How to Give a Performance Review That Truly Motivates

How to Give a Performance Review That Truly Motivates

Conducting a performance review with an employee can be rather challenging, especially if you have a large team.

Throughout ours career, I’m sure we have all experienced both productive and demotivating reviews. Many times, we may have expected constructive feedback but received generic comments and mere “scores.”

If you are now in managerial/leadership position, pledge to deliver better annual reviews—ones that leave employees feeling positive, appreciated, and motivated to grow.

If you are a first-time or experienced manager seeking to empower and inspire your team during performance reviews, here are some valuable tips to consider.

  • Avoid Surprises: Regularly communicate about their performance and goals throughout the year, setting clear expectations and documenting them. Ensure that their performance review isn’t the first time you discuss their progress.
  • Use Ratings Wisely: While some of your may use ‘Ratings’ for evaluations, don’t let them limit you. Supplement it with personalised feedback, capturing the year’s highlights and specific examples.
  • Seek Input from Others: If a 360 review isn’t part of your process, create one by collecting feedback from peers and supervisors. Craft questions that solicit constructive and consistent responses.
  • Balance Concrete and Holistic Feedback: Provide specific examples to support your feedback, avoiding vague statements that hinder improvement. Recognise strengths and identify areas for growth, exploring the underlying causes.
  • Show Empathy and Humility: Remember that it’s a conversation between two humans. Acknowledge external challenges that affected their performance and own up to any role you played in their struggles.
  • Prepare Thoroughly: Treat each review as an important meeting, setting aside ample time for preparation. Rushing through it sends the message that their growth isn’t a priority.
  • Foster Dialogue: Turn the review into a meaningful discussion by coming prepared with discussion questions. Encourage your team member to take ownership and actively participate.
  • Follow Through: Don’t let the review end in the meeting room. Summarise the discussion, provide actionable next steps, and ensure ongoing support to help them grow and succeed.

By applying these best practices, you’ll transform your performance reviews into empowering and motivational experiences for your employees. It’s about fostering a collaborative and growth-oriented environment, where everyone can thrive.

Remember, as a leader, your role is not just to evaluate but to guide and support your team’s professional development. Let’s make our performance reviews moments of growth and achievement for all!

If you are looking to enhance your performance management process and training, let us help you.

Reach out to us today at or +971 4 458 1449.