January 8, 2013—Provo, UT—According to new research from the co-authors of the New York Times best-seller Change Anything, 43 percent of employees experienced a déjà vu performance review in 2012—negative performance feedback that surfaces year after year.
Nearly two out of three employees say they’ve received negative feedback, and yet only one out of three has ever made a dramatic change based on this feedback. The research shows the typical performance review cycle includes managers giving employees the same negative feedback year after year with little effect on performance.
Joseph Grenny, business leadership expert and co-author of Change Anything, says one reason performance reviews are largely ineffective is employees lack the ability to put their performance feedback in action. In fact, in the online poll of 642 people, 87 percent say they left their review without a plan for how to better meet their managers’ expectations.
“Detailed performance feedback is important, yet insufficient to change behavior,” says Grenny. “Without a performance improvement plan targeting the personal, social and environmental sources that influence behavior, employees will continue to receive the same negative feedback and miss out on raises and promotions they may have otherwise received.”
Grenny says with the right set of skills, employees can turn their managers’ feedback into a multifaceted change plan to improve performance and make a greater contribution to their organization this year.
Here are Grenny’s tips for how employees can make the most of their performance reviews:
- Ask for detailed feedback. Specific, behavioral feedback of both your accomplishments and challenges allows you to know the exact behaviors to replicate and change. After receiving detailed feedback, let your manager know you’re eager to learn and improve.
- Visit your default future. Motivate yourself to change by visiting your “default future”—the career you’ll be stuck with if you fail to improve performance and are repeatedly passed up for promotion.
- Invest in professional development. New habits always require new skills. Actively develop the skills you need to be viewed as a top performer through training, workshops or books—but make sure this is only one part of a bigger change strategy.
- Find a mentor. Changing habits requires help. Find a trusted mentor to encourage your progression and help you navigate the career development opportunities that exist within the organization.
- Put skin in the game. Tie your performance to your compensation such as making your year-end bonus dependant on your ability to hit your improvement goals. Or, set aside a portion of each paycheck. If you hit your goals, reward yourself at the end of the year. If you fall short, make out a check to a political party you oppose.
- Control your workspace. Make your new habits easier by enlisting the power of your surroundings. If you’d benefit from close association with another team, ask to move offices. When possible, turn off electronic interruptions that keep you from being as productive as you need to be to move ahead.
- Let your manager see your advances. Eagerly continue on the path to high performance. Nothing heals the wounds of disappointment like surprising and delighting your manager in the future.
An innovator in corporate training and organizational performance, VitalSmarts is home to multiple training offerings, including the award-winning Crucial Conversations®, Crucial Confrontations®, Influencer®, and Change Anything™ Training. Each course improves key organizational outcomes by focusing on high-leverage skills and behavior-change strategies. The Company also has four New York Times best-selling books: Crucial Conversations, Crucial Confrontations, Influencer, and Change Anything. VitalSmarts has consulted with more than 300 of the Fortune 500 companies, trained more than 800,000 people worldwide and been named by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies in America for eight consecutive years. www.vitalsmarts.com
Note to editor: Joseph Grenny, co-author of Change Anything, is available for interview. Copies of the book are available upon request.
About the research: The study collected responses via an online survey tool from 642 individuals. Margin of error is approximately 4 percent.
CONTACT: Laura Potter of VitalSmarts, L.C. +1-801-510-7590, or firstname.lastname@example.org.