Published on 2/11/2019 12:00:00 AM
You may have heard that annual reviews are losing favor as a way to manage employee performance. But employee performance reviews are still effective tools when used correctly. That means including them as part of an ongoing program of communication and goal-alignment meant to guide your employees toward success.
Performance reviews are a practical way to help employees know what your expectations are, to set goals and to ensure communication happens.
Providing employees with formal feedback can prevent recurring mistakes, unsatisfactory work and lack of progress toward goals. Are you using them effectively?
Steps to More Effective Performance Reviews
Achieving more effective employee performance reviews may mean evaluating your current approach and modifying your process. Consider these tactics:
- Develop a performance review format
- Establish a format for evaluations and share with employees in advance. Make sure employees know what you consider to be minimum, average and outstanding performance levels. For example, review criteria may cover:
- Key work responsibilities
- Results and goals achieved
- Behavioral competencies
- Areas for development
- Set goals based on specific action steps
- Allow your employees to provide input on the goal-setting process. Focus on specific steps to achieve a desirable outcome, as well as goals aligned to your overall company objectives.
- Document lapses and achievements
- Don’t rely on your memory to conduct performance reviews. Create a system to track performance over time and to benchmark actions against goals. You might consider using an app built for this purpose.
- Meet regularly (not just annually)
- Discuss and record milestones, accomplishments and challenges as they occur, when the details are fresh. This is especially true for unwanted behaviors, which need to be addressed and documented promptly.
- Solicit feedback from others
- Gather feedback from colleagues who have worked closely with the employee. Managers may recognize big accomplishments, but coworkers see the smaller, everyday successes.
- Include employee self-appraisal
- Use the employee self-assessment as a guide for setting goals and recognizing achievements, but don’t be afraid to redirect actions to better align with overall company goals. Also, don’t allow self-assessments to excuse managers from doing their own analysis.
- Share the performance appraisal in advance
- Give employees reviews in advance to read. Allow the employee time to digest the information and come to the review meeting prepared with ideas for how to improve.
- Hold a two-way discussion
- A performance appraisal should never be a lecture from a manager, but rather a two-way discussion where the employee does more than half the talking. Focus the majority of the conversation in a positive direction, reinforcing accomplishments and successes.
Track and Address Performance with a Convenient Online App
Performance reviews provide a way to recognize accomplishments and guide employees toward continuous improvement.
If an employee’s performance ever becomes a problem, however, you want to handle it carefully. This includes progressive discipline and prompt, appropriate documentation. The Progressive Discipline Smart App from HRdirect can help you take control of the situation while also providing a legal “paper trail” if termination becomes the only option.