September 3, 2010 / 12:00 PM / 8 years ago

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

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

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and ( 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.

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