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Valentine’s Day and the Dreaded Annual Review

Communication Breakdown #2

Valentine’s Day and the Dreaded Annual Review

By: Ross Paterson

Imagine if we only expressed our affection to our spouses or significant others annually on February 14th. That one encounter would have to set the tone for the next 364 days. The pressure to get that exchange right would be tremendous. One thing is for sure, we would need a lot more counselors and family law practices.


The Annual Review is a terrible corporate ritual that has seeped its way into many SMB teams. One time a year we give written feedback to our teammates. Most of the time compensation increases and annual bonuses are tied directly to this ‘review’ process; the stakes are high for everyone. The reality is the impact of once-per-year feedback is near zero with a byproduct of damage to the relationship.


If the only positive or negative feedback you are going to give is an annual review, JUST DON’T DO IT. Regular feedback drives the performance of your team. Xtra Mile leaders give impromptu feedback, coaching on results (monthly), and simple written feedback quarterly. Frequency matters more than length.


Download our quarterly feedback 1 pager.