An employee performance review is a key feedback that your staff receives from its management. The reason why this is so important is due to the fact that it gives one a chance for self-improvement. You see, no one is a star employee by default and efficiency comes with experience. However, there’s no way for you to improve your performance if you don’t know that you have a performance problem, to begin with. The more specific you are about the review, the better the results will be, seeing as how your employees will not only receive raw data but actual actionable information. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a big corporation in order to have a great performance review and there are several reasons why.
If you’re giving out performance reviews in a verbal form, you need to do this in private. Giving feedback is a completely normal process, however, even the constructive criticism that isn’t that bad may feel embarrassing if it’s given in front of one’s colleagues, some of which may be office rivals. On the other hand, by having a one-on-one conversation with a person in question, you can lead the narrative in order to make it as polite and comfortable as possible. For instance, you can start listing all the positive things that a person has done since their arrival, in order to avoid a scenario where the person in question is being berated. Still, there’s no avoiding the unpleasant truths and you need to tell them if there’s a problem.
Try to avoid bias
One of the worst things about bias is the fact that you can never truly avoid or cure it. Even if you’re dead set on not being biased, chances are that you’re subconsciously still liking some people for no objective reason. It’s just human psychology and there’s no way around it. However, what you can do is not allow it to govern your performance reviews. You can start with this by setting some measurable, objective metrics. Other than this, you can use reporting tools and platforms, which are more objective by nature. Nowadays, it’s fairly easy to find reliable Advisory software tools online in order to streamline your reporting in an unbiased way.
Another thing we need to mention is the issue of transparency, yet, this topic is somewhat more complex than it may seem at first. For starters, we’ve already discussed the issue of privacy and for those who believe that privacy and transparency exclude one another, it’s important that we mention that this is simply a matter of perspective. You can’t expect your employees to improve their performance if you insist on hiding facts related to this same performance from them. Second, if there’s a ranking system for the next promotion, you need to be upfront with the requirements, even if you don’t intend to announce individual scores of every individual in the contest.
Evaluate the evaluation system
The most important thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that your evaluation system isn’t there to provide you with some trivia or just tell you how your team is doing. It’s a tool meant to improve the performance of your staff and, therefore, your entire organization. So, you need to measure how effective this evaluation system is at this core function. Track performance of your employees and compare it to the evaluation that you’re giving them. This is really the most important thing that you should care about when it comes to having great performance reviews.
Provide your employees with some of this data
In the privacy section, we’ve mostly discussed the issue of providing your employees with the first feedback. Well, later on, you can tell them just how much they’ve grown professionally since the last time. Lead with their improvement of performance in numbers and then continue to talk about the areas that still need some improvement. In a scenario where month after month their performance fails to improve, you might want to consider taking some additional steps. For instance, you could give them some advice, assign them a new mentor or, eventually, move them to a different task.
The last thing you need to understand is the fact that in order to improve, your staff members need to have some goals. The best way to do so is to set some expectations. These expectations need to be A) realistic and B) somewhat challenging. This is done in order to set your employees in the state of productivity flow. You see, if the task is not challenging enough, your employees will get bored due to the fact that they’ll come to the goal much easier than expected. If you set the bar too high, you might put them in a state of anxiety which, once again, kills productivity. Always bear this in mind.
As you can see, it all comes down to your ability to organize, set adequate metrics and provide consistency in your reporting efforts. Only this way will you be able to create a great performance review. Also, keep in mind that this is something that you’ll have to do month after month, which is why you need a system that will give you a uniformity of methodology as soon as possible. This, nonetheless, is not such a hard thing to accomplish.
Contributed by Lucas Parker