Performance reviews seem to be a pain for everyone involved, but the truth is they don’t need to be a dreaded occurrence.
There shouldn’t be any pressure on the manager or the employee going into the performance review because the lines of communication should already be open.
A performance review should really be a “formal” follow-up conversation between a manager and an employee based on a series of informal conversations.
The result should be beneficial to the employee, manager, and company overall.
Here are some tips on how managers can successfully conduct a performance review.
How To Conduct A Successful Performance Review
Performance Review Preparation
An employee should never be fearful of their performance review. There should be an open dialogue between manager and employee so that what’s being discussed isn’t a surprise.
It’s a good idea to outline the agenda for the review beforehand for yourself and for the employee. This will help both parties prepare. A performance review shouldn’t be a one way conversation. Giving the employee an opportunity to prepare their own talking points, questions, and concerns will help move the conversation along, and increase the chances of improvements.
If the manager is doing a good job leading up to the performance review, the review itself should be an easy conversation to have. Employees should be able to talk about issues that have come up in the past, and brainstorm solutions if none have been implemented.
Employees should also be able to speak about the successes they’ve had. If a previous problem has been resolved and they are seeing improvements, the performance review is a good time to talk about that. Managers should take note on how the employee solved the problem, how long it took, what kinds of improvements they’ve seen, and if it affects any other areas of the company.
Setting Future Goals
Employees want to feel appreciated, and know that their company cares about their improvement and growth. A performance review is a good time to discuss the career path of the employee, what goals they’d like to achieve, and how they can be successful.
Performance Review Tips For Managers
Employees dread performance reviews if they aren’t sure what to expect or if they know they aren’t doing their job properly. Managers dread the reviews for different reasons.
They are a lot of work!
Check out some of the helpful tips below, so managers can conduct a successful performance review.
Have Frequent Reviews
If you wait until the end of the year to hold performance reviews, it may be too late. By the end of the year, too many things have come and gone. It could be hard to keep track of what was accomplished or what needs improvement.
A yearly review is a shortcut for managers which can be frustrating for both the manager and the employees. Holding quarterly reviews opens the door for frequent conversations and follow ups regarding topics that need to be addressed.
Having multiple reviews will leave managers with a lot more information to feel comfortable enough to conduct an end of year review, and have plenty to cover.
With a small army of employees to look after, it may be somewhat overwhelming having to deal with so many reviews. It’s a good idea to keep an ongoing document for each employee that notes any conversations that are worthy of elaboration, any (good or bad) observations of specific behaviors, and accomplishments that illustrate performance strengths and weaknesses.
An important part of improvement is actually measuring results. It’s a good idea to follow up with employees to see how things are being implemented since your review. This could simply be a casual conversation.
Another good idea is to give executives access to performance reviews every so often. This benefits everyone. Executives should know what kind of employees they have working for them, what kinds of successes have taken place, and even more importantly, what failures have occurred.
At the same time, a good manager will include any notes about their own performance and role in managing an employee. Everyone should get a well-rounded look at their own performance every so often.
Can Technology Help Performance Reviews?
With the new way the workforce is being viewed, the up-and-coming Millennials taking over, and new waves of technology, it’s not a bad idea to consider how technology can help improve employee performance reviews.
Consider using tools like project management software to help track what employees are working on. That way you can see what’s being accomplished and how successfully it is being done. Most software allows for other members to follow projects and leave comments in real time.
This is useful for giving feedback throughout the process, praising an employee for a job well done, and evaluations at the end.
Another type of tool you may want to consider is some sort of “open calendar.” This way employees will feel comfortable booking one-on-one meetings and times for discussions. This will encourage more workplace communication.
Performance Review Processes
A performance review is nothing more than a process. As you continue to improve your process, performance reviews will continue to improve as well.
It’s a good idea to ask employees their opinion of the review so you can implement changes in the future that will help everyone be successful.