How to Conduct Successful Employee Performance Reviews

Employee performance reviews serve as a means for communication, improvement in poor performance, clarification in job responsibilities, and reinforcement of good performances. Implementing employee reviews in your company can create a paper trail of performances, good or bad, that may be contributing to the overall success of your company.

However, for most managers, employee reviews can be uncomfortable and lead to hard feelings of resentment. In order to create a yearly review that will encourage the employee to perform better, follow these key tips:

* Clearly set goals before the appraisal period. Schedule a meeting with your workers to discuss new and updated goals. Be sure that each worker has a handout delegating their expectations and yearly goals.

* Do not wait until the last minute to write the reviews. Because you may be reviewing dozens of employees, you may not remember an event that occurred 6 months ago and this could benefit or harm the employee. Instead document observations throughout the entire year. This will not only help you recall individual events, but will also serve as a paper trail should any legal issues arise.

strengthen your employees through constructive review feedback* Discuss performance issues with your employees. Do not wait six months for a review session to explain that their customer service skills are lacking. Their lack of performance could be harming your business and the customers’ experiences. Rather, take time aside and handle issues promptly. Document the meeting and should situations remain the same, include that in the review.

* Allow workers to periodically review their own performance. This may give them a chance to step back and notice changes that could be made. Because their goals and expectations are clearly defined, they can take personal responsibility in the reviews.

* Be honest but respectful. It may be difficult to review a friend, but it is a necessary part of your job. Do not play favoritism and exclude their performance issues. Rather, be honest. The employee may not be aware of any problems or issues. However, a review can serve as an eye opening experience.

* Be sure to highlight good performances or actions. The employee will not want to listen to all negative feedback. Positive reinforcement can ensure them that they are not useless employees.

Employee reviews were once thought of as uncomfortable face to face meetings in which a manager spends time highlighting how bad a job the employee has done over the past year. However, used correctly, a review can be an icebreaker to discuss job responsibilities or goals.

It would be unrealistic to say that managers can give a review without considering the employee’s feelings and reaction. Many employees will offend easily and resent a manager highlighting their shortfalls. However, rather than be offended, employees can use the review as a sign that their performance must change.

Employee reviews are often an eye opening experience that doesn’t necessarily have to focus just on the bad. By spending time explaining why a certain review was given, the manager can help the employee understand why changes need to be made.

If you are a manager in charge of employee reviews, you are probably aware of the awkwardness that can ensue. However, be assured that reviews are necessary to encourage and motivate change in the workplace. By following these tips, you can stay on top of reviews and offer accurate, appropriate feedback.

About Andrew Jensen

Andrew Jensen, a business growth, efficiency & marketing consultant, provides business advisory services for clients in the Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; York, Hanover, Lancaster & Harrisburg, PA regions. Andrew advises regarding business growth, productivity, efficiency, business startups, customer service, and online/offline marketing. Follow Andrew on Google+

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