While many organizations conducted fewer performance reviews or halted them altogether during the peak of the pandemic, they are now getting back to business, offering CHROs the chance to make a once-dreaded process better than before.

On Monday, we focused on how organizations can make performance reviews more equitable. Today, we’re drilling down on how managers can put those policies into practice in their conversations. (It’s worth emphasizing that these practices shouldn’t be limited to formal reviews. With employee engagement on the decline, getting performance feedback right—and delivering it often—is especially critical: In a 2021 Gallup survey, 84% of employees who had received meaningful feedback in the past week identified as engaged, compared to just 22% who hadn’t received such feedback.)

For best practices on how to conduct successful performance conversations, I reached out to ​​Frank Cespedes, a senior lecturer of entrepreneurial management at Harvard Business School.  

Here are his insights for how to ensure successful performance reviews:


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