There are a lot of tips and tricks out there for performance reviews. And we definitely have plenty up our sleeves. Managers, HR experts, data scientists — they can all give you their own best practices. But when was the last time you or anyone has asked employees what they want to hear during their reviews?
Naturally, we did some poking around and asked a few employees to find out what type of feedback people truly crave.
No Surprise Parties
One of the most important factors that Amanda Blanck from Deviate brings up is that no one should ever be surprised by anything they hear in their performance review.
And it’s true. Problems or praises, they should all be addressed immediately rather than waiting for months until the review process.
Perception Is Reality
Michelle Brammer, Marketing & PR Manager at eZanga, is looking for concrete feedback. “I am interested in hearing specific examples where I met, exceeded, or fell short of the goal. This helps me identify what actions could be better improved upon and identify what actions are the most valued by my employer.
"I also want to know what the perception is of my performance and my contributions to the team. Early on in my career, I was told by a supervisor that perception is reality, and that has always stuck with me. If your results are positive, but the perception is you're not giving it your all, you have room to improve."
Down to Details
Sean Higgins, cofounder of ilos Videos, says, “I always like to get specific feedback from the team. I want to know what things I can start doing today to improve on a tactical level. It's easy to fall into generalities and vague statements, but most of the time they just aren't relevant. Give me something that I can use and I will always be grateful.”
On the Right Path
Jacel Egan, a Media Relations Coordinator at TechnologyAdvice, told us, “We recently had our six-month performance reviews, and having worked in a corporate environment prior to coming here, I thought the experience was open and valuable.
“During the process, we completed evaluation forms through our HR software that asked us to rate how we feel we've exhibited the company's values, and explain why. From there, we described our accomplishments over the past three to six months, what challenges we faced, and suggestions on how the company could improve.
“During my review, I went over these points with the HR manager as well as my direct supervisor, and they provided their feedback on how they thought I had done, where I could focus my efforts to improve, and where they saw my position growing in the company moving forward. Although this process was stressful (it can be difficult to be introspective!), I thought it was extremely important to finding out where I stand, where I'm going, and how I could maximize my contribution to help the company grow.”
So rather than focusing on the negative or what an employee has failed to do, focus on the future. Give your employee some concrete examples of how they can improve their own skills and how they can grow within your company.