Surveys show that employees actually value negative feedback when it’s delivered constructively. But a poor approach can cause resentment and further job disengagement.
Here are 7 tips to follow when giving your next review:
1. Introduce the criticisms by clarifying your goals and intentions. For example, say, “I want your work to improve so that you can become a top performer.”
2. Criticize constructively by explaining precisely what the employee must do to improve in nonjudgmental terms.
For example, don’t say, “You have poor time management” and leave it at that. Say, “You must prioritize your tasks better, figure how long it will take to complete them, and do so more quickly to become more productive.”
3. Be as specific as possible. Instead of saying, “Don’t make your reports so long,” say, “Shorten your reports to five to eight pages maximum.”
Address each problem individually. Cite specific examples and let the employee respond. Don’t bring up a new problem until you’ve thoroughly discussed the current one.
4. Don’t always preface criticism with a compliment because it comes across as insincere and delivers mixed messages. For example, don’t say, “You are a good employee but you never get to work on time.” Instead, get straight to the criticism in a factual way: “During the past month, you were more than 20 minutes late on six separate days. The job requires that you arrive on time.”
Don't let your 'mister nice guy' attitude get in the way of effectively managing employee performance — Get 10 Secrets to an Effective Performance Review: Examples and tips...
5. Be prepared with documentation. If you’ll be citing major flaws in the employee’s work, be prepared to show concrete examples at the review. Otherwise, the employee may shrug off your comments as hyperbole.
6. Be prepared for a counterattack. Is there any chance the employee will complain about unclear explanations or lack of supervision from you?
7. Finally, develop a plan for improvement. Your review preparation should always include a plan for helping the employee improve performance. During the meeting, the employee may suggest additional solutions.
In the end, you should have a concrete plan on paper for improving performance, including benchmarks, a timeline and consequences if those short-term goals aren’t met. This will allow the employee to leave the meeting with a clear road map to getting back on a path to success.
10 Secrets to an Effective Performance Review: Examples and tips — Lead confident, productive performance reviews with this FREE guide for managers!
Rewriting the script: 4 examples
Supervisors are more successful in performance reviews when they use clear, nonjudgmental language that focuses on results and behavior. Notice the differences here:
Negative: “Your work has been sloppy lately.” (too vague)
Positive: “Your last three reports contained an unacceptable number of statistical errors.” (cites specifics)
Negative: “Don’t you bother to proofread anything anymore?” (accusatory tone)
Positive: “Is there a reason these errors are still occurring?” (gives employee a chance to explain)
Negative: “You’re obviously not a mathematician.” (focuses on person, not performance)
Positive: “I know you’re capable of producing more accurate work.” (reaffirms confidence in employee’s abilities)
Negative: “Don’t let it happen again.” (blanket demands)
Positive: “How can we prevent errors from creeping into reports?” (asks for feedback on improving performance)
With 10 Secrets to an Effective Performance Review: Examples and tips, you'll learn:
- 6 tips for using performance logs to simplify reviews instead of relying on memory
- 8 paths to effective logging of employee performance, and the 12 check-boxes every performance log must include
- 4 steps to help employees reach their peak performance
- 5 evaluation tools that help rehabilitate problem employees
- 6-point checklist to prepare for the review session, plus 10 tips to conduct more effective reviews
Get your copy here...
- 6 performance review missteps (and how to avoid committing them), 5 conversation-stoppers … and 1 total no-no