What do you dread more? Public Speaking or the Annual Performance Review?

By Carol Meyers

We’re looking forward to the 2011 SHRM Annual Conference in Las Vegas at the end of the month. After a long, cold, very snowy winter in New England, the sun and surf in San Diego at WorldatWork last month was a nice break. But it wasn’t enough. On to the desert warmth of Las Vegas!

Do you know what terrifies me when I think about these major shows? Stage fright. Even if I’m not one of the official speakers, I know I’ll be representing Globoforce to thousands of people who stream through the event hall and our booth. I’ve gotten better about this over the years, but I have to admit – my knees knock every time. Once I get there, though, and people start coming through, I’m having too much fun to worry anymore.

But that initial stage fright is always there. And it’s not unusual. In fact, in our recent Workforce Mood Tracker(TM), employees ranked “presentation in front of a group” as their greatest fear or what they dread the most.

Guess what was a close a second. Are you surprised it’s the annual performance review? Employees and managers alike dread the review process. Sure, reviewing and discussing employee performance, offering constructive criticism, praising work well done and setting goals are all important. But the challenge of the current structure is that too many have come to use the formal annual review process as an excuse to leave off performance discussions – both good and difficult – until the review date.

What value does that have for encouraging high performance every day of the year? How do you overcome that? Be sure to come to Booth 1675 at SHRM in Las Vegas June 27-28 to get this key to employee engagement plus two more.


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