How to Give Better Performance Reviews

October 21, 2015 | 2,657 views

How to Give Better Performance Reviews

How to Give Better Performance Reviews

Performance reviews are one of those tasks that many managers and employees dread. Managers worry about having difficult conversations, even with top performers. Employees worry about getting disciplined, even when they’ve tried their best to do well at work.


It’s an uncomfortable necessity in the workplace, but when done right performance reviews are also powerful tools.


Here’s how to give better and more productive reviews.


Start by Scheduling the Performance Review


Nothing puts up an employee’s defenses more than feeling caught off guard. By letting your employee know ahead of time that you plan to do a performance review, you’ll give him time to prepare. Schedule all performance reviews on the work schedule using your online employee scheduling app so the team knows what’s coming and no-one feels singled out.


Open Up the Meeting With a Self-Assessment


Give your employee a chance to self-reflect before hitting him with the good, bad, and ugly of their performance review. This is a great way to ease into a potentially difficult conversation.


Even if you have nothing bad to say about the employee, this is a good way to start your review. It gives the employee a chance to explain any poor workplace behavior before feeling ridiculed. There might be something going on that you weren’t aware of, such as a health problem or a struggle in his personal life.


Opening with a self-assessment gives the employee the floor first. This will help put down his guard and make him more open to feedback.


Discuss, Don’t Tell


Performance reviews are perfect opportunities to coach your employees. This is a time for goal setting and forward thinking.


After opening up the meeting with your employee’s self-assessment, discuss what can be done going forward for him to perform better and love his job more. Use the opportunity to discuss his needs at work just as much as your needs as the employer. Doing so will keep him invested in your company and help him want to perform better.


Finishing Up


You and your employee should walk away from the meeting feeling like you accomplished something. End the performance review with an overview and action steps for the future. Keep the review feeling productive instead of a task you’re checking off your to-do list. This will help both you and your employees get more out of the experience.


Remember This


Performance reviews should be done at least once a year – sometimes twice. However, that does not mean your coaching and managerial influence needs to wane. Use the performance review as a launching point and your role as a manager as the guide.


Author Profile

Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.

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