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Things not to be done: – It’s a Performance review Time by Dr. Radha Yadav

Things not to be done: – It’s a Performance review Time by Dr. Radha Yadav

Performance management is a process by which managers and employees work together to plan, monitor and review an employee’s work objectives and overall contribution to the organization. More than just an annual performance review, performance management is the continuous process of setting objectives, assessing progress and providing an on-going coaching and feedback to ensure that employees are meeting their objectives and career goal. This short article covers the point which should not be done by the employee and employer/ boss/ manager during the time of performance review.

Things not to be done by the Employee during Performance Review

Use of “But” and “If”: Everyone has right to defend oneself and justify oneself in front of the Boss, But never say “But” and “If” during performance Review because it shows the excuses that you are making instead of giving justification.

Adding a “but” and “If” can be even more antagonizing and tormenting in the current situation. Use of these two words can change the whole conversation into an argument.

Use of “Not fair” and “Not my fault”:

It is human nature to defend oneself. But when it comes to your performance review, leave your ego at the door. Fair and unfair term is not good for the office culture, it happens in schools. It sounds like the child; the idea of something being ‘fair’ in the workplace is pretty subjective and emotional. So, do not use these words in between the conversation related to performance.

Use of “Not my responsibility” and “Not in my job description”:

It might not be written in your job description, but if you want to be seen as a top performer then you have to do work beyond the Job- description. If you are totally committed towards the organisation, never use “Not my responsibility”.

Use of “You said”; “You did” and “I Know I know”:

In a performance review, this might include statements like “you said I was going to get a raise,” “you didn’t clearly outline expectations,” etc. Do not use the words and sentences which have been said by your boss in past times, show your work and show your worth for the increment.

Again, recognizing the feedback that your manager gives you is crucial, but a statement like “I know” can come off the wrong way.

Use of I know again and again can show the defensive and aggressive mode of the employee. It can sound defensive to your supervisor when they are trying to give you constructive feedback.

“Keep in mind that ‘I know’ can be heard as ‘so what.’ It shows also irresponsible behaviour and lunatic behaviour.

Things not to be done by the Employer/Boss/ manager during Performance Review

Words spoken by an authority figure, such as a manager or boss, are particularly impactful, says Darlene Price, president of Well Said, Inc., “That’s why it’s a good idea to choose them carefully–to ensure your employees know you care about them and their performance, and to inspire them to give the best they have to offer.”

Avoid Comparison and Generalise:

Everyone has their own identity, no one wants to be compared or generalised by the boss. “Contrasting one employee against another is likely to elicit disgrace, envy, and resentment. Boss should focus on the present employee performance rather than praising other employees in front of them

“Generalities are the quickest way to put the employee on the defensive,”

“Constructive feedback is specific, timely, and actionable–it’s the basis for an honest beneficial performance evaluation.”

Don’t humiliate:

“Putting down your employees will not help them live up to your expectations,” Terms of judgment such as ‘wrong’ and ‘worst’ are likely to embarrass your employees and hurt their feelings.

Instead, articulate your expectations in a positive, effective manner so that your employees clearly understand how to perform well on the job.

Don’t do always complain:

Don’t rattle off your list of complaints, or sing the employee high praises. Just like a good hiring manager/Boss would do in a job interview, turn the tables at the end of the performance review and allow them to speak and ask questions. This is a crucial part of the review process

About the Author


Dr. Radha Yadav, Assistant Professor – HR & OB.