The Secret to Writing a Great Performance Review

You know what you’re up against, and time may be scarce. Let’s deliver the secrets:

Define Your Purpose before Reviewing the Employee

This is the most crucial “know-how” for your performance review (PR) preparation. As a manager, you do not have the time to simply waste at a meeting. You must know what you hope to achieve from your effort. It’s obvious that you are reviewing the employee: you will tell them their strengths, their weaknesses and help them improve.

The question is, improve for what?

How will these improvements help your organization meet its strategic goals, increase retention rate, and/or keep its talent pool (the employees) market competitive in the future? If you simply keep “boosting performance” as the central theme for your PR effort, chances are you’ll end up working on managing the compensation process at your company and not the performance process.

Keep the Compensation and Employee Review Separate

You have to shift the focus during the PR from compensation management to performance management. The easiest way to do that is to break the follow up into quarterly checkups, and inform the employees of it.

Explain at the beginning that you will be doing both performance reviews and compensation separately — the later going to the HR. Show them that you want to help them improve and excel at their job and career. Separating both the processes will reduce the stress for both you and the employee.

Collaborate with Your Employee during the Review

To have an excellent review, you must work together with your employee. This increases efficiency, increases engagement with the employee, and makes them understand the situation from the standpoint of the goals of the organization.

The best way to do just that is to keep the employees in the loop. Inform them of the weaknesses in terms of their career path and job (it’s what the employees side will let you know), and their role in the organization’s bigger picture (that’s your side of the story). At the end, you will be able to come up with the performance review that will allow the employee to know how to improve and excel in their career, and at the same time turn these efforts into benefits for the organization.

Focus On Strength and Continuous Improvement for Weakness

Many managers focus on improving upon the weaknesses of their employees. On the contrary, the focus should be on identifying their strengths.

This will aid you in realizing what they might be better at. As a result, you can add to their job description, cut down work on areas where they are weak, and supplement these strengths by working on the weaknesses which if improved would complement their strengths and hence make them a more valuable asset for the company.

Reviewing Words

The next time you start preparing for a review, decide beforehand what you want to achieve from the whole ordeal, work in collaboration with your employees, make sure you clarify that the compensation process is separate from their performance review, and then spend the time making your employee more valuable for the company.

Looking for more help? Use our sample performance appraisal phrases to help you prepare your next performance evaluation.

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