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How about giving your Boss a Performance Review?

Posted by Vivian Wong on April 14, 2009


handshakeAs an employee, it’s easy to think of a Performance Review as a one way street where the manager reviews your performance. In some ways, a Performance Review is just like social networking (such as Twitter/Facebook)- some make the most of it, while others think it’s a complete waste of time.

If you make the most of your Performance Reviews, then congratulations! I hope you walk away from them knowing:

  • How you are doing at your job – what’s working and what’s not
  • Suggestions/Action items for growth
  • Hope for continued career growth – honest discussion so your manager can help align your strengths and career aspiration with the business needs

You can take it one step further. 

From time to time, you should give your manager the ultimate gift as well. As Meg noted in her Managing Your Boss blog, part of your job is to help your boss succeed. Just like your manager lets you know how you are performing, you should reciprocate and give your manager some feedback on how they are doing as your boss – all relationships (work or personal) thrive on a two-way communication.

So ask yourself: 

  • What is it that your manager does that either helps or hinders you from performing your best
  • Do you want your manager to continue or stop a particular behavior? 
  • What do you want your manager to start doing to bring out your potential?

I am betting that I am not the only manager who appreciates honest feedback from my team. 

For example, I would definitely want you to tell me if I have broccoli stuck in my teeth  or that I was abrasive in my communication or worse, I am de-motivating you unknowingly. I would also like to know if I am doing enough for you and whether  I am providing the right level of support to help you grow

It’s one thing to do the best I can, it’s another to know that my efforts have the desired effect;  and if not, I’d be happy to make improvements and be a better leader and manager!

So go ahead – give your manager some feedback – it might even help your manager to help you in finding happiness at work.

11 Responses to “How about giving your Boss a Performance Review?”

  1. Meg Bear said

    I can say for sure that I totally welcome and appreciate feedback from the team on what I’m doing right and wrong. Who knows you better than your team, why wouldn’t they want to help you improve as they are the most likely to benefit if you do.

    Thanks for bringing this up Vivian, lets hope more people take your advice.

  2. Amy Wilson said

    Great advice, Vivian. Improvement feedback is always appreciated. It’s important to keep Meg’s advice in mind as well – keeping your intentions honest will keep you out of trouble –

    http://talentedapps.wordpress.com/2008/12/16/thoughts-on-coaching-and-feedback/

  3. [...] How about giving your Boss a Performance Review? [...]

  4. I have to admit the very idea of approaching such a conversation makes me nervous, but then I recall the one time I was in a management position at a college publication. I fumbled my way blindly through leadership, hoping I was doing an adequate job but actually feeling very inadequate. Feedback would’ve been very welcome, but do you have any suggestions for how to bring the topic up with your manager in a performance review? “Enough about me, let’s talk about you” might not be the most tactful approach, though it’s the first that comes to mind!

  5. Quick note: You’re a star in Rise Smart’s Weekly Roundup. http://tinyurl.com/c57w3z The idea of assessment and development seems to be a popular one lately, so this blog appears alongside Dan McCarthy, Rowan Manahan, Guatam Ghosh, etc.

  6. Meg Bear said

    @Hayli – indeed this is a tricky topic. As a manager I always attempt to end a performance cycle asking if the person has any feedback for me. Of course, if they are new to working for me this tends to throw them off guard so that they are unlikely to actually say anything. If you don’t have a relationship you might be best served by dis-associating the feedback from your own performance review (esp. if it’s constructive). Also probably best to first be on record with something nice so that they don’t feel ambushed (especially important if the manager is not confident in their abilities). Get in a habit of regular feedback of things that work so that you have developed the trust and the relationship to be heard when you are ready to say… ok, now here is that thing you do that drives me crazy!

    some intros..”are you interested in any feedback”, “do you mind if I offer a suggestion”,..

  7. [...] week’s roundup focuses on just that. The crew over at Talented Apps wrote about giving your boss a performance review. Bosses can learn from feedback, too, whether it [...]

  8. Vivian Wong said

    @Hayli – thank you for including us into your roundup!

    Meg is spot on – Intros as suggested by Meg can work fairly well. Having a trusting relationship and getting into a habit of regular feedback can help make it easier as well. I would suggest to start with something positive (but genuine), then something constructive and end on a positive note.

  9. [...] leadership.  How, as a leader, the more you try to hide from your team, the dumber you look, since they already know what’s wrong with you (probably better than you [...]

  10. [...] ask the question “What can I do better?“  As they sit and contemplate how best to give me a performance review, I usually end up adding “Also, what can I do more [...]

  11. Samantha,
    I loved this article! I have been struggling with my boss and was researching articles for a college journaling class. This article has opened my eyes, I wonder how many bosses would squirm if they knew their promotions or raises were dependent on reviews received from employees ???

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