Let’s face it. No one likes performance reviews. Not the employees and neither their managers.
Employees think performance reviews are a waste of time and feel that they are talked down to. Whereas, managers loathe it because they are not successfully trained to give them and often do not feel confident conducting performance reviews.
Moreover, it simply adds to their workload. Having said that, there are many fundamental issues when it comes to performance reviews.
Apart from the lack of experience, organizations just focus on getting it done rather than improving the quality of experience. Thus, causing excessive anxiety and stress to the employee.
Employees in increasing numbers have started to feel that these conversations are anything but normal.
A recent study showed that 25% of the employees fear their performance review, while 37% think that the process is purely outdated. Moreover, 42% of the employees feel that the managers leave relevant details out of the review because of their bias.
As an employee, you start to think that you might not get the promotion you deserve or may even lose your job. And all of this blabber takes place in your mind weeks before the scheduled performance review. Thus, making you more anxious about what is going to happen on our D-day.
Before you know it, this mild anxiety leads to full-blown stress that you cannot handle.
The more you spend your time thinking about your performance review, the more you will stress about it. Thus, leading your mind and body into a full panic mode. Moreover, this unwanted anxiety leads to a few more issues when it comes to your performance review.
In this article, we will discuss the three common issues with performance reviews and how you can deal with them.
Problem #1 – Anxiety
Anxiety is the most common issue when it comes to annual performance reviews. It is not just you.
Almost 60% of employees feel that annual performance reviews are stressful. Of course, sitting in a small, windowless room where you are getting grilled by your managers would make anyone feel anxious and stressed.
Moreover, these grilling sessions can even induce mild panic attacks in employees. Thus, every time you think about a performance review you are bound to get anxious.
However, here are some of the ways that can help you deal with anxiety when it comes to performance reviews.
1. Prepare Well Ahead Of Time
One of the best ways to deal with performance is to start preparing for it well in advance. Similar to like what you would do before going to a job interview.
Having said that, your performance review could be anything from singing a piece of paper to a back and forth conversation with your manager that goes on for a few hours. Therefore, you must be prepared for all possible situations to feel less anxious on your review day.
This is because a performance review becomes much more manageable when you go into that room knowing what to expect from your review session with the manager.
Therefore, rather than focusing and getting anxious about the unknown, you can spend your time preparing the documents, talking points, or even self-evaluation.
2. Make it a conversation
While you should prepare for a performance review like a job interview, you should never make it a one-sided conversation as you would have during the interview process. Make your performance review a two-sided conversation.
Of course, your manager will tell you things that they want to. It might include a few positives and a whole lot of negatives about your annual performance. But you should not just sit there and hear what the manager has to say. Instead, ask your manager about how you can improve your performance before the next review.
Moreover, you also talk and ask them about the things that you did right over the year and what improvements they would like to see in you before the next review. Besides, you can also ask the manager if he/she has any team goals for the upcoming year.
Having such a conversation with your manager will make you feel less anxious and might also give you a sneak peek regarding the improvements you have to make moving forward.
3. Remain optimistic
Unless if you have spent the last year goofing around and spending time on the internet scrolling through social media feeds, you are performance review is going to be okay. It will not go as bad as you are thinking in your mind.
Therefore, remain optimistic about your annual performance review. There could be a lot of you things that you are proud of. And don’t worry, if you have done good, then even your manager would have taken note of it.
Thus, get rid of the unwanted anxiousness and remain positive about your annual review.
Problem #2 – Frustration
In addition to anxiety, performance reviews can also lead to excessive frustration for employees. When the annual review ends up discouraging you and lowers your engagement levels, it can lead to stress and excessive frustration.
Of course, the whole purpose of the review is to encourage you for continuous improvement and help develop new skills.
But untrained managers can often do the opposite of it. Thus, leading to excessive frustration on your plate. Having said that, here are some of the ways in which you can deal with frustration and turn your review into a positive experience.
1. Remember the Purpose of Performance Review
Of course, when things do not go the way you would like them to, frustration is bound to happen. More so when you have done a good job and even then your manager is not able to recognize your efforts and contribution to the organization.
However, it is important to remember the purpose of performance review in such situations. Companies carry out performance reviews to make you an even better employee.
Therefore, when you go into the room with your manager for your annual performance review, know that you are there to improve yourself. And make sure that you maintain a positive attitude throughout the meeting. This will show your manager that you are eager to learn and improve in the future.
2. Set Goals with Your Manager
Another way to reduce your frustration and to get the much-needed recognition that you deserve is to work closely with your manager. During your performance review, work with your manager to set goals for the next year.
You ask your manager to outline the exact expectations that he/she has with you for your performance. This will allow you to know how you can improve over the next few months.
If you are not clear with the expectation, make sure you ask for as many details as necessary. Then only move forward with your goals. This will allow you to improve your performance before the next review.
3. List out Your Accomplishments
Another way to reduce your frustration before the dreading performance review is to list out your accomplishments. No matter how small or big your achievements have been, make sure you put it down on a piece of paper.
Writing your accomplishments does two things.
First – it will make you feel good about yourself and will also fill you with confidence.
Second – you will have some reference points to speak with your manager during the performance review. Moreover, when you list out your accomplishment, your manager will also recognize the effort that you have put in for the success of your organization.
Problem #3 – Receiving and implementing feedback
When anxiety and frustration start to get better of you, it is normal to affect your ability to receive and implementing feedback. However, for your overall professional growth, it is crucial to receive and implement feedback in a positive way. Only then you can progress ahead in your career.
The following are some of the ways to receive and implement feedback that your manager gives you during the annual performance review.
1. Be Prepared For Unexpected Things
One way to ensure that you can receive the feedback positively is to prepare yourself in advance for some unexpected things. When you are prepared for something that you had no idea was even on the radar screen as an issue, the shock is considerably less.
Therefore, allowing you to stay focused on the feedback more positively. This will allow you to work on yourself and improve before the next performance review.
2. Do Not Get Defensive Right Away
Even when you do not agree with the feedback, do not get defensive right away. As you keep listening to your manager, hold onto that thought, and especially hold onto your tongue. Make sure that you do not form a conclusion straight away. Because you have spent zero time absorbing the information, you not very clear about the feedback.
Therefore, take some time to absorb the information and put the feedback into perspective. After that, you can ask a few questions about it to your manager, if you get hold of the situation.
If you are still not sure, take your time and let your manager know that you will get back to him/her if you have any questions later on.
Not many employees like a performance review. In fact, more than half of the employees feel stressed with their annual performance review. However, the organization considers it as an important aspect of their business. Therefore, whether you like it or not, the dreadful day will continue to keep coming every year.
Of course, it will make you feel nervous and you will also get stressed about it. However, using the above-discussed approaches, you will find it easier to deal with performance reviews. Moreover, it will also help you to receive and implement the feedback in a more positive way.
Thus, ensuring your overall improvement and professional growth before the next annual performance review.