Learning Experience Journey with EdCast LXP

Video

Employee Learning Experience Journey with EdCast LXP

EdCast by Cornerstone Learning Experience Platform (LXP) unifies learning, skill building and career development in the flow of work. From communications and productivity apps in everyday use to functional specific systems, EdCast Learning Experience Platform fosters a culture of learning enabling you to attract, develop and retain high performing talent.

Schedule a personalized 1:1

Talk to a Cornerstone expert about how we can help with your organization’s unique people management needs.

© Cornerstone 2022
Legal