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Effective Performance Reviews

Attitudes and Behaviors

We have recently been working with some companies on reviewing their core values, and a significant part of that work is redesigning their performance reviews. We have discovered that many performance reviews rate the individual employee on several different work attributes and attitudes, but few help the employee specifically understand how to improve or “do better.”

To begin with, please understand that you CANNOT MANAGE ATTITUDE! You CAN MANAGE BEHAVIORS! With that in mind, an effective manager or leader must help their direct reports understand specifically what behaviors are questionable or unacceptable, and specifically what new behaviors to adopt.

For many managers this may seem very elementary, to the point of ludicrous. But remember, you already know the behavior and the value of the behavior. Apparently your direct report does not. Or they would be doing it!

If you consider yourself a skilled coach for your reports (and we hope you are) you might simply ask them directly what they think might be a better way of handling things. Allow them to identify the appropriate behaviors. If they can’t, then help them along by making a couple of recommendations. But either way: IDENTIFY BEHAVIORS!

Never, ever, EVER, leave it at, “You need to do a better job at….” Identify what a better job is. Then we both know what to expect.

Start using these tactics in performance reviews and you will see a noticeable difference in behavior.