Performance reviews have a bad reputation because most employers approach these meetings in the wrong way. They are often unprepared, can be used to attack Employees without warning and are not followed up to meet objectives.
Let’s look at some strategies you can use to get the most out of your performance reviews and your staff.
No employee should go into a performance review meeting without already having some idea of how they are performing. As a director or manager it’s your responsibility to regularly keep your staff informed of how they are performing and what improvements or further training need to happen. They should be aware of any issues and given the opportunity to improve. The goal is to make the meeting productive, and the end result should benefit both the employee and the company.
To get the most out of these meetings you need to be prepared. Read over the employee’s previous reviews to assess their progress, training records and any goals they are yet to achieve or have now successfully completed.
Establish what the purpose of the meeting is. This includes defining what outcomes you hope to achieve and what message you want the employee to leave with.
You should also be prepared to answer any potential questions from your employee. Generally, the most common topics raised from an employee will include remuneration and career progression, so make sure you have a clear understanding of where they sit within the business before you enter the meeting.
Create an agenda for both parties
A performance review should never be a one way street and an employee should be given the chance to prepare for the meeting, just as you have.
The employee should be provided with:
- Adequate time to think about topics they would like to discuss in the meeting
- A copy of their last performance review
- Time to complete a self-assessment of their own performance prior to the review
This will not only help your employee feel more comfortable by the time the meeting comes around, but also ensures you are on the same page.
Don’t just focus on the negatives
Performance reviews should be used to discuss both positive achievements as well as areas that need improvement. If you use the review to attack an employee with negatives, they will leave the meeting feeling unappreciated and deflated. This method is not going to achieve positive outcomes for either party.
If you need to discuss negative feedback, this should be given constructively and the employee should be given the opportunity to respond and have input in how to make changes for improvement.
Once the review is completed, create strategies as a team to tackle any areas that need improvement and set objectives for the year ahead. Make sure that the employee understands what is required of them and has had the chance to raise any concerns or issues. And make sure you follow up progress throughout the year to ensure you are meeting objectives and there are no nasty surprises at the next review.
Do you conduct performance reviews at your workplace? If no, why not?