Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


How well do you differentiate performance in performance reviews?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How well do you differentiate performance in performance reviews?

  • Very well — I achieve a great distribution of performance: 32.2%
  • Well — I could do a little better differentiating performance: 51.71%
  • Not well — most people end up with the same rating: 12.2%
  • Poorly — there’s little to no differentiation in reviews: 3.9%

Differentiation Matters. Failure to invest in letting people know where they stand in a candid way causes all sorts of problems.  High performers feel slighted.  Their morale drops and they may search for other opportunities. Low performers get a false sense of security and don’t improve their work. You’re the leader because you have the ability and responsibility to deliver these messages and ensure the ratings match the performance.  There are many proven techniques for tackling the difficult task of fighting grade inflation. Don’t get weak knees when it comes time to differentiate – you’ll pay for it in the long run.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, author of “Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results” and “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”