Is it true that nothing in a performance review can ever be a surprise? by Alison Green

This comes up here from time to time and I thought it was worth a post of its own: the idea that nothing in a performance evaluation should ever be a surprise.

It’s right in theory, but it’s not that simple.

It’s absolutely true that managers should be giving employees feedback throughout the year and shouldn’t blindside them with criticism in an annual review that they haven’t heard before. As a rule, managers should strive throughout the year to ensure that nothing in an evaluation will be surprising.

But it’s also true that sometimes this just doesn’t happen. Evaluations are a time when managers step back and think more deeply about how someone is doing than they might have done during the rush of day-to-day work during the year. They might see patterns that they didn’t realize were patterns until they do this reflection, or they might simply spot something that hadn’t struck them earlier — even if it should have.

To be clear, that’s not ideal. Managers should be doing this type of thinking throughout the year. But when you’re busy and managing multiple people, sometimes this is the nature of stepping back and doing the deeper thinking evaluations require.

Read the full article @ Ask a Manager

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