This is the time of the year when most managers have either wrapped up their annual performance reviews with their employees, or are wrapping them up. Here are a couple of pieces of advice I would give any leader in regards to annual reviews.
1. Be prepared. You better ensure you can answer questions like “what could I have done different this year to get a higher rating? What can I do next year to get a better rating?” If you can’t answer these types questions then you have failed the employee you are doing the review with. Be prepared so you can be specific.
2. Be sincere. I always say if you don’t care about those you lead, then you ought not to be a leader. If you truly care your sincerity will show. You can’t fake positive feedback. People can smell a fake a mile away. Certainly if you don’t care about building relationships of trust then go ahead and fake away.
3. Be honest. Many leaders shy away from providing the type of feedback that matters. If you really care about those you lead, then give them the type of feedback that will make a difference. It is difficult sometimes to provide negative feedback, but leaders that care are more concerned about those they lead and their development than what is comfortable or uncomfortable.
4. Follow up. This is probably the area in which most leaders fail in their responsibility to those they lead. An annual performance that is just that – annual, will do little to help employees improve. The key is to follow-up by checking-in, coaching and providing feedback many times throughout the year. One tip in doing this is to set the meetings throughout the year so they are both on yours and the employees calendar. This commits you both.
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Here are some other posts you might find helpful in setting goals and providing feedback to those you lead:
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