managers guide to performance reviews

Many organizations around the world today are in the process of completing their year-round performance reviews. Whether you are doing it yearly or half-yearly, so far it has been an indispensable process. But globally many companies have now ditched the annual / half-yearly reviews in favour of feedback-based continuous performance management. 

Often, these reviews are not fruitful, and it is just a waste of some productive hours for the managers and their employees. Both the manager and employees go in unprepared, and the results are not as expected. A little preparation and these meetings could turn into productive discussion sessions related to strategic planning, goal setting, etc.  

As a manager, it is your responsibility to give your employees accurate reviews, which would help them perform better and achieve results. Here are some tips which will help first-time managers or even experienced ones to navigate smoothly in the performance reviews.

Prepare Well On Time

Although a performance review is not more than a half-hour or an hour activity but as a manager you can’t go in unprepared. Schedule the meeting well in advance so that it gives both of you time to prepare for it. Send a meeting invite and block a calendar slot of your direct report. Decide on the key points that you want to focus on and discuss and document them. Review their past performance and achievements. Collect feedback from other stakeholders on their performance and document them to share them with your employee.

Also Read: Top 5 Employee Goals And Objectives For 2021 

Communicate Clearly With Your Employees

Communicate clearly and concisely with your employees during a performance review. Make sure they understand what you want to convey. Avoid responding with one-word answers, such as Good Work, Unsatisfactory Work, Poor Work, or even avoid using phrases such as You did an outstanding job, or You did a terrible job. One word or a phrase won’t help employees to understand their performance any better. It would destroy one of the main motives of the performance reviews. Employees would leave the reviews being unsatisfied and with incomplete information. But as a manager, you don’t need to go overboard with your words but let them know enough, so they are at least in the right direction.

Set Goals And Objectives

A performance review is not only to assess what has happened in the past but also the platform to set goals for the future. Help your employees to set goals and objectives for the next quarter, half-year, or year. The goals should be tough to challenge your employees, but attainable so that we do not demotivate them. Track and review them from time to time to track the progress. It would ensure your employees are on track.

However, writing good employee goals is not that easy. Here’s our guide to help create attainable and smart goals for your employees.

Keep Your Employees Involved

Make sure it is not a one-way conversation, jazz up the conversation with question-answer sessions. Give your employees the opportunity to take part and speak. Half of the performance reviews do not create any impact because they are not interactive enough. Give them feedback, ask them questions and suggestions which will allow them to take part actively in the discussion. 

Design Performance Improvement Plans

Performance reviews are a great opportunity to discuss the performance improvement plans of your employees. It does not indicate that your employee performance was not up to the mark. It is a chance to improve future performance based on the previous one. In the performance review, set OKRs and design a performance improvement plan based on previous performance.

Review Frequently

Sharing timely reviews can greatly impact your employee’s performance. It motivates them and allows them to improve continuously. Moreover, it helps them stay aligned with their goals and objectives. Timely feedback, whether positive or constructive, helps employees perform better and reinforce what they are doing right. It also allows you to appreciate and acknowledge your employees regularly, which makes them feel valued and important.

Also Read: How Continuous Performance Management Help Improve Performance

Document Everything

Human memory has a limited capacity, and it can only store a certain amount of information. If you do not document the ongoing performance review, it might cloud your next one with biases. It will serve as a benchmark for the next performance discussion. Not only this, it will provide evidence-based support for your next discussion and help you decide regarding rewards, promotions, or incentives. A performance review software such as Engagedly can help you store and document historical performance data of your employees.

Originally published on Engagedly