It’s here. A month filled with mountains of paperwork, hours of introspection and far too many awkward conversations. Review season.
A joint study out of Kansas State University, Eastern Kentucky University and Texas A&M confirms what we’ve all been feeling: everyone hates performance reviews. Managers don’t like giving them. Employees don’t like getting them. And even employees most interested in learning and improving — presumably the most valuable employees — are equally discouraged by the negative feedback.
So what’s the problem? In part, it’s procedural - when feedback is one-sided (e.g., from peers to employee), it is natural to become defensive when you hear criticism. Employees see the evaluation process as arbitrary at best and deeply flawed at worst. They don’t understand the metrics by which they are measured, and they don’t know how to transition the feedback they get into actual, on-the-job improvement.
Studies like this make the case for one of our core principles: that feedback is most meaningful when it is two-sided. The best way to understand and appreciate how others see you is to ask many trusted peers to honestly assess you, to assess yourself on the same scale and to synthesize all this data into real recommendations. Only then can you begin to turn negative feedback into a positive experience of growth.
Read the whole article at the Washington Post.
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