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07 Jan. 2019 | Comments (0)

If the performance review process makes you cringe, you’re not alone.

According to research my company conducted, only 32.5% of America’s workforce is actually satisfied with this aspect of work. It comes as no surprise that several management gurus, including Peter Cappelli and Anna Tavis, advocate for upending the performance review process entirely. Regardless of your perspective, the fact that only three in 10 workers prefer the status quo should capture the attention of every manager looking to attract and retain the best and brightest.

Especially in today’s tight labor market, managers must do more to keep their employees satisfied. With unemployment rates now at historic lows, people have more opportunities than they have had in years and are leaving their jobs at the fastest pace in nearly two decades.

Some things about working for a living lie outside the manager’s control. But they should not leave any elements of the work experience they can control to chance, including the performance review process. It doesn't have to be the soul-crushing, disengaging, disheartening experience so many of us have had to endure; instead, this process can be part of a strong bond between managers and employees.

On that note, here are three direct steps that managers can take to improve this work ritual.

Build trusted relationships.

Get to know who your reports are as people, including their interests, why they chose your company and what they like about their job. And spend enough time with them to have a window into their work, team dynamics, and the ups and downs of the projects that they are involved in or lead.

Among the many benefits, this kind of relationship building can make hard conversations easier. In a performance review, that sometimes means discussing underperformance and the need to take significant steps to get up to speed. Most adults take constructive criticism better when it comes from someone who they trust and know has their best interests at heart. With a positive relationship, the tough conversations have a better chance of success; taking time to build strong bonds will mean fewer difficult conversations in the first place.

This op-ed was originally published by Forbes. Continue reading here.
  • About the Author:Rebecca L. Ray, PhD

    Rebecca L. Ray, PhD

    Rebecca Ray is the Executive Vice President, Human Capital, at The Conference Board. She leads the US Human Capital Center and is responsible for member engagement and retention as well as the overall…

    Full Bio | More from Rebecca L. Ray, PhD


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