Early in my career, I was fortunate to have a manager who said, “My job is to give away my job.” He explained that if he could help me acquire new skills, I could take over some of his responsibilities, preparing me for greater responsibility and freeing him to take on new assignments. He did not wait for an annual performance review to provide assessment and encouragement to his staff; he was a source of continuous feedback for everyone who worked for him.
Don’t let current industry news tempt you to decimate the performance review process. When done properly, it is still an excellent tool for aligning individual performance and goals with corporate business objectives. But don’t wait for next year’s performance reviews to let employees know what is expected or appreciated. And if you want to deliver a real surprise during an employee’s review, ask him how he thinks you’re doing! Just be prepared to accept his feedback graciously — and keep smiling!
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