Posted on October 8, 2015

Two words that make everyone in the workforce groan, "Performance Review."  No matter whether one is the giver or receiver, they generally aren't enjoyable.  Historically, a manager or supervisor sat down with each direct report using a scorecard of sorts and rated their performance over the last 12 months.  Generally this was considered a time to find out about compensation increases.  Some organizations still use these antiquated systems, but most have made a variety of changes to make them less painful. 

As a leader, providing feedback to the people on my team is crucial both for individual development as well as overall team performance.  Accepting feedback given by team members is also critical to my success.  Celebrating our 5th year earning a place in the PA Best Places to Work, we listen to everyone's suggestions and feelings about reviews.  Here are some thoughts on the subject that have been dancing in my head as we tweak our review system again.

  • The more frequently feedback is given, the better.
  • Feedback should be compassionate and honest.
  • The more we practice giving feedback the easier it becomes.
  • Feedback should be tailored to the receiver's personality/receptiveness.
  • Self-evaluation is very challenging for most people.
  • Feedback and performance appraisals are not talent management or professional development.
  • Open-ended questions are very challenging for both the giver and receiver, often frustrating.
  • Carefully worded feedback is critical to ensuring a positive relationship.
  • A talent management and professional development plan should be in a place apart from review.
  • An appraisal process should loop back to an organization's values.
  • True and lasting significant changes in a person's behavior are uncommon.
  • Just doing one's job is not enough for exceptional ratings.
  • While wage changes are related to performance these two processes shouldn't occur at the same time.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on what works and what doesn't work in the performance appraisal process!