Planning for Performance Reviews? Here’s How to Share the Bad Stuff

Many companies conduct performance reviews at the beginning of the year, particularly if items like annual sales numbers play a role in the evaluations. If you are a manager at one of those businesses, you are likely about to take part in the daunting task of giving at least one employee less than stellar feedback.

While providing negative feedback is never easy, how it is delivered makes a world of difference in how the information is received. With that in mind, here are tips on how to share the bad stuff during performance reviews, should the need arise.

Have a Business-Centric Mindset

Giving an employee a poor review is always hard, but it is also necessary if the business is going to thrive. Ensuring your team is operating at its best is part of your job, so providing constructive criticism simply comes with the role.

Without your feedback, the employee may continue to make the same mistakes, hindering the company’s profitability and dragging down the team. By keeping this in mind, you can align your discussion with the greater goal of ensuring the profitability of the business. Just make sure to focus on facts and avoid a tone that may be interpreted as threatening, aggressive, or offensive. Additionally, make sure that you have a plan for helping the worker improve, as sharing that information can keep the review productive.

Use Self-Assessments

One of the most stressful parts of a negative performance review is the uncertainty surrounding how the employee perceives their performance and how it compares to yours. One way to eliminate this question is to require self-assessments from workers before you have the conversation.

In many cases, your employees are aware of their shortcomings and will speak up about any issues they feel they have experienced. Once the self-assessment is complete, you can review the details to see if your perspectives align, making it easier to have a constructive conversation. If they do, you automatically have an icebreaker to start the discussion. If not, you can plan accordingly.

Have Examples Ready

Without an example, any criticism of the worker’s performance may feel ambiguous, making it harder for the employee to relate the feedback to a particular behavior or action. However, by referring to specific instances, they can more easily connect the information to their performance and have an increased likelihood of understanding your perspective.

When you are examining a potential issue to determine if it is worth discussing during the performance review, aim to select only those that have more than one applicable example. If you can just think of one, and their performance has since improved, then it’s possible the employee simply made a mistake and has already taken action to prevent it in the future, making it unnecessary to rehash it.

In the end, negative feedback should be delivered in a way that is designed to help both the company and the employee. The idea is to give them mechanisms for improving and not just tearing them down, which can do more harm than good. After delivering bad news, follow it up with clear action plans and make sure your expectations are clear. Then, monitor their progress to see if they are taking the proper steps, and acknowledge their positive momentum.

If you are interested in learning more about having productive performance reviews or are seeking top talent to join your team, the specialists at CPS Recruitment can help. Contact us today to see how our skilled staff can benefit you.

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