Performance Reviews

As we approach the end of the year, many managers are hit with the task of providing performance reviews for their employees. For some supervisors, this idea conjures up feelings of anxiety as they scramble to create a year-end evaluation worth giving. If you want to make sure that the review you provide is relevant and well-delivered, consider the following three tips to get you started.

1. Prepare Content

Most meetings require preparation, and an annual review is no different. Take time to consider the employee’s accomplishments throughout the year, as well as any challenges they faced. A performance review is about acknowledging tasks that were done well, as well as identifying areas for improvement. Time should be dedicated to both areas during your preparations and during the meeting.

Use the challenges to develop goals and expectations for the next year. This way, you will be providing the employee a clear path for success over the next 12 months, and have created a basis upon which you can review their progress throughout the next year. This ensures the employee has a clear understanding of how to conduct themselves to be seen as a valuable asset to the business.

2. Avoid Surprises

Speaking of an employee’s weak points is challenging by nature. However, this should not be the first time an employee hears about a performance issue (or accomplishment) unless it is a recent development. Ideally, your work environment should promote open communication throughout the year. This allows you to make a note of the employee’s performance as tasks are completed, or issues are addressed. Stockpiling a year’s worth of negative feedback for a performance review is not going to be well received, regardless of the accuracy of the information.

A performance review is meant to be a summary of the employee’s activities. It should not take the place of the regular feedback an employee needs to excel in the workplace. By speaking with employees about their performance as things occur, you can relieve most of the anxiety associated with giving critical information during a review.

3. Keep Communication Open

A performance review should be handled like a conversation, not a lecture. You want to invite the employee to be involved. Allow issues to be discussed openly, and keep the conversation moving until you are both on the same page. That way, once the review has ended, you can both move forward confident about what needs to be done in the future.

And keep the lines of communication open after the review is complete. Some employees may come up with follow up questions hours, days or even weeks after the review is complete. By maintaining an open dialogue, you can provide feedback when it is most valuable. This allows you to help employees improve at the most opportune times, and makes sure you have the chance to acknowledge accomplishments promptly.

Bring It All Together

The annual performance review doesn’t have to be a revelation. By following the tips above, you can create an environment that encourages feedback throughout the year. Not only can this lead to better performance by your team members, but it also takes the anxiety out of the annual review.

If you are looking for more tips to help you manage your team, or are seeking out your next superstar employee, the professionals at ITStaff are ready to assist. Contact ITStaff Today!

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