November 15 Tip of the Week

Are You Prepared to Conduct Effective Performance Reviews?

Whether you review all employees’ performance at the same time each year, or on a rolling basis corresponding with each employee’s anniversary date, you want to make sure that both you and your employee are getting the most out of written reviews and performance discussions.

The most effective and successful performance reviews are those that are done collaboratively, with input from both employer and employee.  Ask your employee to list areas in which they felt they were most successful over the past year, and areas where they experienced challenges.  Make sure to give your employee a chance to highlight any accomplishments that they feel are particularly important or indicative of their skills or contribution to the organization.  Set some goals together as a team, collectively choosing targets to reach by the next review and and setting clear actions to reach those marks.

A good performance review also rates employees on concrete, measurable skills, attributes, and performance outcomes.  Identify specific qualities, abilities, and outcomes that you expect of the employee’s position each year, and use some type of objective ranking system to convey to the employee the metrics that are being used to evaluate their performance and determine eligibility for promotion, transfer, and increases in compensation.  

Don’t be afraid to highlight deficits in performance and areas in which improvement is needed.  Be clear, straightforward, and direct.  Describe the improvement or the desired behavior you wish to see in detail, and list specific actions you expect your employee to take to overcome the shortfalls of the previous year.

A successful performance review takes planning and reflection, but when done correctly can be a highly effective tool to achieve efficiency, high performance, and employee retention.  Ask the expert HR and employment law attorneys at myHRcounsel for help planning and preparing for performance reviews that will leave your employees primed for success.