No one really enjoys annual performance reviews, and managers often dread them just as much as employees. However, when they are done well, employee reviews can do wonders for your business. The management tool benefits supervisors, employees and the entire company, and it gives employees a chance to better understand the expectations of their employers.
Managers can use reviews as opportunities to discuss employee progress, provide paths for growth and encourage development, and these conditions are proven to boost job satisfaction and productivity among employees.
Performance reviews are also helpful for supervisors. A review is an opportunity to work on one's management skills, build a healthy rapport with the team and identify training needs. Managers can also use the opportunity to gather information needed to develop programs and make decisions about promotions or raises.
To gain these benefits, performance reviews should not be isolated events. Instead, they should simply be a culmination of many conversations that happen over time in the workplace. Expectations, standards and goals should be continually discussed, and a performance review should just be a more formal discussion of how an employee is meeting them.
To make the performance review process as painless as possible, follow these suggestions:
Deliver Frequent Feedback
Instead of waiting for a performance review to give feedback, frequently discuss performance with your employees. Either say something when you see something, or set regular meetings to briefly talk about monthly or weekly progress. When the time comes for a more official performance review, you may just have to implement a raise or fill out specific forms.
Take Performance Notes
Throughout the year, record notes for yourself about employee performance. When review time rolls around, you will have a more complete view of an employee's overall work instead of just going off of recent events. Keeping records will also support your rating if it is questioned, and credibility is an important aspect of a review.
Job descriptions should be updated as they change over time, and updates will help you choose what should be included in a review. A performance review should reflect progress made toward specific goals, but you cannot do that fairly and accurately if a job description is outdated.
Make Reviews a Two-Way Conversation
It is important to recognize that you play an important role in the performance of your team. During a review, ask about what you can do to help an employee's performance or what they need from you going forward to reach specific goals.