Performance Evaluations: Eliminate the Stress Before It Takes a Bite Out of Your Bottom Line

Whether you’re a business owner, a supervisor or manager, more than likely you have people who report to you and look to you for leadership, direction and continuous communication on what is expected on the job. One very effective and common method of maintaining a healthy dialogue between employees and their supervisors/managers is a performance evaluation conducted by you and each employee you oversee on a one-on-one basis at least once a year but hopefully two or more times a year. Employees often become anxious prior to such a performance evaluation.

Generally, emotions such as anxiety and stress come from past negative experiences or by fear of the unknown. And if you are in charge of communicating to these employees, it is your responsibility to significantly reduce, or better yet eliminate employee stress and anxiety through clear communication between you and each staff member you oversee on a regular basis. Otherwise, employee stress and anxiety can negatively impact the quality of products and services your company produces. And if all you can serve is lower quality products, expect to see your hearty bottom line dwindle away before your eyes.

To Eliminate Stress & Anxiety: Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
Management has the ability to maintain and even improve the quality of products and services produced by informing employees about the following areas of business that are relevant to employees’ daily work and overall employment with the company:
-Business goals
-Significant company milestones
-New business victories
-Ongoing customer feedback
-Continuous employee performance communication

Sad But True Examples of Poor Communication:
1) An ad agency going through some growth spurts was building its new business database while also continuing to offer quality service to its current client base. The owner of the company was very pleased to share several testimonials from current satisfied customers. However, when I asked one of the company’s art directors what a client thought about some work she had recently completed, she said she had no idea. She told me she never knew what the clients said. It was just her job to design.

2) Working on a global internal communications campaign, I was privy to sales figures and heard directly from top management that overall, the continued growth in sales in certain product categories was making a meaningful difference to the company’s bottom line. So, when I met with a few hundred employees responsible for the quality of the product produced, I was floored when not one of these employees knew what exactly the products did, what companies purchased the products and who the end users were. Amazingly, the products improved the quality of life in millions of people’s lives.

Click here to provide your senior management team with a course on:
Effective Communication: From Business Goals to Employee Evaluations


  1. The level and quality of communication, politics, etc have always been large factors that would make or break a job. Without positive and mindful interpersonal dynamics, I had to leave workplaces sometimes.

    One remedy that goes a long way is mindfulness/relaxation oriented stress management techniques. It trains the mind to become more absorbed in tasks. They train you to listen better and communicate with greater sensitivity. They increase overall health and quality of business decisions.

    Everyone has their techniques that they are compatible with. A good place to start is to make a list of all activities and things to focus on that are grounding, relaxing and centering. This could be a memory of a serene childhood hangout or your own breath. It could be prayers for peace upon your family, neighbors and coworkers. Stretching is a wonderful way to bring mindfulness to the present moment and reduce stress. All these things calm the mind.

    Then, you can slip in some of these things into your “elevator time”. You have 20 seconds to do some stretches or sing that song from church in the elevator. You can also take a minute out of each hour at work.

    Such little add up faster than you realize. You may not feel more relaxed after one stretch or one session of watching your breath. However, it adds up behind the scenes in the most profound ways.

    Then, meditate for at least 5-20 minutes each day. Use one of the activities above as your “object of focus”. Stress management becomes easy when you have all these factors in place.

    If you have an unfixable political situation at work that’s leading to burnout, these methods can at least help you determine whether need to hold ’em, fold ’em, walk away or run.

    • Tom, thanks for your comments. I appreciate some simple ideas to consider. It is true that we do have to take care of ourselves first so that we can provide the best quality performance on the job. 🙂

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