The problem with those generic statements is that they're hardly actionable items, are they? The person receiving those comments doesn't really know what to do with them. "What do I have to improve exactly?", "What have I done wrong precisely?", "How can I avoid doing it in the future when I don't know what 'it' is?".
What happens when you don't 'stick to the facts'?
The point of performance reviews is to maintain high standards of performance - looking at ways to improve poor performance and encouraging good performance. As we've just discussed, an employee performance review that doesn't contain facts is utterly unhelpful in terms of performance and often leads to more problems than solutions. Facts can come from everywhere in the organization, peers, managers, direct reports, and why not include external clients and partners as well. That is why a good solid performance review is not based on feedback coming only from the line manager.
As well as running the risk of hurting an employee's feelings unnecessarily, these type of non-factual sweeping statements can cause interpersonal issues between employees and their line managers, issues that are definitely not conducive to strong team performance. While of course the line manager's views and opinions are relevant, the overall appraisal needs to be objective, otherwise the employee is likely to see the comments as a personal attack, creating resentment.
Using Primalogik 360 Employee Journal to Improve Performance Reviews
To be able to do a fact-driven employee performance appraisal, managers obviously need to have an array of facts about each employee at their fingertips. Where that can fail is when reviews are only thought about at the last minute. If you're looking at the last 12 months, 6 months, or whichever time period (or cycle as it's described within Primalogik 360) your organization uses, the longer the time, the less likely you are to be able to remember everything that's happened.
That's fine, of course, because nobody expects line managers to have superhuman memory. That's why we've introduced a new module, the Employee Journal, which lets line managers make notes as and when situations arise that might be pertinent to their direct reports' performance reviews.
As you can see from this image, each employee has their own Employee Journal section which their line manager can add to and use as a tool to record their thoughts and facts about the employee throughout the appraisal period. There are options to note concerns about some aspect of their performance, such as a customer complaint (indicated by the red thumbs down symbol), positive comments such as praise from a customer (indicated by the green thumbs up symbol), and notes to remind the line manager to raise a particular topic (indicated by the grey speech bubble symbol).
The Employee Journal section is accessible directly from the Manager Assessment section of the employee's performance appraisal, making it a really valuable tool for ensuring successful performance appraisals.
If you prefer to have a demo, feel free to send us a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.