More Facts Lead to More Effective Performance Reviews

Jul 18, 2016 | Performance Management

There’s nothing less effective than telling somebody “get better at your job”, “improve your performance”, or “don’t be like that”, without actually explaining how to get better, what about their performance needs to improve, or why ‘that’ isn’t appropriate. Yet we see managers doing exactly that when handling performance management for their employees.

The problem with those generic statements is that they’re hardly actionable items. The person receiving those comments doesn’t really know what to do with them. “What do I have to improve exactly?”. “What have I done wrong precisely?”. “How can I avoid doing it in the future when I don’t know what ‘it’ is?”.

What happens when you don’t ‘stick to the facts’?

The point of performance reviews is to maintain high standards of performance, looking at ways to improve poor performance and encourage good performance. An employee performance review that doesn’t contain facts is unhelpful. It often leads to more problems than solutions. Facts can come from everywhere in the organization, peers, managers, direct reports, even from external clients and partners. That is why a good performance review is not based solely on the direct manager’s feedback.

As well as running the risk of hurting an employee’s feelings unnecessarily, these type of non-factual sweeping statements can cause interpersonal issues between employees and their direct managers, issues that are definitely not conducive to strong team performance. While of course the direct manager’s views and opinions are relevant, the overall appraisal needs to be objective. Otherwise the employee is likely to see the comments as a personal attack, creating resentment.

Using Primalogik 360 Employee Journal to Improve Performance Reviews

In order to do a fact-driven employee performance appraisal, managers need to have an array of facts about each employee at their fingertips. Where that can fail is when reviews are only thought about at the last minute. If you’re looking at the last 12 months, 6 months, or whichever time period your organization uses, the longer the time, the less likely you are to be able to remember everything that’s happened.

Of course nobody expects direct managers to have superhuman memory. That’s why we’ve introduced a new module, the Employee Journal. It lets direct managers make notes as and when situations arise that might be pertinent to their direct reports’ performance reviews.

As you can see from this image, each employee has their own Employee Journal section which their direct manager can add to and use as a tool to record their thoughts and facts about the employee throughout the appraisal period. There are options to note concerns about some aspect of their performance, such as a customer complaint, positive comments such as praise from a customer, and notes to remind the direct manager to raise a particular topic.



The Employee Journal section is accessible directly from the Manager Assessment section of the employee’s performance appraisal. It is a really valuable tool for ensuring successful performance appraisals. 

This is just one of the recent enhancements we have done to the Primalogik 360 solution. Give it a try today by starting a 30 Days Free Trial, with no commitments at all. You will be able to use the tool at its full extent with no strings attached.

If you prefer to have a demo, feel free to send us a request.

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