The Elegant Executive Blog

Need Help with Performance Reviews?

Anyone who has worked with Millennials (that group of new professionals born after 1980) knows that they crave feedback in the workplace. They want to know how well they’re doing (being eternally optimistic, that’s usually the starting point), how they compare to their peers, and when they will be able to do something different. Of the four generations working together under the same roof, Millennials are the most eager for performance reviews, followed by Gen Xers, then Baby Boomers. Traditionalists are the least interested in feedback; they’ll take a pat on the back and the gold watch when it’s time to go, thank you very much, but in the meantime assume that no news is good news.

Helpful feedback is a critical component to everyone’s professional development. Many managers, however, cringe when it’s time to conduct the annual or semi-annual performance review, often procrastinating until the last minute. If that’s you or someone in your organization, it’s time to consult the performance review guru, Sharon Armstrong of DC-based Armstrong and Associates. Armstrong’s latest book, The Essential Performance Review Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource for Any Manager or HR Professional, is guaranteed to remove the anxiety and show supervisors step-by-step how to bring performance appraisals into the 21st century. The book also covers such future-focused areas as job sharing, telecommuting, shared supervision, team evaluations, legal concerns, and accommodating particular employee challenges.

“Supervisors often complain they are required to focus on tedious written forms, but don’t have enough training in how to use them,” she says. “They also worry about getting hit with complaints or lawsuits when there’s even a hint of discussion in the review about ‘improvement opportunities’. And there’s also the frustration of measuring intangibles.”

What’s more, employees often aren’t any happier about the performance review process.

“Anyone who is in the HR business knows that many employees just plain dread appraisals, citing feelings of trepidation from one error that dragged on through 10 categories of the performance review, and frustration with perfunctory appraisals that neither acknowledge nor foster growth,” Armstrong adds. “As one employee told me, ‘The perception of the individual or relationship often dictates how critical or complimentary a supervisor can be.’ ”

Get your performance house in order this spring with a copy of The Essential Performance Review Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource for Any Manager or HR Professional.


Posted on February 21, 2012 by Gretchen Neels in Uncategorized

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