Management Tip of the Day: 3 ways to improve performance reviews

Fri Sep 3, 2010 12:38pm EDT
 
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BOSTON (Reuters) - The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"The usefulness of performance reviews is open to debate. Some people think they are one-sided, ungrounded, and too sugarcoated. Others believe they are an invaluable tool in employee development. Here are three ways to make your reviews more of the latter and less of the former:

1. Reduce subjectivity. Try to incorporate several viewpoints. Ask peers, direct reports, and more senior managers for input. When possible, compare the employee's performance to that of her peers to get a more objective assessment.

2. Give constant feedback. Reviews shouldn't feel like a surprise party. If you give feedback regularly then nothing you say in a review will come as a shock.

3. Balance evaluation and development. It's important to both assess the individual and to help her improve her performance. It may be difficult to engage an employee in a developmental discussion if she is upset about the feedback. Separate the review and development sessions to make room for both to happen."

- Today's Management Tip was adapted from "Ditch Performance Reviews? How About Learn to do Them Well?" by Maxim Sytch and D.Scott DeRue.

 
<p>A man speaks on his mobile phone while standing on a boat on the River Thames with Canary Wharf and the financial district of London seen in the background. REUTERS/Toby Melville</p>