Performance reviews are meetings scheduled with employees to analyze the performance of assigned responsibilities within the workplace. They are designed to help managers assess the abilities of each employee, praise workers in areas they are doing well, identify areas that can be improved, design training to further development, and set goals for the future.
It’s no secret that both managers and employees can come to dread performance reviews as the process can cause a great deal of stress on both parties. If done right, however, the review process will help employers create a more productive workplace. The following is a list of tips to conduct an effective performance review:
A review should be an ongoing process conducted throughout the course of a year. An employee cannot be evaluated fairly with a review process that is done over a very short period of time. As a manager, you should check in on your employees regularly to assess how they are accomplishing their assigned tasks. Take notes on how they go about completing these tasks, both the things they are doing well and those that could use improvement. Having this on file over the period of a year will allow you to conduct a thorough, accurate performance review. This is will reduce the stress levels going into the review as there will be no surprises.
Gain Insight from Co-Workers
Talking with people who work closely with the employee will help you to gain further information on the strengths and weaknesses of the individual. This is known as a 360-degree review and can include feedback from co-workers, customers, vendors, and subordinates. These are the people who likely know the worker best as they interact with them the most, so it is beneficial place to go for further insight.
Provide Information Ahead of Time
Inform your employees about how the review will be conducted and how their performance will be evaluated ahead of time. Some managers provide the employee with their evaluation form before the review, so they are able to process it and have an emotional reaction alone as opposed to feeling blindsided and flustered in the face-to-face meeting. This provides employees with the framework of what to expect and will reduce some of the anxiety that comes along with a performance review, making the process smoother and more effective. It also allows the employee to perform a self-assessment using the same criteria as the manager.
Have a Conversation
Treat your employee respectfully by actually participating in a conversation with them. While it is important for you to discuss their performance, you shouldn’t be doing all the talking. Make sure you are engaging with the employee by asking questions and actually listening to what they have to say. You should document the employee’s feedback directly on the performance review document. Sitting in a room and lecturing the entire time will make that person feel attacked and uncomfortable, and will make them less likely to open up to you. The process will be much more effective if you understand the employee, so you are able to focus on the best strategy for improvement in the workplace.
Be Goal Oriented
Discuss the changes and additional expectations in the individual’s job description as they approach their next year. Providing the employee with a list of personal goals during the review session will help them to understand their part in achieving the overall goals of the company. In this conversation, you should convey support for the employee and excite and encourage them to improve, even if they are already a top performer.
WageWatch can help you to establish a budget for market compensation, salary ranges, including merit pay, based on a well conducted performance review. We have over a decade of experience working with industry associations and employer groups, providing online salary, wage, compensation and benefits surveys. To learn more about our services, please call 480-237-6130 or contact us online.