PERFORMANCE REVIEWS ARE HARD
Managers & employees dread the annual performance review. It's the most stressful business conversation they have all year!
Research shows that 90% are painful and don't work. (Society of Human Resource Managers "SHRM").
Being judged stinks. Being the judge stinks, too.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
The employee point-of-view
- Employees assume - "My comp and performance are linked"
- Employees believe - "I'm better than average"
- Employees hear - "You're doing a good job"
- Employees remember - "I've worked my a*s off!"
- KEY POINT #1 - Employees develop expectations based on what they assume, believe, hear & remember
- KEY POINT #2 - People pin their hopes for happiness on fulfilled expectations
- KEY POINT #3 - People react emotionally to any unmet expectations
Coaching point - "Expectations are premeditated resentments!"
THE EMOTIONAL SPECTRUM
The manager point-of-view
- "I'm forced to rate most people as average"
- "An average rating is demotivating"
- "There's no good way to tell someone they're average"
- "They'll never be satisfied with a modest merit increase'
COACHING POINT - when employees think of good performance as being "above average", they're going to expect glowing performance evaluations.
- Good performance (numbers met/positive feedback) = above average ranking
- Average ranking = you're not valued
HOW TO HANDLE THE DREADED PERFORMANCE REVIEW
- Hold performance & compensation reviews separately
- Tackle any misperceptions right up front
- Explain, clarify & reset your standards
- If your feedback has been infrequent, own up to it
- Base your feedback on tangible, relevant observations
- Balance positive & negative feedback
- Hear the employee out...allow them to voice frustration
- Empathize, but stick to your guns
- Commit to monthly performance calibration
HOW TO AVOID THE DREADED PERFORMANCE REVIEW
- Conduct quality, mid-year reviews
- Set & promote standards to define what "good" looks like
- Use those standards as benchmark for "average"
- Make feedback a part of your daily interactions
- Calibrate performance monthly
- Manage their expectations in advance of performance reviews