Effective Leadership: Eliminate Negative Performance Reviews

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Do managers or employees hate performance reviews worse?

Has the performance review become a routine time waster? Are your performance reviews missing the mark of raising productivity and building loyalty? Do your performance reviews usually turn out negative? Would you like to improve the process?

Effective leadership starts when you teach your managers that performance reviews should be a conscious effort every day of the year. Employees need constant and relevant feed back weekly, if not daily, that keeps them going in the right direction. If your managers can create a coaching environment through their interactions with employees, giving honest, candid feedback on performance on a regular basis, there will be no surprises at performance review time.

No surprises decreases the stress felt on both sides.

Straight forward conversations make it possible for employees to enter the conversation expressing their honest feelings and opinions. Frank discussions should include listening and acknowledging both person’s viewpoint, exploring alternatives, and negotiating a pathway forward.

Candid conversations throughout the year take the sting out of the sandwich technique: “I really like you. You did this lousy and don’t do it again.” “I really like you.” What do employees remember? What you categorized as lousy. Managers confuse employees when they give them a good face-to-face review (because they lack the communication skills to be candid), but note less than stellar performance in the written record.

Weekly or daily conversations with employees about their performance — both good performance and performance that could be improved — not only takes the prickle out of the formal review, but reduces the possibility of high performance reviews  for a mediocre employee or good remarks about an employee that should be terminated. The subject of candid conversations and the results of the conversation can be recorded in the employee’s file, providing documentation of below average performance that could lead to termination.
At your next management or leadership training meeting, have a discussion about being courageous and initiating candid conversations on a daily basis. Having difficult conversations throughout the year is a mark of integrity. Compliment employees on extra effort, ask for their ideas, make them a partner in figuring out the future.
When you have low performance, ask them why they chose a certain solution. If you don’t agree with the solution, talk about changing directions.
Difficult conversations may seem like the hard route, but it is the easiest road to travel when you want to eliminate the negative performance reviews.
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Have you had a good or bad experience with performance reviews? Leave  your comments below and I’ll send you a free copy the Outside the Norm Behavior Performance Review form.

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