If an employee ever sits down to a performance review and is SURPRISED, the supervisor has FAILED to do their job as a COACH LEADER.
I know that may sound harsh, but here’s why I say it…
Performance appraisals date back to the time of WWII and were used to decide whether or not the salary/wage of an employee was justified. Typically, this happened yearly.
More recently performance appraisals have morphed into a way for #hr leaders to ensure managers and employees are having conversations.
This was NEVER to insinuate that a #leader and the employee were ONLY supposed to have ONE meaningful conversation a year about areas for #growth, what a job well-done looks like, and areas to make adjustments.
But more often than not, that’s exactly the way performance reviews are approached in many companies.
Further, they often represent the SHORT-TERM MEMORY of the leader and employee (usually about 30 days), because it’s all the manager and employee can recall, even though it is meant to cover the past 6 months or year.
A performance review SHOULD BE a simple overview of ALL THE CONVERSATIONS that have ALREADY OCCURRED throughout the year. It should highlight:
– Celebrations of what’s been achieved
– Records and examples of exemplary attitudes and actions
– Records and examples of learning moments, opportunities to #develop, and corrective feedback
– Mutually developed and agreed-upon goals for the upcoming year
A performance review should be a time to REFLECT and REMEMBER…not a time to DUMP all the feedback at one time on the unsuspecting employee and CHECK THE BOX.
Again, if employees are SURPRISED, it means somewhere during the year #communication has broken down.
And that’s on the leader, not the employee.
Here are 2 ways to make your performance reviews WAY more effective:
1) Plan regular one-on-one meetings throughout the year. Talk about what’s working, what’s not, what’s missing, what’s needed, etc. Ask questions. Remember to acknowledge employees for what they are doing well, so they have a clear picture of ‘what right looks like’ and are #motivated to continue that behavior.
2) Keep notes of what you talk about in these conversations – both the acknowledgements as well as corrective #feedback. When the time comes for the performance review, you won’t have to scratch your head to come up with what to include – you’ll have your notes to look back on.
Whether or not your performance appraisal system is directly tied to pay increases, it’s the ongoing #coaching AND CONSISTENT, MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS that are the most valuable part of this entire process.
The way you steward this process is pivotal to your and your team’s #success long-term.
Performance reviews don’t have to be a nightmare. They can be something you look forward to, are well prepared for, and can move the needle in a positive direction for your #team.