Why a manager need to care about annual performance reviews?

Updated: Dec 23, 2019





In the last article I talked about why engineers get surprised during annual reviews in spite of their hard work. In this article I’ll be talking about what engineering managers can do to minimize these surprises from their direct reports. Performance review is 2 way street. Both receiver and provider of performance review are accountable to provide honest and unbiased review.

In the last article I talked about why engineers get surprised during annual reviews in spite of their hard work. In this article I’ll be talking about what engineering managers can do to minimize these surprises from their direct reports. Performance review is 2 way street. Both receiver and provider of performance review are accountable to provide honest and unbiased review.


1. Remove impediments: Primary responsibility of manager is to remove impediments that blocks employee from being successful at work. This would involve providing training, ensure build and deployment infrastructure works seamlessly, working with other teams, clarify priorities of work items.



2. Invest in employee’s career growth: A manager should constantly seek better opportunities that would help grow careers of his/her direct reports. Giving stretch goals, bigger assignments would help employee prove his/her capability. Manager should not shy away if opportunity lie outside his team.






3. Regular 1:1: Conduct regular 1:1 with each direct report. Share facts based on his performance since last 1:1 and set expectations in terms of SMART goals. Goals should be specific, measurable, accurate, realistic and timely. Also divide feedback into 3 sections.

· What an employee should start doing?

· what an employee should continue doing ?

· what an employee should stop doing?

Document the feedback and review in next 1:1

This regular 1:1 would help employee align on expectations from manager on regular basis and adjust his work style to match the expectation.


4. Share feedback from team members : Manager should get regular feedback on each employee from other team members. feedback should be very specific and evidence based. It could be positive feedback or constructive criticism.

5. Freedom with responsibility: Manager must avoid micromanaging engineers. He/She should set context if the work with desired outcome and metrics that would measure the outcome. Employee should have freedom of how they want to implement functionality. Employee should understand that they are responsible for building the code and running the code in production. Usually having dev engineers on call make them good citizen of their code.

At the end of the day the goal of annual review is to assess employee’s effectiveness at work and future potential. A bilateral communication between Manager and employee on regular basis goes a long way in establishing trust and aligning on expectations to create a talented workforce.


About Author Evergreen Technologies:

Active in teaching online courses in Computer vision , Natural Language Processing and SaaS system developmentOver 20 years of experience in fortune 500 companies

•Blog: https://www.evergreentech.online

•Linked in: @evergreenllc2020

•Twitter: @tech_evergreen

•Udemy: Evergreen Technologies

•Github: https://github.com/evergreenllc2020/

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