How I follow up performance reviews to make it a valuable and continuous process
In the third part of this series, I had covered in detail nine key aspects to make a feedback conversation in the performance review process most valuable. They were:
- Consciously take care of the settings for your conversation.
- Keep an open mind and use open questions for exploration.
- Clarify your standards of performance assessment and check understanding.
- Explore your direct reports perspective first (applying your assessment standards).
- Focus on deviations between your direct report’s view versus the collected feedback and your own perspective.
- Have a sequence of positive and negative points alternating between them.
- Agree on only two or three development priorities and co-create a plan to achieve these.
- Set clear and relevant, motivating goals for the next 12 months.
- Document the feedback plans and goals and ensure mutual understanding, agree responsibilities.
Here is the LINK to the previous part
In this part, the fourth, of my series I am focusing on follow-up and continuous feedback, which is the one which neglected most often even though, in my view, it is vital for your direct report’s development and important to make your appraisal conversation easy, as mentioned in a previous part.
Follow-up and continuous feedback:
For this phase -which generally lasts about 11 months- I consider three aspects most important that help you to make performance review process highly valuable.
1. Pre-and post training conversations:
If you have agreed that your direct report would attend courses I highly recommend to have a conversation before he/she attends the course with a focus on what (s)he wants to learn through attending the course. As soon as (s)he is back from the course have another conversation to check what they have learned and how they will use their learning in the job and for themselves.
2. Your role as mentor or coach:
Clarify with your direct report what your support role should be from her/his perspective and what it could be from your availability throughout the year. Agree a process or a structure how this support role could be brought to life. You could also consider some of your colleagues or other leaders in your organisation to act as a mentor for your direct report.
3. Continuous feedback and its documentation:
Throughout the year make sure you have regular informal and formal feedback conversations. Ensure your conversations are overall in balance with praise and critique. Some researchers in the field of positive psychology found out that the ratio between critique and positive feedback which fosters high performance most is around 1:3.
Document the examples of your feedback conversations throughout the year. It makes your next review relatively easy as it becomes a summary of all your feedback conversations throughout the year.
Summary: key tips for follow-up
1) Have pre-and post-training conversations about learning objectives and their application in the job
2) Clarify your support role as mentor or coach with your direct report
3) Have regular feedback conversations and document these with specific examples
I hope these tips around the preparation, conduct and follow-up of performance reviews will help you to have the most effective annual review with your direct reports. Some of these points may seem to be over the top as they require quite a bit of time. From my personal experience following such a process, I can assure you that it pays off in a great way as you have much easier conversations and generate higher levels of intrinsic motivation with your direct reports.
And if you are interested in a more detailed discussion on the subject, feel free to .
Or feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Thank you very much for your interest.