At the Nursery HR People, we often hear negative words being used to describe performance reviews; it can be viewed as an inefficient process and fails to do what it ultimately should; improve, enhance and recognise performance.

performance text with hand writing

We understand that many managers may feel anxious about conducting  performance reviews. While they may be challenging for some, these discussions are valuable for strengthening bonds with team members and getting employees back on track to where you need them to be.

Every manager can improve performance reviews and make them into an effective communication, goal setting, and development tool for employees.

The following five steps can help managers ensure the performance reviews they conduct are positive and productive for all:-

  1. Communicate

Performance management is supposed to improve employee performance at regular intervals, not just once a year. As managers know, it’s easy to overlook an individual’s accomplishments made earlier in the review period.

By providing feedback to employees at least quarterly, and not just during their performance reviews will ensure managers are able to praise the positives, are comfortable with giving and receiving feedback, as well as being able to stop problems before they become out of control.

The performance document is a useful discussion starter, especially as employees often feel they lack influence over their appraisal. Prior to the meeting, ensure staff are asked for their input, including on whether they think their performance goals were met and how they believe they can improve.  If there are significant gaps between your assessment and the employee’s, then focus on these as they are areas that can benefit from discussion.

  1. Engage

Allocate adequate time to reflect on an individual’s strengths and weaknesses and factor in their input.  Engage the employees in a discussion whenever their performance is the topic.

Effective performance reviews are never a monologue by the manager, but always a two-way conversation. Ensure the majority of the conversation is positive, reinforcing, and constructive for the employee.

  1. Attention to Detail

When it’s necessary to highlight an employee’s shortcomings, use specific examples and avoid generalising. Always ensure feedback is constructive and help engage your employee to find the solutions and ways of improving performance. During performance reviews keep the focus on factual details that can help employees improve specific aspects of their performance.

Make sure you are well prepared ahead of performance reviews. For example, look through your notes and supplement them with your employees’ job descriptions, last year’s appraisal, and the previous goals and objectives that you established with your employees. We always recommend to save setting new objectives for you and the employee so that you can complete these together.

  1. It’s all about the individual

Adapt your evaluation style to the personalities of individual staff members. A personalised approach to performance management helps managers establish a trusting relationship with employees. Managers need to understand how to tailor their communication and approach to each member of their team.

For example, highly confident performers may be more motivated by being tasked with an important new project or responsibility. On the other hand, less confident staff members could prefer receiving praise and reassurance. Don’t avoid offering constructive criticism to more sensitive employees, but balance negative feedback with positive comments.

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Sara Smith

Marketing Director

01509 833121

Less HR More Learning!