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Tips for Effective Employee Performance Review

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Are you interested in tips on how to make performance reviews successful in your organization? While the methods and approaches to performance assessment vary from organization to organization, there are universal principles about how to talk to an employee about his or her performance.

Whether it's a performance review, salary review meeting, or implementing a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), these tips will help you lead the meeting with more confidence.

These tips can be applied in your daily conversations with employees. They are also crucial in your regular, formal meetings with employees to discuss work objectives and performance. These ten tips will help you to make performance reviews positive and motivating. You improve - not deflate - your ability to interact with your reporting staff.

Tips for Performance Review

The employee should never hear about a positive or improvable performance for the first time during your formal performance review, unless it is new information or a considered insight. Effective managers discuss both positive performance and improvement opportunities with reporting employees on a regular basis, even daily or weekly. The aim is to turn the content of the performance review discussion into a renewed emphasis on the critical points.

In the interest of regular feedback, performance reviews are not an annual event. Quarterly meetings with employees are recommended. In a medium-sized company, workplace planning and assessment is carried out twice a year. The planning of employees' professional development is also planned twice a year, so that the employee formally discusses his or her job and career with his or her supervisor at least four times a year.

The objective is an essential component

Regardless of the components of your performance appraisal process, the first step is to set goals. It is essential that the employee knows exactly what is expected from his performance. Your regular discussions about performance must focus on these important parts of the employee's work.

Make clear how you will evaluate the performance

During the preparation and goal setting process, you must make it clear how you will evaluate the employee's performance. Describe exactly what you expect from the employee and how you will evaluate his performance. Discuss with the employee his or her role in the evaluation process. If your organization's performance appraisal process includes an employee self-assessment, share the form and talk about what the self-assessment entails.

Format for sharing performance review

Make sure that you also tell the employee the format of the performance review so that he or she is not surprised at the end of the performance review period. An important part of this appraisal interview is to let the employee know how your organization will evaluate the performance.

The employee must understand that if he or she does what is expected of him or her, he or she is considered to be an eligible employee. In some organisations that classify employees, this corresponds to a three on a five-point scale. An employee must do more than just perform in order to be considered an outstanding employee.

Performance of the document during the year

Avoid the horn and halo effect, where everything discussed in the session includes positive and negative recent events. Recent events color your judgement on the performance of the employee. Instead, you are responsible for documenting positive events, such as completed projects, and negative events, such as missed deadlines, for the entire period covered by the performance review. You must make these notes throughout the year to fairly assess the employee's performance.

Tip: In some organizations these are called critical incident reports. Ask the employee to do the same, so that together you can develop a comprehensive view of the employee's performance during the period covered by your interview.

Collect feedback

Ask for feedback from colleagues who have worked closely with the employee. Sometimes called 360-degree feedback, because you collect feedback for the employee from his or her supervisor, colleagues and all reporting employees, you use the feedback to enhance the performance information you provide to the employee.

Start with informal discussions to get feedback information. Consider developing a format so that the feedback is easily digestible and can be shared with the manager If your company uses a form that you fill out before the meeting, give the employee the performance review before the meeting. This allows the employee to digest the content before discussing the details with you. This simple gesture can remove much of the emotion and drama from the performance review meeting.

Preparation for a discussion

Prepare for the discussion with the employee. Never go into a performance assessment without preparation. If you improvise, performance reviews fail. They miss important opportunities for feedback and improvement, and the employee does not feel encouraged by their success. The documentation you have kept during the performance appraisal period is used to prepare for an employee's performance appraisal.

Practical approaches with HR
If necessary, practice the approaches with your Human Resources staff, a colleague or your supervisor. Notes with the most important points of the feedback. Insert bullet points that clearly indicate the point you want to communicate to the employee. The more you can identify patterns and give examples, the better the employee will understand the feedback and be able to react to it.

Meeting with an employee

When you meet with the employee, you spend time with the positive aspects of his or her performance. In most cases, the discussion of the positive components of the employee's performance should take more time than the discussion of the negative components.

With your above-average performers and your performance-oriented employees, the bulk of the discussion should be about positive feedback and the discussion about how the employee can further improve her performance. The employee will find this rewarding and motivating.

Note: The performance of an employee is not completely negative - if so, why does the employee still work for your company? But also do not neglect the areas that need improvement. Speak directly to an employee with below-average performance and do not mince matters. If you are not direct, the employee will not understand the seriousness of the performance situation. Use examples from the entire period covered by the performance review.

The conversation is the key to a productive performance meeting

The spirit in which you approach this conversation will make all the difference in whether it is effective. If your intention is sincere in helping the employee to improve and you have a positive relationship with the employee, the conversation is easier and more effective.

The employee must trust that you want to help him/her improve his/her performance. The employee must hear from you that you have confidence in his or her ability to improve. This helps them to believe that they have the ability and support necessary to improve.

The conversation is the key word when you define a performance review session. If you conduct the entire conversation or the session becomes a lecture, performance review is less effective. The employee will feel yelled at and treated unfairly. You don't want employees to feel like that when they leave their performance review.

Ask questions to make the meeting motivating

You want an employee who is motivated and enthusiastic about his or her ability to grow, develop and contribute. Seek performance appraisal interviews where the employee speaks more than half the time.

You can encourage this conversation by asking questions like these:
  • What do you think will be the biggest challenge in your targets for this quarter?
  • What support can the department offer you to help you achieve these goals?
  • What do you hope for from your achievements in our company this year?
  • How can I be a better manager for you?
  • How often would you like to receive feedback?
  • What kind of schedule can we set up so that you don't feel micromanipulated, but I get the feedback I need regarding your progress towards your goals.
  • What would be a helpful agenda for our weekly individual sessions?

The Conclusion

If you take these performance review tips to heart and implement these recommendations in your performance review meetings, you will develop an important tool for your management toolbox. Performance appraisal can improve your relationship with your employees, increase performance for your business and significantly improve communication between employee and manager - a boon to customers and working relationships.

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