I would say that most people walk into a review feeling nervous and anxious about what is going to be said. Generally, the sense is that their weaknesses are going to be exposed and the manager will point out what they haven’t done, rather than focus on what they have done.

Well that was my experience at the last performance review I had some years ago now. It was terrible.

In fact, as I write this, it was one of the main reasons I made the decision to take back control of my career and run my own business. So, for that experience, I say thank you.

But for all the positives I received I always thought, there must be a better way!

I knew instinctively it wasn’t the manager’s fault as they were following the systems and procedures provided to them by the company.

I also thought it was crazy that we would talk this one time a year about my performance. Why didn’t he just talk to me about the issue at the time? Often it felt like I was in a bad relationship and all the problems would be brought up at once.

I desired a more open and transparent dialogue.

As I’ve discovered from some of the leading research companies, and from working with many clients as they enter this time of the year, I was right.

The workforce of today want:

  • consistent, regular feedback about their performance
  • a coaching conversation which involves active listening, good quality questions and less time “telling”
  • purpose rather than just a pay check
  • no surprises in conversations
  • to be treated like an individual – not put in a box.

If regular conversations are occurring, then the annual or semi-annual review should be more of a summary of what’s already been discussed.

As you enter this time of the year my advice is as follows:

To managers,

  • listen more, tell less
  • have frequent conversations with your staff

To employees,

  • educate yourself on your strengths and be prepared for the conversation
  • remaining positive
  • during the year, ask for regular feedback; you are in control of your future and gaining this feedback will help the manager and improve your relationship

I am passionate about helping people clarify the vision for their business and how it fits with their personal goals.

Please feel free to call me about business coaching in Sydney on 0402 313 337 if you would like to know more.