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Five tips for better performance reviews

Five tips for better performance reviews

Treat the annual staff review process as more than just a box ticking exercise.

Employee performance reviews are among the most valuable resources in a manager’s toolbox, yet many don’t know how to conduct them in a way that produces the best results.

Most companies conduct just one employee review a year, which in reality, isn’t an effective way of improving and building better relationships between employers and their employees. Sitting down with your employees every quarter, or at least twice a year, can help you better assess how they are progressing, and really bring about a positive change in the organisation.

By following these five tips, managers will instantly notice that the performance review will enhance their relationship with employees and lead to improved performance within the organisation.

1. Prepare: Employees will generally have put in some time to prepare for their review, and employers should do the same. Ensure you have a run sheet — it will help the conversation to flow smoothly while keeping it on track. It’s also critical to keep a record of both outstanding and poor performance throughout the year so you’re not just focussing on last week or last month’s work.

2. Avoid the unpredictable: Nobody likes surprises, particularly when it involves unanticipated negative feedback. Reviews are the time for a detailed assessment of an employee’s performance, but this doesn’t mean communication should be slack in the meantime. If someone isn’t performing as they should be, it’s up to the employer to step in and let them know, and provide action points for how they can improve. If you leave everything for the review, employees will likely feel bitter and resentful.

3. Balance positive and negative feedback: While it’s absolutely essential for an employer to be honest in their review, it’s important to acknowledge the employee’s contributions and wins throughout the year. It can be easy to focus on the negative, because as an employer you’re focussed on fixing the problems — but the review is also for the benefit of your employee and positive feedback can be highly motivating.

4. Don’t do all the talking: One effective way of reviewing employees, is by letting them assess themselves. Employers can even open up a discussion which involves the employee providing feedback on the employer’s management. Find out what the employee’s expectations are the for the upcoming year, how they think they fared over the year and where they think they can improve or grow within the business. Don’t leave it at that though – ask them how they plan to improve in these areas and how you can help them to do so.

5. Follow up: The next time you chat about an employee’s performance should not be at the next review. Follow up as soon as possible – preferably within a week when the conversation is still fresh in both your minds. Provide a summary of what you discussed, but the most important step should be to provide action points for the next few months. An effective review is one that not only lets you and your employees get an idea of their performance at work, but also sets clear expectations and advice for how they can improve and grow within the business. This way it’s beneficial and productive to both employer and employee.

Original Article by Gen George: