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In our first article of a three-part series on performance appraisals, we discussed HR’s three wishes this holiday season when it comes to performance reviews. In this second article, we provide insight and tips to help managers prepare for performance appraisal meetings with employees.

Whether you are a manager now or in your past life, you’ve probably seen performance appraisal season coming and dreaded it. The process is time-consuming, you have to squish the appraisal meetings in between an already heavy workload, and well, sometimes you need to give feedback that can be hard to deliver.

Here’s the thing.

Performance reviews shouldn’t be used to give your employees feedback.

I know – sounds crazy right?

Here’s why:

Feedback, especially constructive feedback, on areas where employees need to improve will never be effective if you save it up for the end of the year. The feedback – both positive and negative – needs to given at the time a success or issue occurs; it is counterproductive to give feedback weeks or months after the event.

A common pitfall to waiting to deliver feedback all at once at the end of the year is that we tend to either focus too much on recent performance, or we paint the entire year’s performance with too positive or too negative of a brush based on one significant event.

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