Performance reviews have long been a staple of the enterprise. While reviews are changing, thanks to technology and the evolution of business philosophies, they’re not going anyway completely. Are you ready to hold your next round of performance reviews? If so, keep these 10 tips top of mind to make sure they’re as productive as possible:
1. Holding reviews once a year isn’t very useful
A lot of things can happen over the course of a year. Remember, annual reviews provide information that represents a snapshot in time. To improve the quality of the data you gain from employee reviews, consider having them more frequently and even touching base with your team members once a week.
2. Set clearly defined goals for your employees
Don’t leave your expectations up to interpretation. During reviews, make sure you clearly and concisely convey what you expect for your employees moving forward. Make sure you’re on the same page.
3. Don’t use a review to talk about something for the first time
Reviews aren’t the ideal time to complain about behaviors. If, for example, your employee continually shows up late and that bothers you, say something to that person ahead of your scheduled review. Give them time to adjust. There’s no sense in letting bad behavior fester.
4. Factor others’ opinions into the review process
You don’t shadow your employees on a daily basis. While you might think you have a pretty decent idea on how your workers perform, you have no way of knowing every facet of their job performance. Instead of relying solely on your own judgment, ask your employees’ bosses — as well as their coworkers — what kinds of insight they have to share.
5. Give your employees time to prepare
You can’t just drop by an employee’s workspace and drag them into your office for an impromptu review. Give members of your team adequate time to prepare for their reviews. They’ll also need to tweak their schedules to make sure they can afford to spend an hour away from their work.
6. Don’t forget that you need to prepare too
Even if you’re a skilled manager who’s been in the game for 20 years, don’t expect to shoot from the hip during your employee reviews. You don’t want to seem disingenuous or ill-prepared for what many employees consider to be an important milestone.
7. Your attitude means everything
If you want your reviews to be constructive, you probably shouldn’t scream at your employees while reading from a long list of perceived transgressions. Your attitude plays a huge role in how successful (or unsuccessful) your reviews will be. Do your best to be calm, constructive, and direct.
8. Have a conversation — don’t orate
You shouldn’t just speak down to all of your employees either. Reviews should be interactive. You have your own perspective, as do each of your employees. To get the most out of your reviews, try to balance the conversation as much as possible. Let your employees speak. Most importantly, listen to what they have to say.
9. Make sure your employees understand the points you’re making
When your review session is winding down, ask your employees whether you’ve done a good job at getting the points across you wanted to make. Ask them whether you need to clarify anything, and don’t get annoyed if you have to further explain anything. The whole point of a review is to help your employees become better. But that won’t happen unless you communicate effectively.
10. Ask your employees what you can do to help them improve
Great managers are quick to give a hand to their workers. Generally speaking, bosses have more skills and more experiences than their staffs. If you want your employees to become the best versions of themselves, you have to be willing to lend your support whenever you’re available. Ask your employees directly whether they have any ideas as to what you could do personally to help them succeed.
Have any tips and tricks that can help reviews be more productive? We’d love to hear them!
- How to Remove Biases in Performance Reviews
- The Fascinating Difference in Performance Reviews Between Generations