Raising the level of your leadership

The Dreaded Performance Review


“Are you dreading your review?”

“Yes. At my old company all I ever heard was: “You are a 3 on a 5 point scale; you are meeting expectations and will get a 1.5% raise. I walked out not knowing why I was a 3, nor what I could do to get a higher score. Very frustrating.”

“Well…you may get a pleasant surprise today.”

“I hope so.”


“How did it go?”

“It was great. I wasn’t rated—I was reviewed, mostly by asking me questions. In effect, I reviewed myself by answering the questions. And it was easy because we talk about performance all the time. There were no surprises and no “gotcha’s” and I know what is expected of me in the future.”

“What about your raise?”

“He said that raises will be decided after everyone is reviewed and will be based on contribution to success, not on some scale decided by a consultant.”

Employees hate to be rated, but they don’t mind being evaluated as long as truth about performance—not satisfying a predetermined scale—is the intent.

Two keys to successful reviews:
#1 Review performance all year long; there should be no surprises.
#2 Review by asking questions that prompt the employee to evaluate their own performance.

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© Copyright 2017 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company

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