The single best phrase to hear from your manager in your performance review

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Oct 29

It is common wisdom that performance reviews are tough on both the manager and the employee. Reviewing a person’s work and offering constructive criticism is a job skill for managers and employees. So what do we do when it comes time to do the performance review?

Performance reviews are all about the data

Look at what most pundits talk about when it comes to your performance review, including this one, and you’ll see comments like “provide data” to back up your claims. Have “numbers for your goal attainment.”

Managers, too, are told to focus on the parts that are contained in the performance review:

  • Review the goal attainment and rate it. Rate it with numbers and examples of performance.
  • Review the job skills of the person. Rate it with numbers and examples of performance.
  • Review the competencies of the person. Rate how well the employee knows the business, does teamwork and fulfills the existential values of the corporation.

Data, data, data. Blah, blah, blah.

Employees are all about the heart

Data is great, but managers don’t hire their employees just for their job skills and their motivation to do the work. There are, after all, three answers to interview questions, not two.

If a manager goes through the review citing facts and examples of performance, it will not add to employee engagement.

Saying that the person “did a good (or great) job” doesn’t cut it either. Managers should be saying that in the hallway all during the year for doing good work.

The third reason managers hire people is because they felt this person would fit in and contribute to the team. So the best phrase to provide as a manager and hear as an employee is this one:

“You are an asset to the team.”

Yes, you belong. You have value. You contribute to our success. You made the right choice coming here.

As a manager, you can talk about the facts and results all day long and think that’s enough. It’s not. People want to know they belong and contribute to the group.

Are you an asset to your team? Has your manager told you so?

  • Well said Scot:

    You are an asset to management/leadership/work blogging. I mean that and was pleased to leave a tidbit of what you wrote.


  • >