Making performance review meaningful

Creating and holding performance reviews are a dreaded task- and one that tends to fail in helping the employer and employee understand performance levels and the health of a business.

Here are some tips on how to make it useful to both parties.

Include a self-evaluation section allowing the employee to put their side across. This often highlights previous projects which the manager may have forgotten about or if there has been a recent change in structure, it allows the new manger to learn more about the employee.

Additionally, employers should seek out the opinions of those who have worked on projects with the employee as often the manager will lack visibility on how projects are completed and delivered. This can often provide a more honest evaluation of the employee- providing you ask a number of relevant people.

As well as looking at if a goal was achieved to determine their progress, it’s important to review the situation and any extenuating circumstances which may have hindered their success.

Although current performance is important- employers also need to focus on what skills and attributes they need from the employee in the future for their personal development and job growth. Many reviews will miss out what career opportunities are coming up and what they need to do to get there. By looking to the future, it also helps minimise employee’s defensiveness about past mistakes and gets them to concentrate on how to improve in the future.

Don’t use the review to unload a years’ worth of negative comments about your employee’s performance- this should be given throughout the year to allow the employee to make changes. Remember, reviews are not to be used for discipline as this should be kept separate for another meeting.

Lastly, communication is key and employers should be asking as many questions as they are making statements. Feedback needs to be two-way as it may reveal some improvements that can be made in management style or processes.


    Bill says…



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