Should You Share Performance Evaluation Results with Employees?

Published on
Mar 22, 2024
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Q: Should We Share the Results of Our 9-Box Exercise with Our Employees?

A: The most "successful" teams do, in fact, share the results with their team members. However, what's more important is that feedback on performance is shared throughout the year, not just during the completion of performance evaluations.

The Importance of Continuous Feedback

Sharing feedback consistently keeps managers and employees aligned, ensuring that everyone knows what needs to be focused on at all times.

This approach prevents any surprises when the conclusions of the 9-box exercise or any other performance evaluations are finally shared.

The fundamental issue with the question of whether to share or not share performance evaluation results lies in the element of surprise.

The Dangers of Surprise Feedback

It’s detrimental to have a low-performing employee who is unaware of their performance issues until it's too late. This scenario is problematic for several reasons:

  • Lost Development Time: From a management perspective, not addressing performance issues promptly results in lost time that could have been used to help the employee develop.
  • Employee Demotivation: As an employee, being blindsided by negative feedback is hugely demotivating. They're left feeling worst than when they went into the conversation—potentially a big hit to productivity.
  • Team Turnover: Demotivation and disengagement often leads to departures from the organization. Turnover is hugely costly to the organization and can be minimized with the right approach.

Benefits of Sharing Performance Evaluation Results

Encourages Continuous Improvement

Regularly sharing performance evaluation results fosters a culture of continuous improvement.

Employees are more likely to take ownership of their development when they receive ongoing feedback, leading to more proactive efforts to improve their performance.

Enhances Employee Engagement

Transparency in performance evaluations boosts employee engagement.

When employees understand how they are being assessed and where they stand (and what they can aim for) they feel more connected to their roles and motivated to excel.

Builds Trust and Transparency

Open communication about performance builds trust between employees and management. Trust is essential for a healthy workplace culture and can significantly improve team dynamics.

Aligns Organizational Goals

Sharing performance evaluation results helps align individual performance with organizational goals. Employees who understand their contributions to the bigger picture are more likely to work towards common objectives, fostering a sense of unity and purpose within the team.

Best Practices for Sharing Performance Evaluation Results

Share Feedback Regularly

Do not wait for formal performance evaluations to share feedback. Regular, informal check-ins can provide timely insights and guidance, helping employees stay on track and feel supported in their development.

Be Constructive and Supportive

When sharing performance evaluation results, focus on constructive feedback that highlights areas for improvement while also acknowledging strengths.

Offer support and resources to help employees address any performance gaps.

Create a Safe Feedback Environment

Encourage an open and safe environment for feedback. Employees should feel comfortable discussing their performance without fear of negative consequences.

This approach fosters honest communication and a willingness to improve.

Use Clear and Objective Criteria

Ensure that performance evaluations are based on clear and objective criteria. Use the SMART framework if needed when establishing future development goals.

This transparency helps employees understand the basis of their assessments and reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings or perceived biases.

Embracing a Culture of Feedback

Ultimately, the question of whether to share performance evaluation results is part of a broader discussion about fostering a culture of feedback within the organization. In regularly sharing performance evaluation results, organizations can enhance employee engagement, build trust, and drive continuous improvement.

By integrating transparency, specifically, into your performance evaluation processes, you create a more aligned workforce. Sharing results constructively and frequently is not just beneficial—it’s essential for the growth and success of both employees and the organization as a whole.

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