Performance Review 101 – How to get real results

We are rapidly approach the end of the fiscal year and that means one thing for employees: performance review time. Ugh, the dreaded performance review, they are the bane of existence for employees and managers alike. 

But there are ways to make performance reviews less painful for everyone involved. Tom Fox is the Vice President for Leadership and Innovation at the Partnership for Public Service. 

He told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program that supervisors need to spend twice the amount of time preparing for the performance review as they do delivering the feedback.

Performance reviews are important because:

  • In the current fiscal environment it is essential to set clear expectations
  • You need to make sure you are able to maintain morale, despite all the doom and gloom that is in the papers today

What should managers consider prior to a performance review?

  • What were the employee's expectations?
  • How did he/she perform?
  • To what extent are they/you responsible for the outcomes?
  • What are some concrete expectations going forward?
  • What are the things they are doing exceptionally well that you want to reinforce?
  • What are the derailers?

For high performing employees with low morale, managers should:

  • Focus on the big picture. For high performers who may be struggling right ow, they may miss that this is a great opportunity to affect change in government right now. So while we would love to have public support, this is the hand we are dealt. You have to ask them if they want to write the story that despite historic challenges, they were able to achieve even higher levels of performance.
  • Focus on what you have control over.

How to deal with low performers?

  • Before you give any feedback ask the employee to do a self assessment. That way you can have them take the delusion test.
  • Offer that employee an honest assessment
  • Put the employee on an improvement plan

"Managers should shift their perceptions of performance reviews from one of judgement to an opportunity for learning," said Fox.

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