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Fumbling Feedback

Successful companies and great leaders use the performance review process to motivate employees, incentivize employees, build and repair relationships, and to identify neglected areas in overall organizational development. The following are five questions you can ask to determine whether your company is fumbling feedback during your performance review process.


1. Do we consistently train our employees to seek feedback?

It’s one thing to tell employees to seek feedback and it’s quite another to have processes, programs, and training that consistently reinforce this message over time. Hearing this message a few times during onboarding won’t create a culture of employees who seek and provide feedback.

2. If we already have a culture that values feedback, have we provided enough information about this process?

Employees need to know the nuts and bolts of the feedback process. They need to know the norms of when, where, and how to ask for feedback. Saying you have an “open door policy” isn’t enough.


3. What is the purpose of your performance review process?

Are your performance evaluations just another thing for HR to accomplish – a box checking, compliance mentality – or are they a way to make behavioral adjustments, a means to justify merit increases, or a program committed to people’s growth?


4. Do you know who your top performing employees are and do you make sure you are doing enough to keep them around?

Top performers go to firms where they feel valued and are rewarded, so at the very least be sure you are publicly pointing out the things that your top 5% are doing right.


5. Do we use behavioral data and analytics during the performance review?

A valid and reliable tool that provides behavioral benchmarks and highlights people’s natural behavioral needs can help eliminate some of the negative emotions associated with performance reviews. Evaluators can use this data to supplement other metrics and form the foundation for a productive conversation about behavioral expectations, norms, needs, and goals.

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