3 minute read – Posted by – January 13, 2021

How to have those tough conversations during performance reviews

Ask the Expert with Ashleigh Myerscough — Episode 22

Ashleigh Myerscough, Senior Performance Coach at 7Geese answers your questions about human resources and people management during the pandemic. 

Q: How can managers have tough conversations during reviews? 

AM: Whether it’s about underperformance, poor performance, or hitting the numbers but not fitting in with culture, being honest and objective is always the best policy. 

We want to review the criteria the team member’s results are being measured with and ensure that there’s a mutual understanding of those criteria. If there isn’t, it’s important to unpack the “why.” If we’re in the review and we’re having a conversation about a team member not agreeing to that criteria, we’ve missed an opportunity by previewing it and reviewing it before. 

We want to make sure we provide an opportunity for our team members to provide their understanding of their performance, or lack of, based on that criteria. 

Acknowledging our team members’ psychological needs 

Remember that at work, we all share certain psychological needs. We need some feeling of autonomy, a sense of belonging, as well as knowing our work has value. To provide a team member with autonomy, invite their input into their own success and the direction they’re going. 

We want to stick to the facts, so using concrete examples of misses and opportunities will help make sure that the team member and the manager are aligned. We’re not using stories, we’re using actual, measurable examples.

We want to reflect and then orient towards the future, so even if we leave the review in a disagreement, we have the opportunity to take what was learned and use it to impact the future in a positive manner. 

How to have fewer difficult performance review conversations

It will seem counterintuitive, but the way to avoid those difficult conversations is to have more conversations overall. 

To decrease the impact of these tough conversations during your performance reviews, conduct growth and development reviews along the way. 

Having conversations that are growth and development focused throughout the review period will provide more honest feedback on where a team member is in their performance, so you’ll have fewer of those tough conversations during your more formal reviews.

To learn more about how we do this at 7Geese, using 7Geese, reach out for a tour

Ashleigh Myerscough

Senior Performance Coach at 7Geese