Today, we’re going to discuss negative feedback and the role that it plays in the performance appraisal. Welcome to the second installment of our series on delivering performance appraisals.
If you’re like most managers—and most employees for that matter—you probably dread the performance review process. Let’s face it…nobody likes delivering or hearing negative feedback. But addressing performance issues head-on is important both for helping your employees improve, and for creating records that allow you to track an employee’s progress and support any adverse personnel decisions that may become necessary—such as a disciplinary action or termination.
While the performance review process can undoubtedly be stress-inducing, with a few simple strategies and steps, you’ll be able to make performance reviews a more positive and productive experience for you and your employees alike.
First, let’s take a moment to address the issue of negative feedback, or, as it is also known, constructive criticism. Negative feedback is an essential part of how we, as humans, learn. That being said, our human “negativity bias” can make it hard to process criticism and to keep it in perspective. Recognizing this fact, and being sensitive to it, is very important as you prepare for conducting performance reviews. The natural defense mechanisms that may arise when an employee hears negative feedback—especially if there’s a lot of it—could hamper the effectiveness of your review and damage the employee’s morale.
This is one reason why it’s so important to offer employees ongoing feedback throughout the year—so that, come review time, there are few (if any) surprises. Maintaining open communication and addressing areas that need improvement as performance issues arise will make your reviews much more productive.
This Performance Improvement Plan is a great resource to help you create a performance improvement plan tailored to your company's needs.