BLUF: I gave my direct a copy of her annual review on Tuesday PM to prep for our Wed AM review meeting, and she called in sick yesterday and today. Should I reach out to "check in" and see how she's doing (and possibly give reassurance that this "bad" review isn't the end of her career here)?
I want to give the benefit of the doubt and assume that she's truly sick... it's just that avoiding tough conversations by calling in sick has been kind of a pattern. If she's sitting at home planning to resign, I can't stop her - I just don't want her to do it without understanding that this review isn't fatal.
Overall, the review rating wasn't a surprise (a pretty big project failure last fall that couldn't be glossed over), though her work is definitely on an upward trend over the last six months or so. We've talked about the problems and the progress repeatedly, and it's still probably shocking to see it "on paper."
Would you just let it ride until she comes back to work? Am I a goof for even thinking about addressing this somehow? Thanks!
I wouldn't follow up
You're very, very unlikely to get an admission out of her that she's calling in sick to avoid her review. If she is, then she'll be mortified to be called on it, and if she *isn't*, then you're seriously calling into question her professional ethics, which rarely ends well. Hence, I would leave all that totally alone.
I think all you can do is wait until she resurfaces, arrange the review for that day, and tell her that the review isn't the end of the world. She might be on her way out, or not, but there isn't much you can do about that now. If she's unable to cope with a fair review of her performance when it isn't flattering, there isn't much you as a manager can do to fix that.
Appreciate your candor, as always. :-) She did come back and we had a good review meeting yesterday.