… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

How do you think you are doing?

Now, it’s Performance Review time again at most companies, mine included, so I was thinking about doing a post about it. Cause I’m trying to be topical, or something. I don’t know, I’ve been kind of a slacker on the blog lately, sorry about that folks.

But then I saw this awesome post over on TNLT by Derek Irvine, and I was all like “Crap, what can I add to that? It even has that really cool infographic at the end.” There are so many bloggers out there smarter than me, but I’m glad you guys stick with me anyway. It’s because I’m cute, right? Please say it’s because I’m cute.

Anyway, one thing that jumped out at me was the statistic that 4 out of 5 people were dissatisfied with their performance review. It is unlikely that all those people are getting bad reviews so even people who get positive reviews are unhappy. If you manage employees, this should concern you. After all, you may be thinking that your employees are going to be happy getting a good review from you when in fact, you might actually cause them to become unhappy and disengaged. When it comes to performance reviews it’s all in the execution, not the final score.

From my experience, both in counseling managers and employees about performance reviews and being on the receiving end of them myself, here’s what happens:
There are managers who provide timely feedback throughout the year, clearly communicate expectations, solicit feedback from their employees, and then take all that information into account when creating a year end review reflective of each individual contributor. They are doing it right.


Everyone else. You are doing it wrong. Stop it.

The biggest complaints I get about performance reviews usually revolve around it being impersonal, not an accurate reflection of their day to day efforts/big accomplishments throughout the year, they feel blindsided by the criticism/first time they were told it was an issue, they are being held accountable for things outside their control, or that it feels petty, harassing, and unfair.

If any of these thoughts go through your employees mind then you did something wrong. Sure, some employees will never be happy with their review. But if done the right way, performance reviews should encourage, reward, and counsel as needed. They should be a resource to both employees and managers, not a chore that needs to be done once a year never to be thought of again.

Anything less than that and the review stops being a reflection of the employee, and more a reflection of a dysfunctional company.

Who knows how long the yearly performance review will last, but for now, do yourself, your employees, and your company a favor and do it right.

3 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Danni :

    So…Any suggestions for how to get my managers to see this? Or anyone higher up the food chain?

  • 2 Nancy Kick :

    I agree that when done well as part of an ongoing system to provide feedback, a Performance Review can be an incredibly valuable tool. Good feedback is honest, specific, timely and goal-oriented. I wrote more about this in a recent blog “Employee Performance Management: Giving Feedback to Your Employees” which can be found at http://springboard.resourcefulhr.com/?p=1676.
    Danni, remember that giving feedback is often a very scary thing to do because one never knows how it will be received. Have you considered simply asking for more feedback from your manager? By soliciting feedback you are making it clear to your manager that you are open to hearing what they think about your work. Watch our blog http://springboard.resourcefulhr.com/ for an upcoming post on Soliciting Feedback from your manager.

  • 3 Shauna :

    Danni – If you have to show it to them then it is already a problem and if your HR isn’t doing anything about it then it’s a bigger mess. You could always start with your boss and see where it goes from there, but only if you think your boss would be open to the feedback. If not, your best bet might be to find a better work environment.