No Love Lost (The case of the missing performance review)

By: Kristi Suddock | @KdSuddock


What do managers do when they want to help their employees improve performance and advance to the next level? They provide an annual performance review, of course!

Traditional annual performance reviews can take 3-4 hours per employee to write. For a manager with 10 employees, that is one solid work week per year of writing reviews. After writing for 8-10 hours, I’ll be honest, I begin cutting and pasting my clever feedback statements.

Reviews may also be subjective based on how we are feeling about Joe at the moment. Sure he’s a good employee, but this morning he wasn’t particularly friendly when I passed in the hall, right? I’ll put a “needs improvement” on Teamwork.

By the time reviews are written and submitted, they’re usually delivered late because revenue generating work is priority.   I finally deliver my masterpiece to find that Sue is not particularly happy receiving a “meets” on accuracy, even though she is outstanding on every other point. She refuses to sign and leaves my office angry.

performance reviewsAnd as an employee, how do you feel when you receive your performance review late, it looks suspiciously like last year’s review and your manager did not remember to mention the successful launch of your biggest project? It feels like you aren’t visible.

At TSP, we have a different philosophy on annual performance reviews. We don’t mandate them. We believe that feedback should be given timely and regularly. TSP encourages our managers to take the opportunity each day to say “You did a good job on that report. The data was exactly what I needed.” or “I noticed that you arrived late this morning. Please be on time going forward.” There is no need to wait an entire year to give someone clear, constructive feedback.

Feedback delivery should not be limited to TSP’s management. It can also be a peer-to-peer sharing of what works, what doesn’t work, ideas and praise.   That’s how healthy office relationships work. Telling each other in an open, honest way what we need from our co-workers in order for the team to be successful. This includes praising each other when we recognize good work.

Let’s commit to practicing good feedback this week by sharing these four points with an employee or peer:

  • One thing that has made us happy
  • One thing that has caused stress or concern
  • One new idea
  • One #TSProckstar praise

Let me know how it goes!

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