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How To Break Your Team Members’ Association Between Helpful Feedback And Useless Performance Reviews

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

Since employees see the concepts of feedback and performance review as intertwined, you will have to demonstrate why that association is erroneous via your daily behavior.

If you believe that feedback is a great thing, your own stress level will be calm and you will signal positivity to others. You’ll non-verbally transmit the message that giving and getting frequent feedback is a good thing. It will empower employees to express feedback to you, and they will feel gratified that you are open to their views. The whole experience will be more fun, and it will allow them to shine as they grow.

Stop Stressing About Documentation

So, what about documentation and HR records? Many managers have become so anxious about performance reviews that they feel that any kind of feedback, even the most casual comment made after a meeting, has the potential to cause an HR issue and trigger the need for them to complete a lot of required documentation. A few managers have become conditioned to avoid even the simplest offer of helpful information to their employees.

In reality, documentation at most companies is probably only required for a few occasions throughout the year or when a very poor performer must go through a progressive discipline process. Ninety-nine percent of the feedback that you will be giving in everyday feedback conversations will not require documentation to be prepared for someone’s HR file.

In fact, there is less likelihood of lawsuits towards you or your company if you give them frequent, helpful feedback than if you deny them feedback, act standoffish and silent for 364 days, and suddenly spring a disciplinary process on them without warning.

Decrease the risk of managerial “malpractice”

The notion of managerial “malpractice” is much like medical malpractice or that of workers suing a company in a worker’s-compensation disagreement. Studies have shown that “ordinary” physicians who communicate frequently, show respect for patients, and admit their own mistakes are sued far less than highly-trained specialists who remain distant. Production supervisors who communicate frequently, show empathy with workers on the job, and welcome injured employees back (on a modified-duty basis) prevent worker’s-compensation lawsuits that standoffish, silent managers unwittingly incur.

Likewise, any manager who coaches people frequently in an honest but supportive way is less likely to bring on a wrongful-termination lawsuit than managers who decide to fire someone without having ever offered constructive feedback. Even if an employee fails to improve, they have received tons of feedback messages all year about what is expected.

Everyday Feedback Helps People Sort Themselves Out

If one of your team members sees that they’re not a good match for the role, they are likely to take it upon themselves to look elsewhere. In the rare circumstance that you must place an employee on a disciplinary program that may end in separation from the company, it is certain that you will need to collect documentation. But the everyday-feedback process, with its frequent feedback loops, will help you accomplish that more easily.

As you become crystal clear on the role of frequent, open feedback on success and even job happiness, you will become an unstoppable force for greatness and inspire your team to anticipate feedback as a super helpful gift.

The Feedback Imperative book

Learn More

Read The Feedback Imperative for more information on how to give great feedback!

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