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As you’ve delivered year-end reviews, how are your people reacting?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 170,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Tuesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: As you’ve delivered year-end reviews, how are your people reacting?

  • They’re not at all surprised with their ratings: 49.7%
  • They received the rating they expected with one or two surprises: 37.88%
  • Their rating didn’t closely match their expectations but it was close: 6.06%
  • Their rating varied dramatically from what they expected to receive: 6.36%

Surprises in reviews aren’t good presents. I know it’s the holidays and you want to get the members of your team a surprise present but a surprise in their review is like a lump of coal in their stocking. Your people shouldn’t be surprised by anything in their reviews if you’ve been giving regular feedback, having ongoing development conversations and going through a rigorous self-appraisal process. I’m doubting any of the surprises they received were pleasant ones. Here’s a New Year’s resolution for you — resolve that in 2013 your people won’t have any year-end review surprises.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”