Employees are invariably never going to look forward to receiving reviews of their work. The reason for this is because most feedback is normally critical and comes laden with plans to change and correct courses-of-action. A diligent employee likely feels they are doing a good job and taking pride in their work. The last thing they want to hear is that they are the only one who thinks their work has been good.
To avoid having a problem with an employee, one of the best things a manager can do, when reviewing an employee’s work, is to make the review as positive as possible. An organization always wants happy employees, so reviews should be something an employee looks forward to. Any changes needed can be delivered during that same review, but at least they feel they are a valued part of the organization and at least some of what they are doing is good.
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Receiving feedback is not really a favorite of most anyone and this is largely because it forces us to deal with conflicting concerns relative to our human nature. First, it forces us to learn and grow, but at the same time that “learning and growing” is in conflict with our innate drive to be accepted and respected as we are. Feedback will remind us that the latter is not the case and this does not sit well with most.
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There has even been a book written about how to receive feedback so as to be able to deal with what is being said in a more positive way. It is difficult to be told that you have to do better, but ultimately the message is likely always that the employee is doing well, yet a few changes need to be implemented.
Performance feedback should be given quite regularly also. If given once a year, it is very hard to sum up all their positive achievements and efficaciously collate them with a few areas where improvement is needed. If done once per year, that review would have to be quite lengthy. Instead, reviews should be completed on a continuous basis throughout the year with an annual summary of all the growth they achieved throughout the year.
The annual cumulative review-of-reviews is actually inspiring if done the right way. Employees like to see how far they have come over the year. This final piece of making employees more amenable to feedback is crucial to success. No one wants an annual rundown of how many things they did not do well, so incremental delivery of praise and needed improvements is much easier on all concerned parties.