Conducting an employee performance review can be difficult and sometimes even awkward for the employee AND the employer. However, they can also be a great way to reward successful employees and to put struggling employees on a better path. Follow these tips for how to conduct an employee performance review so you get the most out of it, and can see positive change within your company.
Consider a Personal Discussion
If you conduct digital-only or paper-only employee performance reviews, you won’t get a chance to have an honest discussion about how your employees can improve. Employees are happier when they feel that their voices are heard, and a paper review only allows for a one-sided conversation.
Without a personal discussion, you also risk that an employee will not even read his or her review, or take it seriously. You might also consider ditching the self-review form in favor of a personal discussion, since employees hate filling out those forms and often don’t take them seriously.
Employee Performance Review Form Categories
Common categories for a performance review form include Strengths, Areas for Development, Goals and Review of Previous Goals/Objectives. Make sure to put something in the Strengths area; people are less defensive and more receptive to criticism if you start with a positive comment or strength. Maybe this person is reliable? Well organized? Easy to get along with?
Be Honest About the Negatives
Once you’ve said something positive, launch into what can be improved upon. Don’t give everyone a good evaluation if everyone doesn’t deserve one; this isn’t fair to the people who are truly working hard. “Most evaluations are not worth the paper they’re written on,” said Paul Dorf, managing director of consulting company Compensation Resources Inc. “People don’t want to say you’re an average employee or you’re an OK employee. They want to say you’re a great employee. So most evaluations say that people are better than they actually are.” You should reward great workers and not make them feel like they’re being ignored – which means being honest about less successful workers.
Focus on Action Steps
What specifically can workers do to get a better employee performance review next time? Lay out a plan of action so that the employee knows exactly what to work on.