Don't you hate this time of the year, performance reviews and engagement surveys. There aren't many organisations that don't have them and they can be a real challenge to complete. What would happen if they became enjoyable to conduct?
I was interested in recent research which suggests that focussing on what people should improve upon actually causes their higher skills to deteriorate with little impact on improving what you have asked them to improve upon.
When you think about it, the reason that we are poor in certain areas of our work is because we are either afraid of that area or just useless at it. So why would we want to focus on that? Why would we want to focus on the negative?
The same research also suggests that focussing on the employee's higher skills will lift their weaker areas as a consequence. All you have to do is to indicate that you would like them to lift their skills in the weaker area/s but that they won't be monitored on them.
This motivates the employee, they become excited about their achievements and want to improve their weaknesses as the enthusiasm grows with success in their strong area.
Focussing on the employee's strengths also makes it easier for the supervisor during performance meetings. Praise comes easy, criticism can be difficult.
Try it, what do you have to lose?