For many professionals, annual performance reviews are something to dread. Often times, supervisors look at them as more paperwork, and employees feel like they’re going to the principal’s office again in school. Even research shows that most employees hate them.
Performance reviews can offer real value to your organization.
When completed (and presented) effectively, performance reviews can be an excellent talent management tool. In fact just a few months ago, we mentioned in our blog that keeping your team informed is key to employee retention! Performance reviews are just one way to keep your team in the loop. Take these 4 tips into consideration, and you just might find you dread those performance reviews a little less this year:
- Ask your employees to chime in. Prior to completing the actual evaluation, ask your team for input in what they’d like to see covered during the review. You might find that the process becomes a bit easier, knowing that your employees have expectations for what will be covered. This can also help quell any fears of overly negative feedback that may come from performance reviews (even the best employees get a little nervous, sometimes).
- Pay attention to the details. Some companies tie performance reviews to salary or bonuses, but even if yours aren’t tied to salary, it’s important to focus on the details. An attention to detail here shows that you’re engaged in your employees’ careers, that you understand their roles and their day-to-day experiences with your company. When you deliver feedback or share observations, don’t use vague statements or general observations – give examples of great (or not so great) performance, and offer specific suggestions or direction to encourage them or help them get in the right direction.
- Offer concrete steps. Nothing’s worse for an employee than getting feedback (positive or negative) and…that’s it. Your performance review meeting should always end with tangible next steps – employees should leave with a clear understanding of what’s expected from them and how to achieve their goals. This may mean a little more work up front for you, but it will lead to more engaged employees and actual results from this yearly task.
- Follow up. One of the worst things you can do after completing your performance reviews is to wait until next year to see what happened. Following up on reviews demonstrates to your employees that you’re committed to helping them reach their goals, and that performance reviews are a part of the process, not just a “necessary evil.” Quarterly meetings to assess progress toward goals can help keep the process on your calendar. Weekly one-on-one meetings are even better. Staying in touch with your team can help head off potential problems before they sneak up on you.
Change your approach and attitude toward performance reviews, and they’ll quickly become another tool in your HR arsenal. When it comes to finding (and retaining) top talent, every tool can make a big impact. At Helpmates, we provide staffing services to employers across Southern California to help them maximize their talent investment. Give us a call with your talent acquisition questions – we can help!
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