Step Away From the Feedback Sandwich
Today’s blog will discuss how to conduct performance reviews that benefit both you and your employees. Oftentimes, performance reviews are the time of year that everyone dreads; managers hate giving criticism and everyone else hates getting it. In addition, contrived compliments to create a “feedback sandwich” may seem insincere. Here are some tips to help alleviate some of the stress of giving – and getting – a performance review.
- Set expectations early. Your employees should know exactly what is expected of them. This means you must provide adequate training when they are hired, and you must keep an ongoing dialogue with them. You should not limit feedback to only their annual performance review; tell an employee right away when their behavior is unacceptable and give them praise when they go above and beyond.
- Make the evaluation process clear. Tell your employees the exact criteria you will be evaluating them with as well as how the actual review meeting will go. You can also choose to distribute written feedback to your employees so they each have time to digest the contents. This can help alleviate emotion from the meeting itself.
- Involve the employee. The best way to do this is through self-evaluations and goal setting. You can have the employee fill out a self-evaluation so that they have a chance to critically think about their own job performance. Most people will be honest with themselves and with you about their strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to goal setting, you should both be involved in order to empower the employee to set reasonable goals while meeting your expectations as their manager.
- Keep a positive attitude, but also be transparent. Don’t sugar-coat things that are unpleasant. If your employee is not meeting certain standards, tell them what is undesirable or inadequate then reiterate the expectation. Your focus should be on improving your employee’s performance through goal-setting.
Do you have certain strategies for conducting performance reviews? Share in the comments below.