Almost A Quarter Of Employees Cry After Performance Reviews

Photographed By Alexandra Gavillet.
Have you ever cried after hearing bad news at work? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. And if that bad news was a disappointing yearly review from your manager, you’re in good company.

A new Adobe survey measured employees’ responses to annual performance reviews. Of the 1,500 office workers polled, 22% admitted they’d cried at least once after a bad review. Almost the same number said they’d quit their jobs entirely.

Answers to the “crying” question were broken down by gender. One in four men, versus one in five women said they’d cried (so much for the stereotype that women are more sensitive than men). But that doesn’t make this great news for women, or anyone for that matter. The survey also notes that “millennials were more likely than other generations to have cried after a review, looked for another job, or quit.” Yikes.

There’s nothing wrong with crying, of course. But it’d be nice if we could avoid it in the workplace. Besides, 2016 gave us enough to cry about, thank you.

The survey results contain other illuminating findings, including that most workers and managers alike think performance reviews are a waste of time. The majority of participants think reviews cause unnecessary stress and unhealthy competition in the workplace.

So, how can companies avoid these annual waterworks? Survey participants said, for one, managers can give more regular and ongoing feedback. Workers want feedback in the moment and responses that are qualitative rather than number-based.

According to Bloomberg, some companies like Adobe, Accenture, General Electric, and Gap are already ditching the yearly check-in. Interestingly, though it might make employees feel more relaxed at work, companies that stopped ranking employees by numbers also saw a decline in worker performance. So, until the perfect solution materialises, offices may still see employees dashing off for a silent cry in the bathroom once a year.

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