Technology and Mental Health – Reducing Performance Review Stress

  • Apr 17
Technology and Mental Health – Reducing Performance Review Stress

Technology and mental health have a widely varied history, with some intersections being decidedly negative and others indisputably positive. Fortunately, when it comes to workplace performance reviews, technology might actually have the ability to reduce stress and anxiety that lead to burnout.

When handled correctly, performance reviews can become invaluable for enhancing productivity and engaging your team. They represent one highly effective method for aligning team and company objectives, retaining valuable employees, and tracking goals.

Performance appraisals or reviews often cause stress for management and team members. This is primarily because some employers misuse reviews by targeting and focusing on weak points. So, instead, they result in fear and anxiety among even the most high-performing and productive employees.

However, these reviews don’t have to be anxiety-provoking and stressful events. You can leverage the intersection of technology and mental health to create meaningful experiences that positively impact your team’s mental wellbeing. And in doing so, you’ll have a much more impactful benefit on your company.

Let’s explore how to overcome the stress caused by performance reviews and how tech can help.

Understanding Stress in Performance Reviews

Conducting a performance review is often complex, challenging for managers, and nerve-wracking for the team. The review’s direction may surprise employees, even make them feel blindsided by the managers. So, leaders must learn to navigate team members’ responses while nurturing professional growth.

This misalignment further increases stress levels in an already emotionally charged situation.

Additionally, the impact of performance appraisals lasts long after they pass. Therefore, it’s vital to balance sharing negative or critical feedback and acknowledging milestones.

Personalized Development Plans

Performance appraisals aren’t repetitive loops of defense and critiques but tools for employee growth and business success. As such, they can and should transform monotonous events into motivational experiences.

These reviews help turn static feedback into strategic action plans. However, they can only be effective if you recognize that every employee is on a unique journey. The review is simply a stop-over to recharge, adjust, and set a new course of action toward the business goals.

Personalized development plans provide a structured process for assessing, discussing, and improving team development and performance. They can help you focus on future growth opportunities while emphasizing past achievements.

Start by personalizing every team member’s evaluation experience. Remember that coping mechanisms and stress levels differ from one person to another. So, you should tailor an approach that shows you value a person’s unique contributions to business success and understand their needs.

Overcoming Challenges and Risks

A performance appraisal provides a unique learning opportunity. Instead of scrutinizing what team members did wrong, performance review comments should highlight where both parties can improve to ensure progress toward business goals. Essentially, it’s all about empathy, understanding, and listening to employee feedback without deviating from the company’s best interests.

Richard Branson famously said that if you mind your staff, they will mind your customers. By ensuring reviews become positive experiences, you can avoid unnecessary stress, improve employee wellbeing, and boost overall performance.

The best way to prevent review stress eliminating ambiguity before the appraisal and prioritizing constructive personal growth. This also involves developing and nurturing a culture of actionable and consistent feedback.

Explain the Processes and Share Expectations

Clear communication is key in any workplace. Without it, it’s challenging for team members to adequately prepare for performance appraisals. If expectations remain unclear, anxiety can also increase, causing productivity to drop.

You can avoid this stress by explaining the objective and process, so everyone is comfortable with the review. Doing so further gives team members time to reflect on productivity and performance, making it easier to share honest feedback.

Evaluate Your Measuring Criteria

Instead of judging someone on how much you like them, focus on their work ethic, teamwork, and performance. Express that you trust them to perform and outline clear metrics to measure progress. These metrics will help ensure each appraisal remains objective and accountable.

Highlight the Growth Potential

Hearing negative aspects of performance alone is enough to demotivate most people. While it’s crucial to highlight performance and behavioral issues that fall below expectations, it’s more constructive to explain their impact.

Use positive performance review phrases to point out specific aspects and explain their effects while sharing improvement strategies.

A man and woman discussing job performance while looking at a tablet

Increase the Feedback Frequency

Feedback represents a key aspect of the learning process. It provides excellent opportunities to motivate team members by helping everyone better understand whether they are performing to expectation.

Leaders must prioritize regular feedback to reduce the fear and stress of annual, quarterly, or monthly reviews.

Use Automation Tools

Once honest and regular feedback become routine, you need performance management software to minimize the leaders’ workload. These automation tools make it easier to scale and streamline the review process as your team grows. It will ultimately result in a competent team prioritizing honest feedback and positive growth that benefits your business.

Leveraging Technology and Mental Health Awareness to Reduce Stress

Technology lowers stress levels by meeting our basic needs and simplifying our lives. Further, by fulfilling these needs, it helps us remain healthy mentally and physically. As digital solutions evolve to meet dynamic workplace demands, investing in a healthier and more resilient workforce is necessary.

These solutions embrace positive behavior changes and provide therapeutic approaches. They offer help on demand through self-evaluation sample answers and are accessible from any location and time. They’re also simple to use, which helps alleviate the stress of workplace reviews.

Technology also relieves stress by increasing efficiency. It helps simplify the review process, enhancing efficiency while saving time. A great example of such tech is HR software that evaluates employee data. For example, you can use this data to identify trends and patterns in performance, making it easier to offer support and encourage improvement.

You may also manage a performance review remotely through online platforms. Such platforms enable your team and managers to share real-time feedback, regardless of location. This ability is particularly vital if you have a distributed or remote team.

Modern technology also helps you receive real-time feedback on performance. For instance, cloud-based tools enable instantaneous collaboration between team members and leaders. This data is precious, especially in fast-paced business environments. Timely feedback ensures your team remains on track, boosting performance. You can easily meet goals, monitor progress, and offer valuable insight.

Technology can also reduce stress by eliminating personal bias in performance appraisals. Since analytics software evaluates performance data, these evaluations can remain objective. The data helps you monitor progress and pinpoint areas of improvement.


A performance review can be a catalyst for continuous growth and improvement, which is essential for business success. Although giving constructive feedback is a primary goal, it is vital to be mindful of the delivery. How you frame the feedback will determine its effectiveness.

Use the review period to offer negative and positive feedback in a way that prioritizes the employee’s mental health. Evaluate where to recommend improvement and where positive reinforcement is necessary.

You can leverage technology and mental health awareness to lower the stress and anxiety around performance reviews. Automating systems and review processes makes it easier to offer real-time feedback and monitor team progress and performance. This results in transparent and efficient appraisal process that benefit the team and, ultimately, the business.

Article guest written by Nisha Joseph, Content Manager at In her current role, she leads the content marketing team with experience in various fields, such as science, education, law, and management. She is a well-rounded individual with diverse interests and skills.

Last updated April 17, 2024