Performance reviews. Those two words can make employees sweat and fill managers with a sense of dread. But it doesn't have to be that way. If performance reviews are handled well, they can provide opportunities for open and productive communication between manager and employee. And the outcome can be rewarding for both.
Too Little, Too Late
These days, reviewing employee performance once a year is generally regarded as inadequate. Experts recommend reviewing performance on an ongoing basis. Whether the actions prompting a review are positive or negative, providing feedback in a timely way is the best approach. The annual review can then serve as an overview of each employee's progress -- or lack thereof.
Attention to Detail
When discussing job performance, vague generalities are unhelpful. The more clearly the parties communicate, the better the chances of improvement are. If you're doing the reviewing, give your employee specific examples of what he or she is doing right -- and wrong. Make sure you can substantiate your comments. And take time to listen.
If you're the one being reviewed, make sure you understand what's being said. Don't be afraid to ask specific questions. If you're underperforming and there are legitimate reasons why, state them. If you're meeting or exceeding expectations, discuss what your options are for the future. In either case, make sure you have a clear plan of action by the end of the review -- and that you understand what's expected of you.
It's a Dialogue
Employee reviews can be very time-consuming. Are they really necessary? They are if the goal is a successful, well-run business with productive employees. There's a much better chance of success when employees and employers are on the same page and performance reviews are used as a tool for communicating expectations and evaluating progress toward company and individual goals
For more tips on how to keep business best practices front and center for your company, give us a call today. We can't wait to hear from you.