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How well did your delivery of end-of-year reviews go?

2 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How well did your delivery of end-of-year reviews go?

  • It was great — no surprises and people were good with their reviews: 24.63%
  • It was OK — some surprises and some frustrated people: 30.05%
  • It was terrible — most people were surprised with results and very frustrated: 5.91%
  • I don’t deliver end-of-year reviews: 39.41%

Surprises are bad. End-of-year reviews should never be a surprise. Your job as a leader is to consistently let your people know where they stand in terms of performance. The performance review should be just that — a review of things you’ve already told them. If they’re getting surprised at the end of the year, you’ve been withholding feedback or sugar coating things over the course of the year, which is a disservice to them and prevents you from getting the best performance possible out of your team.¬†For the 40% of you who don’t deliver reviews, I hope that’s because you don’t have direct reports. If you do have direct reports and you’re not delivering a review, I highly suggest you start doing so. Failure to review performance is one of the fastest paths to frustration (both for you and for them).

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”