Your performance reviews suck! Reason #2

How many of you like surprises? Surprisingly to me, most people. Many of you will be thinking; ‘Well not me. I don’t’. Let’s remember though, surprises come in all forms. Keep in mind the psychological impact on human emotions and well-being. It can activate reward centres in the brain and we can feel happiness and pleasure.

In marketing, surprises like unexpected discounts and free gifts can become a strategy to engage customers.

In social circumstances surprises can add spontaneity and excitement to relationships. A thoughtful gift or an unexpected visit can strengthen a bond.

Event surprises, like birthday parties, are often well received by the attendees. The actual guest of honour? Well that depends on their personality and preferences.

At work unexpected rewards like bonuses or wage increases, being recognised for work well done in front of peers or your manager, being offered learning and development opportunities, being offered days off or nice hotels when travelling. They are all welcome surprises.

In performance reviews we like hearing surprises when people are delighted with what we are doing, with specific examples. We like hearing we are on track for a successful career. It’s better if we hear these awesome things during the year but hey, let’s appreciate it at the time too.

What we don’t like is surprise negative feedback. Yep. We don’t. When both parties or one, save up all the gap feedback for the 6 or 12-month review. Why? I feel like it’s obvious but let me spell it out;

  1. We don’t have a chance to improve in the moment so our ratings, bonuses or opportunity to move up is now stifled because we didn’t know we needed to work on a particular area – at the time
  2. We find it hard to hear the good stuff because you’ve side swiped us and we are in shock.
  3. It decreases our trust and respect in the other. You had feedback that could have helped me and you chose to hold on to it? Yeah nah.
  4. It takes time to understand it and now we can’t get through all the other content we were hoping to.
  5. It creates tension and stress for the giver because we know the other person is likely to be disappointed in hearing it.
  6. We end up having to deal with an emotional person and help manage their reactions.
  7. I’ve got more reasons, but you get the gist.

No one likes eating stale bread. No one likes stale feedback either. It’s a lazy surprise. 

If you want to make your performance reviews better then grab your free trial to my online feedback program here. You won’t regret it.