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Reimagining the Performance Review

May 10, 2023 | Emotional Health, Mental Health, Transformation, Workplace Well-Being

From Report Card to a Co-Creation Conversation

Performance reviews can be a nerve-wracking experience. The annual review allows management to provide feedback and evaluations on an employee’s performance throughout the year. Although it intends to provide constructive criticism, performance reviews can be intimidating, and employees often find the experience of being reviewed by their boss daunting.

Isn’t it time to reimagine this annual ritual?

What if we pivot away from feeling like we are getting a report card to something more like a  good conversation?

Everyone wants to do well in their job, but no one wants to be told they didn’t perform as well as they thought. Annual performance reviews don’t have to be a dreaded event. There are ways to reimagine them in a way that is less stressful and intimidating.

What if we reframed this experience and instead, in the process, asked how can we:

  • Co-create something better together?
  • Create goal alignment and hold space to grow and thrive.
  • Reclaim your purpose.
  • Co-creating something more significant than the two people in the room.

Then, come at the review with a different lens than before and set a different scene by being prepared, conversing in between and shifting the approach:


Ensure you prepare for the review to make the process less intimidating. Know the focuses and requirements of your position, understand how you are performing, and come up with a few goals you would like to accomplish in the coming year. This way, you can steer the conversation towards your goals rather than waiting to be judged.

Converse throughout the Year

Many employees make the wait until the annual review to ask for feedback. Could you try asking your boss for feedback throughout the year? Conversing throughout the year will allow you to make changes before your boss does the official evaluation. Soliciting feedback shows you are invested in your job and open to improvement.

Shift to a Coaching Approach

In coaching, the approach is always “I am okay, you are okay”, and there is no judgement in a coaching conversation.


So instead of a deficit-based situation with all the stigma that comes with it, come to the dreaded 360, with a whole human approach reflecting this new world we live in and not a remnant left over from the Industrial Revolution.


Please feel free to reach out at www.colinkingsmill.com if you’d like to continue the conversation.

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