You've worked for 6 months and it's all come to this. Waiting with anticipation to see if you've met the elusive standard.
Finally, with bated breath, you receive it. The dreaded performance review. You slowly open it knowing that you can never un-see what you are about to see.
You peak, not knowing what to expect. The first thing you see is...
Three. Three! You got a THREE?!?! Has your manager lost their mind?
Has this ever happened to you? You work hard for six months only to be blindsided by a lackluster performance review.
I believe performance reviews cause more employee disengagement than any other corporate function. Why? lack of leadership.
Managers: If you serve a performance review and the recipient is surprised by anything they read, it's an indictment on your leadership.
Performance reviews are not a wall for you hide behind as you lob shame-bombs over at uncooperative employees. They are meant to be a report of the ongoing conversations you've had over the past six months.
3 ways to make performance reviews work
1. Embrace conflict:
When it comes to communication, conflict is king. Not the conflict you see on the Kardashians, thats drama. Conflict is different. And for the record, I don't watch the Kardashians. If you do, thats your business and I can't help but judge a little.
The question you have to ask yourself is,
Do I care enough about my people to make them uncomfortable every once in a while?
Conflict happens when you care enough about your people that you won't accept less than their best. Thats why accountability is made up of two words, Account and Ability.
Another great resource on conflict is Susan Scott's book, Fierce Conversations:
2. Ask Questions
Getting your people talking is the only way to know if you are on the same page. Ask questions before you give orders. This will give you an opportunity to either conform or correct their direction.
Ask questions today and you won't have to explain your lack of leadership during performance review time.
3. Be vulnerable
We see strength in other when they show vulnerability but we see the same vulnerability as weakness in ourselves.
Our reviews should be day by day not year by year.
I took a golf lesson a few years ago and the instructor stood beside me and helped me in real time. He didn't wait till the end of the quarter to send me a report. Help your people achieve their goals and your standards in real time.
Being willing to be vulnerable tells your people that you're human, that you care and that you want whats best for them. After all, your people want to work for a person, not a position.
What are you doing to keep your people from hating you and your performance reviews?
(Leave your comments below)