There are few things that managers detest more than annual performance reviews. Not only does the process feel like a time-consuming chore, but it also may lead to conflict when the manager needs to give corrective performance feedback. Nobody likes to be on the receiving end of criticism, either. The first time I received honest feedback from a 360 review of my leadership skills, I literally sobbed in my office — even though it was delivered by a supportive and caring coach.
But I have come to regard the act of sharing honest, constructive feedback with my team and with the clients I coach as a gift, grounded in a sincere desire to help them improve and succeed. And in an era when employee morale is low and retention is paramount, productive feedback, done right, may be a manager’s secret weapon: a tool for rebuilding commitment and connection. I’d like to share some best practices that my PRG colleagues and I have developed through our consulting practice for delivering clear performance feedback that is both helpful and well received.