What do you want to talk about in a performance review meeting?

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I don’t get to put bold and italics into a blog post title, so let me say that the emphasis in that question should be on the “want”.  If you are a manager – what do you want to talk to the employee about in a performance review meeting? If you are the subject of the meeting what do you want to talk about with your manager?

Plans for the coming year – sounds good.  How last year went – perhaps, although no need to linger on things we already talked about at the time.  My career ambitions – probably.  The overall grade of performance – well we’ll have to talk about that.  Whoops…did we move from want to have there?

That overall performance grade has to be very important to us if it is in nearly every performance review form and yet none of the participants particularly want to talk about it.  The employee may want to know their pay rise or bonus and the organisational process may link an overall grade to that pay decision but it is rare in my experience that a great deal of value comes from the discussion on the overall grade.  And yet it can dominate the performance review meeting.

Worth reflecting on – might just be one of those things we have to accept as part of organisational procedure but let’s not accidentally have one element of the process dominate what could be a conversation both parties want to hold.



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