That’s right. Nix 360 performance reviews. And here’s why – solution below, if you already know why:
– They formalize indirect, couched communication.
– If they are anonymous, they encourage passive aggressive communication.
– If they are anonymous, who knows what was really meant by “needs to improve communication.”
– If they are anonymous to the employee, but not to the manager, then the manager has to follow up with the feedback giver and find out what was meant by “needs to improve communication” and then find a way to couch it so it’s not obvious who said it.
– If they are anonymous to the employee, and to the manager, but not the consultant, then the consultant charges you for their time to find out why, and then couches it.
Notice with 360s you have two options: couching or lack of clarity. Both stink. Both are ineffective and a significant time suck.
And yet peer feedback that helps a co-worker see their blind spots is gold.
Solution: The High Five
– Have each employee select the five co-workers from whom feedback would be most valuable.
– It is then the employee’s responsibility to set up 15 minute one-on-ones with each of these five co-workers.
– In these meetings the employee asks 5 questions – What is the one thing:
- You appreciate most about me as a co-worker?
- I could do to be a better co-worker?
- You think I rock at in my position?
- I could do (or learn) to be better at my job?
- I could do to help you be successful?
– The employee can then directly ask for clarity – through examples as well as suggestions. THIS IS HUGE. Oftentimes people will tell us what we need to improve, but not how. Chances are if we already knew how to do it, we’d be doing it.
– And if it doesn’t feel cheesy (depends on your culture), end by giving one another a high five.
– Because everyone participates in this process (yes CEO included), everyone has to be courageous and vulnerable.
– The employee brings the feedback, insights and suggestions they received from the high five to a dialogue with their manager to generate next steps.
Briefly train your team around the five success factors of the giver and the receiver:
As the Feedback Giver:
- Show up on time.
- Show up as a stand for the individual’s success. Your intentions will make all the difference in how your feedback is perceived and received.
- Be kind, candid and constructive. Don’t confusingly couch your communication. And don’t be harsh.
- Don’t phone it in. Say something meaningful. Take time beforehand to think through what you want to convey. And come prepared with examples and suggestions.
- Start off with a humble qualifying statement.
- From my perspective…
- In my experience working with you…
- I may be missing something, however it would seem…
As a Feedback Receiver:
- Trust the givers’ intentions. They are there to help you be the best you can be – not to criticize or judge.
- Be curious, not defensive. Stay present and seek to understand. Ask questions. (Sometimes you just need to take it in and sleep on it.)
- Be thankful for all suggestions. Appreciate the courage it took for the other person to share their perspective and be straight with you.
- You don’t have to take “on” all suggestions. They may not all be accurate. Though those that are repeated hold more weight.
- Lastly, don’t get stuck in your head! Instead make progress.