How to Reduce the Stress Associated with Performance Reviews

by Jody Ordioni

You must have often wondered how the HR thinks of your performance review. The HR, each year, brings forward performance reviews which the managers supply based on their assessment of the employees. The HR team is responsible for giving training for performance reviews that covers topics such as distribution scales and ratings. Yet you might never know the attitude of the HR team towards the performance reviews.

The attitude of the HR towards receiving performance reviews is not generally known. Managers are like any other employee in the organization. However, with them resides the responsibility of ensuring a fair and transparent performance review that can help other employees grow in their professional life. The HR does not usually respond well to the process of performance review. Yet, certain steps can be undertaken in the training process that ensure that the annual performance review process is easier.

The Habit of Note Taking

It might seem like an obvious suggestion, but many reviewers do not follow this principle. Taking notes implies that they are taken down along with the process of writing the performance review itself. Utilize the competency criteria and the core values of your company as a basis for the annual review. This allows you to directly transfer your notes to the review forms at the end.

However, even while taking notes one has to be cautious. The notes that are concerned with employees are public in case the company gets sued. Therefore, notes should contain nothing but facts. Stating personal opinions on employees is discouraged. Illustrate with clear and concrete examples, the progress of the employee and even if there has been no progress.

Build a System of Regularity in Reviews

The annual reviews can come as a shock to the employees, especially if they believe that they are putting in their best efforts in their work. However, if there are no regular updates regarding their reviews, then the lowered rating might provide a bit of a nasty shock at the end of the year. Frequent meeting, at least quarterly if not monthly, should be held with the employees so that they can estimate their performance.

Moreover, you can help them to understand what areas they are lacking in and how they can overcome the obstacles they are facing in their growth. Singular efforts such as these can help the employees recognize the problems earlier rather than receiving a shock at the end. Most importantly, the workforce today is largely constituted of millennials and Generation Z. They prefer instant feedback and therefore, regularization of reviews will help them to accommodate into the cycle of annual reviews.

The Actual Delivery of the Review Should be Looked After

No one likes to be the harbinger of bad news, one that pushes the label of improvement on their employees, especially during an annual review. Before you provide the employee with the feedback, try to understand who is on the receiving end. How will they receive it? Are they capable of handling the feedback? Will they be shocked at receiving this rating? Each employee has a different manner of reacting and preparing for the meeting would help to circumvent any awkward conversations that might arise from the review.

If there are any significant concerns regarding the review, make it a priority to talk about it with the HR or any other party that can coach you on how to empathically deliver the verdict. Preparation is key so that there is no ambiguity regarding the concerns; lead with examples wherever possible.

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