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5 Ways to Ignite Your Employees’ Self Esteem

Time to stop and consider giving up evaluating your employees through a number system once or twice a year and begin to find more effective ways to help them grow and fulfill their potential.

Somewhere in August between taking that last vacation fling, getting kids new backpacks for school and finishing mid-year reviews, business leaders can finally take a deep, long sigh of relief.

Did you ever hear a manager say “I can’t wait to do reviews with my direct reports”? Rather it is “Not again” or “I wish I could just forget about it.”

Years ago one of the executives I was coaching challenged me to find a more effective way to help employees grow and fulfill potential than through this dreaded process.

By the time he retired we had not cracked the code and still every six months another check-the-review box showed up.


I kept looking for answers.

I questioned why so many, on both sides of the performance review equation, dislike the process.

It lead me back to school days and report card time. Remember what it was like when you looked at that alphabet of A’s B’s C’s and maybe even the smartest of you received a dreaded F. Report card time was either exhilarating or deflating. It meant presents or punishment.

And my next question was “How did these reminders of success or failure forward the action of learning?”


Untying the knots in learning.

Much research indicates that the standard way of reporting success and failure, is NOT the way to untie the KNOTS of being judged and evaluated.

And now, people are finally taking seriously the idea that there has to be a better way to measure success or failure.

Carol Burris reported in a recent Washington Post Article that large numbers of parents and high school students are opting out of taking the standardized tests that have been the holy grail to determine who succeeds and who loses in the educational realm.


Opting out is taking off.

And now major companies like Accenture and Deloitte have announced the demise of the annual and mid-term reviews. And at least six percent of Fortune 500 companies have or are in process of replacing traditional performance rankings.

As a leadership educator I have often been asked “Where is it written that the only way to evaluate employees is through a number system once or twice a year?”

Out with the Old and In with the New.

  • Feedback for positive payback: Set up weekly or bi-monthly check-ins that are shorter and more to the point.
  • Questions rather than comments: Asking what and how questions and letting the employee answer is productive and leads to willingness to change.
  • Focus on what can be done rather than what has been done: Point to the future and develop an action plan with just one step at a time.
  • No voting: Rather than comparing to others, it is best to set goals and help employees rank themselves as to where they have done better or need to do better.
  • Time is money: Have specific times and dates to complete tasks and report back in a timely fashion. Waiting is wasting precious resources.
  • Ignite employees’ self-esteem: Create a vision for success and talk about positive possibilities before you let the steam out with need to improve comments and end with the positive.


Higher and more effective performance will show itself. Give this newer and more holistic way of teaching and guiding your best shot. Performance reviews are so out dated. You can be a hero in your company by breaking the patterns of the past in this new, exciting territory of strengthening potential and accelerating drive.


Originally published at Inc

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