It's that time of year again: the dreaded performance review. While this practice is key to getting teams to set priorities and clarify actions, managers (and employees) often treat it as a make-work task instead of a productive conversation. Perhaps it's no wonder then that companies worldwide deliver just 50 to 60 percent of the financial performance their strategies promise due to a noticeable gap between their goals and employee behaviors. To mend this gap and create real impact for 2015, it's time for both parties to make this process an actionable dialogue. And they can start by avoiding these seven mistakes:
Before the review
1. Avoiding the review. "Yes, these conversations are important, but I'm too busy right now." Sound familiar? If managers are saying this, it means performance reviews are not a priority — and that's a mistake. Research shows that anywhere from 60 to 70 percent of adult learning is related to feedback about work experience versus about 15 percent each from formal training and life experience (hobbies, interests, family — the other things you do and love outside work). People become high performers by identifying specific areas where they need to improve and then practicing those skills with ongoing feedback on performance. Hence, to grow capabilities and get promoted, it's important for employees to have and demand these conversations. The worst bosses are managers who will avoid meaningful reviews because they don't delegate real responsibilities to their people. It's the surest way for employees — and businesses — to stall.