Six-month reviews, followed by a 12-month review. It’s standard practice, but it could be hurting your employees.
It’s time to change things up when it comes to giving feedback to your staffers. When formal feedback sessions occur only once or twice a year, they feel more like indictments due to all the added pressure.
Here are some ways to make reviews seem less like dropping bombs and more helpful for employees.
Give more feedback, more often
Instead of picking two sessions a year, make the feedback process an ongoing dialogue. Bruce Tulgan, author of It’s Okay To Be The Boss, uses the analogy of getting exercise: If you go out and try to do a five-mile run without working out regularly, that’s when injuries occur.
“Part of why the ongoing dialogue works so well is it lowers the stakes in each of the conversations. Think about what happens in the 6- and 12-month reviews. You’re talking to people about stuff they did 6 or 12 months ago, for one thing. And they’re like, ‘Wow, I wish you would have told me that at the time,” Tulgan told FastCompany.com
Ask yourself three questions
It’s important to get facts and motives straight before entering a review session. So ask yourself these three questions:
- What do I want for me?
- What do I want for the other person?
- What do I want out of this work relationship?
And make sure to physically write down facts and conclusions you want your employee to walk away with. Without a clear structure to your feedback, the conversation could go off the rails.
Handle emotion with ease
It’s no surprise if things get heated or emotional during a review. If you feel the other person beginning to get defensive it’s important to make that person feel safe. Don’t become apologetic or sugarcoat any constructive criticism.
Instead, make your employee understand that their best interests are at heart. Consider saying something to the effect of, “I’m not giving you this feedback because I’m trying to tear you down. I need to talk with you about this because I think you’ve got potential here and I want to make sure you achieve that potential.”
How do you handle employee feedback reviews? Let us know in the comments below.