A number of years ago, Holiday Inn built an advertising campaign around the slogan "The best surprise is NO surprise!" That slogan would also make good advice today to managers when it comes to giving performance reviews.

Few managers enjoy giving performance reviews. Why? There seems to be at least three major reasons.

1. Managers are often uncomfortable discussing performance weaknesses directly with employees. Given that almost every employee could stand to improve in some areas, managers fear a confrontation when presenting negative feedback.

2. Many employees tend to become defensive when their weaknesses are pointed out. Instead of accepting the feedback as constructive and a basis for improving performance, some employees challenge the evaluation by criticizing the manager or redirecting blame to someone else. A survey of 151 area managers in Philadelphia, for instance, found that 98 percent of these managers encoutered some type of aggression after giving employees negative appraisals.

3. Employees tend to have an inflated assessment of their own performance. Statistically speaking , half of all employees must be below-average performers. But the evidence indicates that the average employee's estimate of her own performance level generally falls around the 75th percentile. So even when managers are providing good news, employees are likely to perceive it as not good enough!

The solution to the performance feedback problem is twofold. First, performance feedback shouldn't be avoided. To the contrary, make it continuous. Don't save up your assessments and then spring them on an employee in her annual review. You should be providing feedback all the time. So when the formal review is held, the employee shouldn't be confronted with any surprises. The formal performance review should be an aggregate summary of what the employee has been hearing all along.

Second, all managers need to be trained in how to conduct constructive feedback sessions. An effective review - one in which the employee perceives the appraisal as fair, the manager as sincere, and the climate as constructive - can result in th employee leaving the interview in an upbeat mood, informed about the performance areas in which she needs to improve, and determined to correct the deficiencies.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Mike Cioppa is one of the most sought after business, management & employee coaches in America.

Dr. Mike has delivered over 1,000 seminars to hundreds of companies and tens of thousands of employees over the past 5 years.

He is founder and president of "Employee Success University"... the premier training center in the nation for companies who are looking to see immediate and explosive improvement in their employees' performance.

Through his unique and innovative "Audio Coaching Conferences" companies are finally able to affordably train their entire staff in cutting edge techniques by world-class experts.

"Learn To Do Everything Right At Work"