Conducting Performance Reviews That Benefit Both You and Your Employees

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Conducting Performance Reviews That Benefit Both You and Your Employees

In addition to overseeing projects and your team’s overall productivity, a critical part of managing your employees is monitoring their job performance. To that end, you most likely take the opportunity from time to time to provide feedback on the quality of the work they perform. Many employers utilize a more structured brand of feedback in the form of a formal performance review.

Performance reviews provide an opportunity for an employer to meet with employees on an individual basis to discuss how well the employee is fulfilling the responsibilities of their job; their strengths and victories; and how they can improve. They can also be a chance to establish professional goals. In many cases, the results of a performance review are used to determine when raises and promotions are earned.

A thorough performance review provides the employer the opportunity to express to the employee his/her status and value to the company, as well as any missteps or problems with job performance. Going through the assessment process allows an employer to pinpoint those struggling or not performing well. This is important information for an employer to have so as to identify potential “weak links” within the organization. For the employee, a performance review provides a snapshot, a report card if you will, as to where they stand at this particular point in time.

What follows are some best practices for conducting performance reviews that will be beneficial to both employer and employee:

Spell out expectations clearly

Employees deserve to know on what criteria their performance will be assessed. Be very clear from the beginning about all workplace expectations, performance markers and feedback sources that will be utilized in the compiling their review.

Take employees’ feedback preferences under consideration

Individual employees have different preferences as to how they want to receive feedback. Some would rather ask you how their performance ranked, while others prefer you come to them with any critique. Some employees excel with frequent employer feedback; others would prefer a less-often, more concentrated review. While you should ultimately choose the review style and schedule that works best for you, it’s important to consider the preferences of your employees so that they feel you are incorporating their needs into the way they are assessed.

Consistent feedback is key

Avoid the mistake of keeping feedback (especially over major issues) for review time. Problems should be addressed and dealt with at the time they happen. At any given time, an employee should have a fairly clear and correct impression of their status within the company. It could be said that if the employee is surprised or blindsided by any information presented at her performance review, it’s a communication problem on the employer’s end.

Remain diligent - even in the face of success

Resist complacency, even when it seems everything is going smoothly. These are opportune times to examine who does what and discover your superstars. Keep track of individual accomplishments when employees work in teams so no one coasts by on the hard work of others.

Actively seek out and accept feedback

Part of a performance review contains your impressions of an employee. The other part comes from coworker relations. Make every effort to be approachable so employees feel comfortable sharing workplace and coworker issues with you on a continual basis. This ensures that feedback you receive from employees on their coworkers comes to you in a timely fashion and with necessary context.

Provide resources to empower employees

Provide support for employees to learn what they need so they won’t let you down and cause you to review them poorly. Employees who are feeling overwhelmed or under-informed can’t do their best work. Learning resources or a mentor program can help employees navigate the company without feeling overly needy.

Take action according to results

Make certain the results (like a promotion or raise) of performance reviews match the actual content of the review. When a glowing review leads to nothing but a hearty pat on the back, employees are likely to feel unmotivated to excel. Likewise, avoid encouraging so-so performance with unwarranted reward. This will leave employees thinking that performance reviews have little bearing on their career trajectory.

Keep your promise to perform reviews

If you promise performance reviews, your employees will expect them to take place. It is very frustrating to your workers when they are delayed or cancelled, as they are an important measure by which employees assess the state of their career. If you must postpone, reschedule as soon as possible. It will assure your employees that their performance review is as important to you as it is to them.

In short, performance reviews provide a summary of the employee’s performance over the period since the previous review. They help you keep your team focused and invested in not only doing their work but doing it well. Additionally, they provide important intel for you to assist you with allocating your human resources for optimal productivity.

How do you handle performance reviews at your company?

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