Negative Performance Feedback

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I recently finished my performance feedback for the people I managed in time for the final evaluation of salary increase and promotions this fiscal year.
I am pleased to say that five of the people I gave feedbacks had excellent ratings that would assure the highest increase possible for them.

My team deserved the ratings for working very hard and accomplishing what seemed to be an impossible task.
To validate my claim of the complexity of what we have done, the project we worked on was recently recognized in the Americas Delivery Awards, an achievement only received by two projects in the Philippines and very few worldwide.

Having said that, how come the title of this post connotes “negative” feedback? To answer that — In the performance feedback I included areas for improvement and development for each person which somehow may or may not be seen as negative feedback depending on whose reading. But often times, no matter how great the sentence construction and choice of words is they end up as “negative” comments.

The feedback form I wrote consists of 10 pages on the average for each person where 9 1/2 pages were positive feedback and only half were for areas of improvement. As I discussed the items to each person they were all smiles and very happy with my evaluation; however, when it came to the areas of improvement their faces changed and somehow felt sore based on their facial expression and comments.
Standing by the areas of improvement I felt they should make, I explained to them how important these things were if they are going to take their performance to the next level.

Also, I emphasized that no one is perfect and these areas of improvement is not meant to keep you from salary increase or promotions but are given to help you become better and stay competitive.

For what it’s worth I made them realize that if there were no areas of improvement then people would undermine the integrity and credibility of my evaluation which in fact was already way above the norm for having 9 1/2 pages of excellent comments. It turned out great since after my words sinked into their cranium, they were all smiles again and thanked me for the evaluation.
People always put an automatic barrier whenever negative comments are handed out no matter how true they are. Survival intincts as I would put in. It is actually difficult to accept criticism but we must realize that these are the things people find in us which we must evaluate and see if improvements are needed. We should not take these things as personal unless they go out of boundary (you know what I mean). People will always criticize our actions but we should practice hearing and listening to these things seeing them as tools to help us combat the next round of criticism.

Nobody is perfect and no one will ever be.

By lowering our barriers, we are actually strengthening our position and future as long as we take the necessary steps for it.
The next time you are told about your areas of improvement, thank them for they are helping you out more than you will ever know.

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