No one really enjoys annual performance reviews, and
managers often dread them just as much as employees. However, when they are
done well, employee reviews can do wonders for your business. The management
tool benefits supervisors, employees and the entire company, and it gives
employees a chance to better understand the expectations of their employers.
Managers can use reviews as opportunities to discuss employee
progress, provide paths
for growth and encourage development, and these conditions are proven to
boost job satisfaction and productivity among employees.
Performance reviews are also helpful for supervisors. A
review is an opportunity to work on one’s management skills, build a healthy
rapport with the team and identify training needs. Managers can also use the
opportunity to gather information needed to develop programs and make decisions
about promotions or raises.
To gain these benefits, performance reviews should not be
isolated events. Instead, they should simply be a culmination of many
conversations that happen over time in the workplace. Expectations, standards
should be continually discussed, and a performance review should just be a
more formal discussion of how an employee is meeting them.
To make the performance review process as painless as
possible, follow these suggestions:
Deliver Frequent Feedback
Instead of waiting for a performance review to give
feedback, frequently discuss performance with your employees. Either say
something when you see something, or set regular meetings to briefly talk about
monthly or weekly progress. When the time comes for a more official performance
review, you may just have to implement a raise or fill out specific forms.
Take Performance Notes
Throughout the year, record notes for yourself about
employee performance. When review time rolls around, you will have a more
complete view of an employee’s overall work instead of just going off of recent
events. Keeping records will also support your rating if it is questioned, and
credibility is an important aspect of a review.
Job descriptions should be updated as they change over time,
and updates will help you choose what should be included in a review. A
performance review should reflect progress made toward specific goals, but you
cannot do that fairly and accurately if a job description is outdated.
Make Reviews a Two-Way Conversation
It is important to recognize that you play an important role
in the performance of your team. During a review, ask about what you can do to
help an employee’s performance or what they need from you going forward to
reach specific goals.