Key to successful review: honest thoughtful feedback

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the “Dreaded Self Review” in terms of reviewing one’s self personally as well as the professional process.  Thank you for the wonderful feedback, based on this feedback, I felt it fitting to cover the next step, the manager input portion of the process.  For leaders, I feel like this is not difficult to complete, you must just dedicate the time, time you may not have a lot of.  Just remember, you want the individual completing your review to take their time so you owe it to your team members to make the time to complete their review.


By the time the review is in your queue, your team member has taken the time to review themselves.  Before you do anything at all, I mean anything, read what they wrote, really read it, not skim, read and absorb it.  Next, and hopefully you have this, read your journal entries from the prior year or their file, whichever is your method for keeping track of notes and performance.  My next suggestion would be to run the metrics noted in the review, whether they be service scores, financial performance, or other statistics.  Tip: keep these same reports so you can reference them in the upcoming discussion you will have.


You have digested all it and now you are ready to input your ratings.  I have always used the difference in or if the score is the same between the self review and manager input as to how in tune I am with the team member, allowing for some that are just unrealistic in their ratings (those that score themselves exceptional across the board).  When your ratings are drastically different from the self ratings on the majority of your team, then I would venture to say there is a disconnect.  When they are similar, this would indicate an engaged team and open communication.  Please do not allow the individual’s self ratings to sway your rating of them, know why you want to rate them as such and be confident.  There is a reason and hopefully you have something quantifiable to be able to adequately explain your rating.


Moving into commentary, you owe it your team to not have a cookie cutter answer to their goals and competencies as to others.  Leave thoughts that are thorough but not a book, try not to leave someone going, huh?  Enter facts when it comes to goals, the opinions can be entered in the overall comments.  Also, if the data shows the individual did not achieve the goal and there was an anomaly, note that, acknowledge it.  Lastly, this is a personal one, the review is being read by the individual, don’t write it in the third person, this will make it easier for you to set up the discussion using the review as your notes, a guide.


Although I am not a stark supporter of the annual review process (we will touch on this in future posts), it is a process that is important to an organization as well as many employees.  With anything, it is all in the attitude and effort you put forth.

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