Peter Drucker is widely regarded as the “Father of Modern Management,” and one of the most influential management philosophers of the modern era. In “The Effective Executive,” Peter Drucker advocates that a manager focus on an employee’s strengths when appraising his/her performance.
Four Questions for Performance Appraisals
Effective executives usually work out their own unique form of performance appraisal. It starts out with a statement of the major contributions expected from a person in his past and present positions and a record of his performance against these goals. Then it asks four questions:
- What has he [or she] done well?
- What, therefore, is he likely to be able to do well?
- What does he have to learn or to acquire to be able to get the full benefit from his strength?
- If I had a son or daughter, would I be willing to have him or her work under this person? If yes, why? If no, why?
Call for Action
Strong performance motivates outstanding performers. Therefore, managers must make it a priority to understand each employee’s motivation and strengths and provide objective, fair and consistent appreciation to keep him/her fully engaged.
Managers, however, often fail to realize the prospect of enhancing employee performance by targeting their efforts on each employee’s strengths. They often resort to deliberating over an employee’s shortcomings, and, thus attempt to develop abilities not inline with the employee’s strengths.
Address the above four questions when preparing the performance appraisal of an employee. These questions enable you, the manager, to reinforce the strengths of the employee and guide a career that focusses on his/her strengths.