As December comes to an end, the new year comes into focus! Performance reviews are usually at the top of to-do lists for managers and supervisors in the first quarter of the new year. Performance reviews are important for a number of reasons. They are imperative for keeping employees in line with their individual goals, as well as the goals of the company. They often determine the career path of an employee and whether or not someone is eligible for a merit increase. Because they indicate past work history and future potential, spending adequate time to prepare for your meetings with your direct reports is essential.
Performance reviews are a vital part of the employer-employee relationship, and they should be beneficial to both managers and their employees. Before you conduct performance reviews with your team members, consider the four tips below to achieve a productive and mutually valuable meeting:
Not just once a year
Instead of waiting for an annual performance review, managers should provide both constructive criticism and praise to their employees throughout the year and use the annual performance review to summarize the performance from the prior year. This will eliminate any surprises when completing reviews with your staffers.
Preparation is key
A good review starts with good planning. If you’ve kept notes throughout the year, your performance reviews will write themselves. Reexamine goals discussed in past meetings and collect specific examples of the times employees excelled and the times employees needed to improve during the year. Use this information to guide your review and help convey the expectations you have for your direct reports.
Talk with them, not to them
A beneficial employee review includes participation from the manager and the employee. Allow your direct reports to reflect on their own performance and let them prepare answers for questions regarding their work flow and company activity for the future. Employees should be able to offer suggestions on how they can improve their work. Make them feel comfortable to mention items that could be hindering their performance or other concerns they may have.
Balanced feedback is important
Reviews that only highlight negatives will deflate employees and leave them wondering if they are in the right position or with the right employer. However, managers who shy away from negative comments to avoid hurting feelings are doing their employees a disservice. Without constructive criticism, employees will not improve and will eventually become stagnant in their position. Strive to include praise and constructive criticism for a balanced review.
For more insights on improving your company's performance evaluation process, please join us for the 2015 HR Management Conference on March 4 and March 5 at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh. Cindy Anderson, founder of Thinc Strategy, will present her breakout session - Changing the Performance Evaluation Process. She will share why so many companies are moving away from the traditional performance rating systems and moving to real-time feedback tools. In addition to this performance evaluation , the annual HR conference will cover several pertinent topics, such as making the right HR technology choices, using diversity as a business strategy, leveraging sales and marketing to attract talent, strengthening organizational performance and more!
Visit www.capital.org/hrconf to see the full agenda, session descriptions and speaker bios.