I’m not sure when you’re going to be watching this – but if you’re watching it, and you’re about to go into performance review process, which for many of my clients around this time of year, it’s around May, they are.
…and actually, if you you clicked on this, it’s probably because you’re interested in it because you’re about to do one.
I see five core mistakes that people make, and when they make mistakes in performance reviews what happens is two things: one is, people get emotional. There’s tears, or they get angry, and that’s really hard to deal with.
And the second one is is they don’t say anything. But while they don’t say anything, six months later, suddenly you’ve got a resignation letter on your desk.
If you want to do performance reviews in a way that avoids turnover, but then motivates your staff in the long term to stick in your team, and follow your direction, stick around and I’m going to talk about five clear things that you can do in your next performance review that drive the business forward.
We’re talking about performance reviews that multiply performance and don’t lead to people withdrawing and resigning, ultimately resigning, and costing you and your organisation.
One of the companies that I do leadership coaching with (it’s a long-term programme working with all their leaders), in their company, if they do a bad performance review that leads to someone resigning, the cost of replacement is massive, and they also lose six months of their revenue for that person for that year, so it’s a massive impact.
Ask yourself this question: In your performance review, “What’s the cost of not getting this right?” And if that leads you to thinking,”You know what, these are important, I need to get these done”, make sure you spend time on preparing them, and as you prepare, I want you to think about these five things.
First one is, what’s critical in a performance review is the first 60 seconds.
So you can either start weak, or you can start strong. The biggest problem I see when people start weak is that people get that uneasy feeling like something bad is about to happen.
If you start strong, people feel like,”You know what, this is going to be a positive process, I’m going to get a hearing and I know what’s going to happen.”
The second thing is, is when you explain the process, people can often feel confused, because they don’t know exactly what’s going to happen with them and they feel confused because they don’t know the timetable or how it’s going to impact them. When you get it right,they feel informed, and they feel like it’s going to be fair.
All the research says that people, even if they get a bad performance review, as long as they feel like it’s being fair, they’ll be okay with it.
The third thing is that you need to use evidence to back up all your ratings, otherwise they just appear arbitrary. And when ratings appear arbitrary, people don’t think it’s fair, and they may not tell you at the time, but they’ll think “This process is rigged. In fact, you’re rigged, and this whole company’s rigged. I’m out of here.”
You do not have to give someone a good performance review, but they do have to feel like it’s a fair process, and you need to prepare evidence to back up your ratings.
So you need two things: one is you need some hard measures, the other thing you need is specific examples of when things occurred; back up the ratings that you’ve given.
Fourth one is, the worst performance reviews are usually when you talk at people and they get no chance to have a conversation with you.
And the feeling that gives is, “I’ve got no say. I’ve got no say in this, right? It’s your decision, so what’s the point?” Whereas if you created a two way conversation, you actually build motivation for the year ahead.
So actually explaining their gaps, and explaining where that went well creates motivation because it’s a conversation.
And the final one is about motivation.
So, when you’re trying to motivate the person, you’re either trying to do two things; you’re trying to stretch where they’re great, you’re trying to stretch them and motivate them to go further where there are areas of strength, or you’re helping them just close a gap. And when I say close a gap, I just actually mean, make sure that the things they’re not so good at don’t get in the way of them stretching their strengths. So the way you do that is by preparing, on this side, conversations that don’t motivate, they’re all about money.
If a person is motivated by money,then you can give them more money, but in the long term, we know, with intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, that it’s the intrinsic things that people work for. It’s actually the quality of the work, and feeling good about the work. So money will only motivate in the short term, what we want to do in the long term is to help people feel supported and cared for, and developed.
So to summarise, prepare the first 60 seconds of your performance review.
Make sure you practise how you’re going to explain the process so it’s not confusing.
Back up everything you’re going to say with some evidence. It’s got some hard numbers,and some specific examples.
Set up a two way conversation by listening and asking questions as well as preparing what you’re going to say.
And the final one is; make sure there’s some stretch. There’s something in it for that person that’s not about money, or bonus, but about supporting them and making them feel cared for.
If you do those five things, you’re going more likely get more motivation from the people who are in your team, and less turnover.
So I’ve been talking about performance reviews, and if you’re in the middle of a performance review cycle, my message is – if you want to get the benefits of performance review for you, the firm, and your staff, think about five things:
think about the way you start,
think about using evidence,
think about explaining the process,
think about preparing something that’s non-monetary for each person.
And final thing: make sure it’s two way, right, it’s a two way conversation.
I want you to let me know down below, if you apply these five things, what will it mean for you.
Leave me a comment, what will it mean for you in terms of the amount of value you’re going to get out of these performance reviews, and what specifically are you going to do in this performance review cycle that might get more value for you and more value for your staff?
One of the things I’ve been doing over the last two or three years is working with leaders in businesses and running workshops.
If it’s something you’re interested in, get in contact with me privately, and we can have a chat.
Talk to you soon.