How to make giving negative feedback a positive experience!

An IT manager spoke with me recently about how he hates doing annual performance appraisals and providing performance feedback, especially when it is negative feedback. “So many employees are really not self-aware and open to the feedback,” he said. No one especially relishes negative feedback, but there are ways to make the conversation go easier… Read More


Five Steps for Managers to Improve Their Coaching Success

Companies want managers who will build relationships with their employees, give them feedback, coach and develop them and continually recognize them for their achievements.  The once-a-year performance discussion is not sufficient in a business world of constant change. The problem for managers is that they are too busy with the constant change and pressures of… Read More


Eliminating Performance Ratings? Managers Ability to Deliver Feedback Is Essential!

When we removed performance rankings from our performance review process at Medtronic Coronary and Peripheral in 2012, some executive leaders and managers warned that employees would lose the competitive edge to perform. They didn’t. Our changes included holding weekly or biweekly meetings between managers and employees as well as formal quarterly updates to goals and… Read More

Performance Management Changes Are Often the Missing Link with Innovation

I was seated at an innovation conference for lunch, when the Research and Development leader of a major U.S. active sportswear maker told me he had a confession. His organization was successful at creating new ideas, selecting the best ones to advance, and project- managing those ideas, but their innovations often stalled because the organization’s… Read More

To Rate or Not to Rate. That is the Performance Management Question.

Although it has obvious benefits for aligning, motivating and developing an organization’s workforce, performance management is the most hated of human resource processes. If not done well, it interferes with the relationships between managers and employees. Performance management is often bureaucratic and time consuming, with long forms to complete and 360-degree feedback to collect. In… Read More

Live Webinar – The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Fixing Performance Management

Over the past decade, the HR industry has seen big changes in performance management. HR professionals no longer abide by the philosophy of “up or out.” This outdated philosophy calls for the removal of the bottom 10% of employees annually then focusing development and rewards on a company’s high potentials. Instead, companies are moving to… Read More

What Performance Appraisals Are Really About…

When I met with my former Italian human resources director, which often was over dinner, he would frequently tell me, “In Italia, dinner is about the relationship.  Not the food.” I responded, “You have me fooled. This food and wine are great!” He was right, of course. When food and wine are extraordinary, as they… Read More

The One Step All Leaders Should Take to Drive Results!

The one step that all leaders can take to drive results is supported by mom and empirical research.  It is simple and straight forward. Even a five-year-old can do it. Say “thank you.” When employees are recognized and thanked by their leaders, it significantly raises their sense of achievement, engages them, and reinforces the behavior… Read More

Big Changes in Performance Management! Are You Keeping Up?

Over the past decade, we have seen big changes in performance management. The trend continues. Out is the philosophy of “up or out,” take out the bottom 10% of employees annually, and only focus development and rewards on your high potentials. Instead, companies are moving to the philosophy of constant performance and development feedback. They… Read More

Performance Management Myths Debunked

Wharton’s Peter Cappelli and Martin Conyon took a deep dive into performance management data from a large U.S. corporation between 2001 and 2007.[i] They looked at performance scores and associated employment outcomes over these years. They found that several myths about performance management simply aren’t true. Here is what they learned: Myth 1: Assessment scores… Read More