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Performance Reviews – Did You Get a Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

Most people love reading reviews. Whether someone is buying a product on Amazon.com, a new car, or watching a movie, they probably read the reviews first. So why is it that when it comes time for performance reviews at work, nobody want to read theirs?

If you ask a random employee at any company, the odds are that he or she will say they work hard and give 100 percent. So, if that’s true, then they should have nothing to fear when it comes time for that annual review.

Yet, according to an article titled, “Conducting Performance Reviews? Get Out the Tissues,” in Society for Human Resource Management, almost 34 percent of Millennials said they’ve cried during a performance review. One possible reason is expectations. An employee who is new to the workforce may not realize that a small bump in pay is the norm and no matter how hard you work, or how many hours you stay at the office, you’re not likely to get a huge raise even if you think it’s deserved.

The flipside of that is if an employee doesn’t deserve a raise, and in fact, deserves harsh criticism. Employees who cry, or display any type of non-hostile emotion, should be left alone until they are able to compose themselves, according to the article. But that doesn’t mean the emotional outburst should be ignored. On the contrary, a corporate culture may be highly competitive, or the employee may have been surprised by the negative review. In any case, discussing the review is crucial to a mutual understanding between the employee and his or her supervisor.

Lately, performance reviews have become more conversational and focused on experiences that highlight the employee as a person. The employee’s performance, accomplishments, and areas that need improvement are also brought up, but as a separate issue.

Regardless of whether an employee received two thumbs up, two thumbs down, or a mixed review, he or she should feel confident and comfortable that the review was an honest appraisal along with constructive ways to improve performance.