Eight simple tips for effective employee performance reviews

Employee performance reviews are an integral part of any business’ successful operation, as they provide business owners with an invaluable opportunity to openly and honestly communicate feedback with their staff. Nevertheless, this process can bring with it some inherent difficulties – namely, the challenge to strike the right balance between highlighting areas where an employee needs to improve and reinforcing positive aspects of their performance. 


Here are eight simple tips that business owners should look to employ when reviewing the performance of their employees:


1.       Try to create an honest and open dialogue and give employees the chance to ask questions and clarify concerns; for constructive criticism to be truly effective, employees must not only be committed to rectifying relevant issues, they must also properly understand the problems at play;

2.       Create an ongoing formal performance overview: this can help you to construct a feedback process which directly keeps track of your employees’ key performance objectives and fulfilment of business goals;

3.       Use constructive criticism as a mechanism for creating goals that your employees can aspire to; employees are more likely to improve on their performance if you positively reinforce what they can achieve, rather than focusing on their deficiencies;

4.       Strategise and plan your feedback:  to maximise positive outcomes and motivate employees, you might like to consider beginning and concluding your performance reviews by highlighting areas of potential improvement and past success;

5.       Focus on discussing your employees’ work outcomes, not their personal characteristics: by framing your discussions around an objective analysis, you are less likely to prompt defensive responses from your employees – something that often works to impede progress and resolution of issues;

6.       Clear and concise communication is crucial: although it is important to maintain a degree of sensitivity when discussing performance concerns with employees, it is equally important to ensure that they leave reviews with a clear understanding of the expectations placed upon them. To this end, you should try to ensure that issues are articulated in a clear and logical manner, and also provide evidence and examples in support your claims. In addition, you may consider documenting discussion points so that once employees leave their reviews; they have a tangible reference point moving forward to improve their performance; 

7.       Consider an off-site meeting; taking your employees into a comfortable and perhaps informal setting may help to create an environment that is more conducive to open, direct and sincere discussions;

8.   Follow up on performance review discussions: following performance reviews it is important to consistently monitor employees to ascertain if and where improvements are being made; this will enable you to provide further guidance, reinforce concerns if necessary, and acknowledge employees who do achieve positive progress. 

Posted by George Tarbey on 25/10/2012 at 12:00 AM | Categories:


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