Performance Review: How to Give Feedback on Performance

Probably the most challenging part of the performance review or appraisal meeting is giving feedback to our employees on their performance. But, of course, feedback we must give – if we want the meeting to be motivational for our employee and to result in improved performance

So how can we give motivational performance feedback in the performance review or appraisal meeting?

Here is a three step process that could help

Performance Review and Appraisal: A three step process for giving performance feedback

Step 1. Performance Review / Appraisal Preparation: Get the feedback ready

As ever in performance review or appraisal (and people management in general) ‘preparation prevents pig poor performance’! Here’s how to prepare the performance feedback

1. Pull together copies of the performance objectives or standards agreed at the last meeting

2.  Open your ‘performance file’ or wherever it is that you have collected samples of your employee’s actual performance (these would be outcomes from monitoring your employee’s performance – read more on monitoring here)

3. Look for gaps – if you do not have examples or samples of performance for an objective you need to find some!

4. For each performance objective or standard, compare actual performance so that you can:

• Identify achievements and successes

• Identify any areas for improvement

5. Think about any barriers to performance the employee might have encountered

6. Consider any special projects undertaken / work ‘above and beyond’ the agreed objectives or standards

Step 2. Performance Review / Appraisal: Before we give the performance feedback let’s listen

You may have heard the saying ‘it’s better to give than to receive’? Well in performance review or appraisal meetings that’s often not true. Most employees, given the opportunity, are willing and able to review their own performance – with your help. Of course you may need to help them prepare to review their performance (read how to do help your employee prepare here). My advice would be to always ask the employee for their opinion first – before offering your feedback

Here’s how that might work

Step 3. Performance Review / Appraisal: Giving (and sharing) the performance feedback

1. Take each performance objective or standard and ask your employee to evaluate their actual performance against the objective or standard

If you agree with the employee’s evaluation:

a) Simply state your agreement (‘Yes, I agree you’ve fully met that objective’)

And then

b) Give examples to support your agreement. This is where you are giving your feedback using clear, evidenced based language – using facts and figures when you can (‘In the last client meeting I saw you…’ ‘The figures here show…’ ‘The client told me …’ ‘This report you wrote demonstrates that…’

c) Remember to congratulate the employee on meeting the objective (‘Well done’ ‘You’ve nailed that one’ ‘Great achievement’)

If you disagree with the employee’s evaluation:

a) Ask them to give you evidence of having me the objective – samples and examples, facts and figures (‘I’m interested you think that you’ve met that objective as that’s not how I see it. Can you give some examples?’)

If they can give you sufficient evidence or examples of meeting the objective you simply then need to re evaluate your opinion – and then state your agreement

If they cannot give you examples they will (usually) see that they have not met the objective. If they don’t see this then

b) Give examples to support your disagreement – again giving your feedback using clear, evidenced based language and using facts and figures when you can (‘In the last client meeting I didn’t see you…’ ‘The figures here show…’ ‘The client told me …’ ‘This report you wrote demonstrates that you haven’t…’

2. For each performance objective or standard agree whether these have been met or not met – based on the evidence (‘So, based on the examples / figures we’ve e looked at can we agree that you have not met this objective?’ )

Having reviewed the employee’s performance and shared feedback you can now go on to the next item on the performance appraisal meeting agenda

Performance Review / Appraisal Feedback: It’s all about effective management process

Performance review or appraisal feedback (or any performance feedback) is always easier to give (and receive) when as managers we have followed a structured process of; a) agreeing performance objectives or standards b) monitored employee performance and c) given our employees ongoing performance feedback (not just at performance appraisal time)

Would you read more about how to run motivational performance review / appraisal meetings?

Then why not take a look at my Kindle book ‘A step-by-step guide to running performance appraisal meetings that that motivate your staff to higher performance and higher job satisfaction’

This guide was easy to read, well structured and easy to follow… I particularly liked: the emphasis on motivation; the inclusion of job satisfaction ( not something I had come across as a specific appraisal topic before); the approach of drawing in the staff member to the whole process ( making them prepare and getting them to give their views first); the idea of sharing performance feedback and that the manager should be prepared to change their mind on whether objectives have been met in the light of information given by the member of staff.

You can check it out on Amazon (and try a sample) HERE

4 Responses to Performance Review: How to Give Feedback on Performance

  1. Nelson says:

    How many of us could say that our performance appraisal systems, which were designed to help improve the performance of the organization, are non-judgmental, non-threatening and done in a truly unbiased fashion. It has been most valuable
    in improving the quality and standards of the review process.

    The section wraps up with another template, an excellent and easily adaptable letter of

  2. Delila says:

    For which Employee Evaluation process suffers from the most contempt around the world
    by the employees, managers and the whole organizations too.
    The plan should provide individual employees with specific goals,
    objectives and milestones needed to achieve their long-term professional objectives and goals.
    Specific examples provide tangible targets for employees to shoot for.

  3. sara says:

    Great article! thank you

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