4 Ways to Make Performance Reviews Work Better

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Aug 7, 2014

Performance reviews are an effective way to improve employee performance while also maintaining transparency between management staff.

Unfortunately for many small and mid-sized businesses, delivering an effective performance review is more of a concept than a practice.

Below are four tips for delivering a performance review that is effective, appropriate and will help keep your employees engaged.

1. Get to know your employee before review time

If you have been an effective and active manager, it is much easier to deliver criticism than one who is chronically absent.

Understand what is going on with your employee, and consider that when choosing how to deliver feedback.

The basic idea is to remember to communicate with them in a manner that makes them comfortable. Knowing what manner that is can only be determined by prior interaction with the employee.

2. Deliver feedback as needed, not when it is convenient

Keeping a list of all of the things an employee has done wrong gives the employee the impression that the company (or manager) is simply looking for reasons to fire them.

If your intent is actually to help them improve, this is almost a guaranteed way to fail. Instead of delivering criticism only at a performance review, deliver it when it happens. This helps the employee know that you are trying to help them improve as well as giving them the opportunity to do just that.

3. Remind the employee of what they’ve done right

Constant feedback is sure to bring anyone down.

Instead of simply telling someone all of the things they have done wrong, include time talking about their accomplishments.

The most effective way to do this is by having the employee talk about job accomplishments they are proud of, and then acknowledging or adding to them. This lets the employee know that you recognize that they are a valuable contributor to the company and encourages them to work harder.

4. Deliver at the employee’s level

Taking criticism is tough and many employees will become resentful when it feels like they are being talked down to.

While you may not be able to avoid giving bad news, minimize the hard feelings by sitting face to face with the employee, maintaining eye contact and keeping an empathetic tone.

Maintaining the image of the big boss behind the desk is intimidating to many people and may cause the feedback to not be useful.

This was originally published on the Genesis HR Solutions blog.