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Job Performance Reviews, Positive?

Updated on June 2, 2013
A bridge
A bridge | Source
Bridges in Nassau, Bahamas
Bridges in Nassau, Bahamas | Source

A job performance review should be a positive experience for both the person doing them and those it is being done about, but they are typically stressful.

Yes, i say positive!

Like a bridge, a job performance review connects the employee and manager to the business and it's needs. You have to make a concerted effort to diffuse tensions or nervousness, intentionally, when it comes to doing them, so that the best possible intentions are conveyed.

This helps to combat defensiveness!

As long as the manager has been reinforcing standards and communicating with the employee over the course of six months or a year, there should be nothing new or surprising about a performance review.

But what if you have a bad manager. Whose not proactive. They are not team oriented, meaning they don't insist on team interaction or meetings. They show favoritism and cast a blind eye when conflicts arise. They don't supply resources or opportunities for growth or advancement through on going training.

With a manager like this it is a little more difficult to face a review but it is not impossible to still walk away with a positive attitude if you want to succeed.

Criticism is always a part of life. Constructive criticism is vital to growth in any arena. Nothing wrong with it, if it is to promote excellence.

This requires tools being put in place for this to happen. Consistency is also necessary.

Like i said a job performance review should never be a surprise, but it can be! Remember this is your boss' opinion, and hopefully they can be trusted to have good judgement. It can be influenced by any number of things, but you can have the last say so. You don't have to be intimidated or find the process daunting.

Take the grade and like any good student make the necessary improvements or adjustments and plan for success.


As an employee you do have options

  • noting disagreements with assessment, written, and verbal plus explanation
  • refusing to sign, choose 24 hours to think about it and make a rebuttal
  • go over person's head to upper level management or HR, most times upper management will side with your boss, but that's okay, you just want someone else in the loop, or to know your version of events / story
  • choose to take the negative and turn it into positive information, then ask for examples, and a followup meeting again in 90 days or less,
  • push for training and resources


As a boss you want the employee to be at ease. You want to be at ease. How to achieve this is simple, set the stage.

  • Private area
  • Smaller desk or table
  • Positive introduction
  • sitting side by side
  • Keeping tone neutral and voice low
  • Open body language, approachable
  • Open communication, hear what each person needs to say

What to bring to the meeting.

A positive attitude and honest feedback, as well as encouragement.


  • Employee file
  • Notes on job requirements
  • Write ups
  • Action plan


  • Action plan
  • Goals met
  • Acknowledgements, like thank you notes, awards and complimentary accolades


As an employee you should ask relevant questions, especially if you disagree with assessments.

  • What kind of example do you have where i can improve in this area?
  • Is there training readily available so i have the tools to improve?
  • What kind of action plan could you recommend i begin for improvement?
  • What did you base your assessments on?

As a manager you should be asking questions as well.

  • What are your goals?
  • Where do you see yourself in the next year, three years?
  • Are you feeling like you are being challenged?
  • Is this a good fit for you?
  • What do you think you need to succeed?

There are questions the employee should ask themselves,once the review is complete.

  • Is this where i want to be?
  • Do i see myself continuing on this career path?
  • How do i really feel about this job, this company and my chances of success?
  • Am i growing or am i stagnant?
  • Am i excited about coming to work?

Hard decisions then have to be made.

  • Quit
  • Transfer
  • Remain

Many of us die when we are not doing what excites us, inspires us or forces us to grow. Especially when you have horrible leadership examples, but that doesn't mean you have to just let things happen.

Be proactive. Be honest, take notes, make the necessary changes and refocus your goals by creating a career path to where you want to be...

Like i said positive things can come out of what looks like a negative or that is a source of pain!

If you look at your review this way you are bound to do well whatever you choose to do...

Many managers or people who lead teams, say the politically correct things but tend never to follow up with actions. It is a reversible thing but you need someone who is already a good manager to think about how they can better themselves through the betterment of their team.

One of those tools comes in the form of the dreaded job performance review, if one takes it in a positive direction.

What's your view on job performance reviews?

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In Lisa Quast's article for Forbes, titled, 'How to make performance reviews relevant.', she states how, lackadaisical management attitude = employee apathy.

She goes on to say how this shouldn't be so, that she's seen a performance review as a tool for coaching and cultivating star performers. This is the positive spin on a job performance review whether you are doing it for an achiever or someone who is just there for the money.

If the review is used as a positive tool, that gauges the needs of the employee as well as the employer, it becomes a win win scenario because then tools that can assist in the growth of the individual can be found and implemented for a successful partnership.

I believe that a performance review should be a tool of empowerment for both the manager and the employee because it gives opportunities for growth.


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