Performance Reviews – Six Common Mistakes Made by Managers

Ask employees how supervisors and managers could improve the way they deliver performance reviews and you likely will get more responses then you can process. This is an area where most performance reviewers could improve. Let’s examine six common mistakes managers make when it comes to delivering performance reviews and how they can improve their delivery.

1. Being late-Timing is everything, particularly when it comes to reviews. Even positive reviews that are delivered late can have a negative impact on an employee’s morale.

Late reviews tell employees “I have more important things to do than provide you with feedback.” You don’t want to send that message to employees who are meeting expectations, and you certainly don’t want to send that message to your star performers. Re-adjust your plans and deliver reviews on time.

2. Using reviews to provide feedback for the first time-Picture this scenario: an employee is sitting at the edge of her chair waiting to receive what she believes will be a glowing review. Then, boom. Her manager cites five areas where her performance has been substandard. The employee sits in disbelief. After the first two comments, all she hears is “blah, blah, blah!”

This scenario happens everyday. Why? Too many supervisors and managers wait until review time to provide employees with any feedback. Tell employees how they are doing on a continuous basis so they know where they stand.

3. Winging it-Too many supervisors and managers fail to prepare properly for the performance review. They check some boxes on the form; write a few comments and send it off to the boss or human resources for final approval. Then it’s time for lunch.

Delivering a performance review requires more than filling out a performance appraisal form. Conducting a good review requires careful preparation. Decide what you are going to say, and how you are going to say it. Take your time when delivering the news, and put aside ample time to respond to the employee’s questions regarding your assessment.

4. Telling white lies-It’s not uncommon to sugar coat bad reviews. Some supervisors and managers believe they are doing employees a favor by sparing their feelings.

Employees can’t be expected to improve their performance if they have no idea they are failing. Be truthful. In the end, the employee will thank you.

5. Talking at the employee-Reviews are a great time to open dialogue between employees and their managers. It should not be a one-way conversation where managers are viewed as talking heads.

Train supervisors and managers on how to draw employees into the conversation. The ultimate goal is to provide feedback, and feedback should be a two-way communication.

6. Failing to plan for the future-Often times, supervisors and managers tell employees that they will meet again to discuss the employee’s career development and future with the company. Unfortunately, this time rarely happens.

Assuming the review is a favorable one, begin discussing future opportunities and career direction right then.


Tips for delivering performance reviews

Make the delivery of the performance review a more positive experience for employees.

· Give employees ample notice of the time and date you will be delivering their performance review so that they have time to prepare.

· Meet in a quiet place that is private. Remember to turn the ringer off of your phone so that you are not interrupted during your meeting.

· Tell the employee how the meeting will be run.

· Give the employee a written copy of the review.

· Allow the employee ample time to respond to the review.

With a little bit of practice and some training, your managers will exceed expectations when it comes to delivering performance reviews.

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