Preparing for a Performance Review

When you work toward a useful evaluation process and communicate its importance, you get fantastic results. Make performance reviews a significant part of the business cycle to stimulate your management teams and individual workers.

Does Your Team Understand the Value of Reviews?

The effort you spend preparing for an assessment communicates its importance. While you have other concerns during the year (and even during the review cycle) you should always note employee performance. This will also help you track potential issues; the performance review shouldn’t be the first time an employee hears about a major concern. Here are a few tips to help you prepare:

  • Keep detailed records. Notes on job performance will make the review process easier for you and the employee. You can illustrate positive and negative behavior, making the analysis directly relevant to the reviewee. This shouldn’t be the first time the employee has heard about his or her performance, though. Good conduct can be recognized during the assessment, but unfavorable results should be immediately addressed.
  • Consider the setting. Choose an appropriate room to hold the meetings. Pick something private that maintains a business atmosphere. Small conference rooms are best. Arrange the space to put your employees at ease; this improves the flow of the entire process.
  • Managers and employees should review the previous year’s goals together. During the assessment, managers can incorporate personal objectives and discuss whether they were achieved. While corporate aims are important to the business, personal ambitions can be just as important.
  • Managers should also understand the individual’s job description and assigned duties. Many businesses have problems with role confusion, where neither the workers nor their superiors know what the job entails. It’s hard to write a helpful review if you don’t know what job you’re evaluating.
  • Involve the employees. The reviewee should prepare his or her own notes for the meeting. Personnel should keep track of their achievements and have a good idea of whether they’ve reached personal goals. They should also understand their job descriptions so they can highlight any instances of role confusion.
  • Encourage laborers to use available self-assessment tools. Even if these resources aren’t formally employed by the business, they may offer insight into the review process. If the worker is honest in his or her self-assessment, it can minimize any shock about upcoming ratings.
  • Explain the significance of the assessment to your employees. Many professionals look at reviews as a personal critique, not something that identifies their jobs and how they fit into the workplace. The assessment should start with the big picture of the company and then pinpoint how the employee’s specific duties align with that picture. Personnel will be much more willing to take criticism if they know it’s for the greater good.

Take Your Time for Best Results

Performance reviews should last as long as it takes to address all concerns the employee and manager have. If both parties are prepared, it may take a moderate amount of time – not as brief as a cursory review, but shorter than one with lots of surprises. Neither party should leave the meeting until they clearly understand the results of the assessment. Ensure these findings are honestly communicated by asking the right review phrases.

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